Monthly Archives: March 2016

MineCraft, I get it!!

My kids have both had their turn with addiction to MineCraft.  I didn’t get watch them play it, I didn’t get it.  Well I was trying this coding stuff that we are required to do in ECMP and the I spent maybe to much time trying very simple things.  My son came upstairs and told me that he could hear MineCraft music.  I was playing MineCraft in this learn to code website!!  I was cool again (for abut 15 minutes).

Below are some of my videos.  I tried creating a Scratch game and a minute or so of me playing MineCraft.  I seriously had no idea that that is what I was doing.

It took a long time to create this and an even longer time playing around before I tried to record my efforts through screencastify.  It was fun and I wanted to make it even better.  I could see how you could use this in a classroom to teach kids about coding and then use it to respond or reflect on readings for ELA or multimedia through arts ed.  You could create something to show the life cycle of plants for science, or a time line for S.S.  I’m very excited about teaching students in this way and about being comfortable with technology to be able to let them learn like this.  I think it will contribute to making lessons more engaging!!






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Sextortion of Amanda Todd

Amanda Todd was a household name after it was too late for anyone to help her.   The Fifth Estate’s documentary “The Sextortion of Amanda Todd” was very informative for me.  I heard her story from online posts and little tidbits from the news stories around the time following her suicide.  Stories like this are hard for me to watch, but I think they are also very important for me to watch.  Amanda started really creating her digital identity when she was 9 years old.

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My daughter is 10.  Watching all of the hardships that Amanda went through before taking her own life is really heart wrenching.  She was just a kid.  Younger than my son.  It is sad that all it took was one wrong decision online for her whole life to be turned upside down and essentially ruined.  And all it takes for girls to make these decisions is for men to lay the flattery on thick.  Friends of Amanda’s say it works because it is “positive attention for people that don’t get that attention offline”.  And they also say that you “can edit yourself online”.  You can virtually be whoever you want to be.  I also made connections between this statement and the description of the Kingston serial stalker.  He was a 21 year old baby faced young man and offline seemed small and harmless (aside from assaulting Alley).  They said he seemed shy and mumbled, but online he was a powerful serial stalker.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 10.29.45 AM.pngDoesn’t look like the typical evil villain.

Amanda’s mom went to the police numerous times and felt like they were not taking it seriously, that’s scary.  It is true that if you were to call the police with information on a shady person at a park, there would be public notifications and the police would be taking immediate action.  The fact that they made the comment about her taking steps to protect herself seems wrong.  That’s why we put our trust into them.

This was also the first time I’ve heard the term cappers.  I also found the comment from the police officer in Ontario explaining that there is a new breed of predator out there unnerving. I feel an urgent need now to explain this concept and Amanda Todd’s story to my daughter.  She has been asking forever for her own computer and we are still in negotiations…

This was a sad story and maybe if Amanda Todd had people, or teachers in her life that could explain digital citizenship and the difference between a positive and negative digital identity this tragedy could have been prevented.  I think this is one of the main aspects I will take from this class.  I am learning online and interweaving technology into my presentations and lesson plans and having a great time learning and doing this.  Regardless, this is something I am excited to be taking from this class.  The importance of teaching kids that once they put it online, it’s there forever and how this can affect your life.  Helping them to make the right decisions and prevent scandals like this.

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I know that this is an ECMP class and the reason for watching this video and review it was not to have us think that we should stay away from the internet and not put ourselves out there.  There is a positive and negative way to do that.  Katia explains that if you bombard the internet with positive digital representations of yourself, it will be hard to find the negative, if there is any.

I want to add this story to this blog post because it does show a way the putting yourself out there in a positive light can make a positive impact and help you get to where you want in your life.  My family and I are from a very small town in Nova Scotia.  We have a friend, from the same small town, who is reaching her dreams by having herself all over the internet and media.  Katie Kelly is a hardworking internet sweetheart.  She is creating really hilarious Youtube videos with Kristen and has her own online TV show, Pop Culture.

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Katie works for the Bounce radio station and spends parts of each Wednesday on CTV news teaching viewers DIY  tips.  She has also recently been subbing for the regular hosts when needed.  From our small town this is an amazing accomplishment and I am sure Katie is not finished yet.  If you google her name you will find tons of videos and info.  She is a great example of positive digital citizenship.



So I know that there are benefits to digital citizenship.  I am just not sure I am ready for my daughter to create hers alone.  For now I think I will just have her out there as an add on to mine.  We have talked about her creating her own channel for crafts and stuff, but it still scares me.  I will obviously teach her all I know about going about this the right way and things that she should be very careful of.  Does anyone have an opinion on the age that you think would be appropriate for children to start their personal digital identity?



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Word It Out!!

It’s very exciting for me that I am getting more comfortable with integrating technology in all of my schooling.  For a presentation I just did I had the students write words they associated with our topic on an index card.  I used those words and created a word cloud.  Wordle tends to be the most used website for this.  I personally couldn’t get Wordle to generate the words for me.  So I copy and pasted the words onto Word It Out.  It worked perfectly.

I was just super proud of myself to offer to do the word cloud.  There is no way at the beginning of the school year I would have offered to do this part of the presentation (because of the tech aspect), but now I was excited to try something new.  I’ve seen the word clouds, but never created one myself.  Stuff like this really engages the students and this was a great way to show them what THEY created.  Below is our word cloud. The students were given the term intellectual Disabilities.

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I was just excited that it turned out so well and I wanted to share!!


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Simply Amazed, Period!

So I just blogged about some of the ways my daughter has been using technology to learn new skills and work on her amazing creativity.  As I have a boy and a girl, and they are brother and sister, they DO NOT share anything, so I thought I would respect that and give them their own blog posts 🙂

My brilliant son Jasper has been blowing my mind with his smarts for 15 years.  He went into grade nine this year and killed it.  Playing on the Thom football team (never having played football a day in his life) and being asked to play 3 positions, being one of 4 grade nines to make the junior basketball team, and surpassing all of my expectations with his grades (including AP math!!).  Okay now that I got that boasting out of my system, I will blog about the actual topic…

He has been saving money and recently had a birthday and was undecided what he wanted to do with his money.  He came to me a few weeks ago and asked me if he could build his own computer.  I said why not buy one?  But that’s not the same thing at all… Excuse me.

So using the internet to find out what parts he would need to buy, sorry I don’t know the names of them, he took to Amazon to start shopping.  He ordered all of the parts, spending ALL of his money +more 😐  When the parts showed up he used his iPhone to Facetime to meet with my brother on Nova Scotia to help instruct him on how to put it together.  If they ran into questions or problems they referred to old faithful YouTube.

This is what resulted from his hard work and savings…

He now has his own desktop computer that he knows how to put together, fix and (he claims) upgrade when needed.  Sorry I can’t tell you what the wires or parts do, but super proud anyway.  He has it hooked up to a big screen TV in the basement.  Oh and bless him, he didn’t have enough money for Windows, which apparently important in running your new computer.  SO unlike Cera’s project, which I could buy materials for at the dollar store, this one was not as cheap… But that’s what moms are for I guess.

Just amazed at what they can learn online and do with technology.


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OMG, A New Amazing Mom Hack!!

So I have been introduced to a new way of learning new skills.  Through my personal learning project I have had mostly success in finding answers to questions I have to completing different knitting projects.  There are exponential amounts of knitting tutorials and videos on Youtube.  There are almost as many FREE knitting patterns on Pinterest.  I haven’t yet managed to get to a place where I can follow a pattern.  I am still working on a scarf, that requires not help at the moment.  If you have looked at my learning project blogs, my main source for learning is Skyping with my mom.   However, there have been times when I am ready to do something and she is just not available to Skype at that time.  That is where the Youtube comes in handy.  I was ready to cast off and couldn’t remember how to do it, so I typed Youtube casting off into my google browser and this was the response: about 5,320,000 results (0.62 seconds).  Easy to find at least one that worked for me.

NOW to get to the most exciting part of learning online for me as a parent is that my kids have totally blown me away with some of the things they are learning to do online and it’s NOT COSTING ME ANYTHING (for lessons)!!

If you were following me on twitter you might have seen some of the cool art projects my daughter has been working on.  And if you are not, please do follow me 🙂 I have some of her pictures below…

First here is her melted crayon art that she found on Pinterest:

This kept her busy for such a long time and now it is a beautiful piece of art, proudly displayed on her bedroom wall!!  COST: art supplies from Dollarama!!  I put her in an art camp over the summer and it cost me $350.00 for one week of HALF days!!  Plus I had to drive her to the art studio.  And with online learning she did the project at her own speed and the time was not designated.

Because I’m a boasting momma, below are pictures of other projects she did by learning through Pinterest, or googling “crafts for teen girls”.  She’s not a teen, but pretty mature for her age.   Anyway she is making lipgloss using crayons and coconut oil (we had at home) and bedazzling a plain picture frame.

Next blog post will be my amazing 15 year old son’s mad computer building skills learned through technology!!!



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Assistive Technology

For EPSY we are working on a presentation on Intellectual Disabilities (ID). As teachers it is our job to support all of our students in their learning and to have them reach their potential and be successful.  Something as simple as finding the right assistive technology  (AT) for the individual student can aid us in doing this.

The website I used to help me find different AT’s to use as examples in my presentation was awesome.  It broke down the different areas in which students experience ID and from there linked to specific AT’s that could be beneficial.

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If you get a chance to check it out let me know what you think in the comments below.


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Time Consuming Scarf Creating!!

Just wanted to throw out a quick check in.  I have not been blogging much about my #ECMP355 learning project.  I am working on creating a scarf and running out of yarn.  There isn’t much to take photos or videos of right now.  I am running out of yarn and may have to be taught how to add another ball to my current project.

Spoiler Alert: That will be my next video chat with mom!!

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