For my final blog post I decided to do a little self-reflection on the progress I made and the fun I have had over the course of the last 10 weeks – lets get started!
I seen the most progress in my Chain stitch – if you were reading from the beginning, then you know I STRUGGLED with this stitch for the first few weeks of my learning project. With the help of Youtube and Tiktok – I think I am about 1,000 steps closer to mastering it. Seeing myself using this stitch in my projects is so rewarding now because I really dreaded it at the beginning of my journey.
My FAVOURITE stitch was the Embroidered Rose, which I had learned early on in my journey and actually only used a few times! I will get my use out of this skill as I work on a few Christmas presents (I will touch on this again later on!). But you can
check out my roses to the right:
The Satin stitch was one I felt like I had mastered early on, but I did feel like something was missing towards the end of our semester so I spent some time playing with the stitch and seeing what worked best. I tried out the following approaches:
Different start/end points
Ok, I tried a handful of different resources throughout my learning journey and I am going to rank them for you & give you reasons to why I believe them. Check out my resource summarization in a Canva creation below as well as linked here.
To summarize this experience in a whole – I loved it! Did I achieve my goal of embroidering my niece a Christmas present? No, BUT I have started it and I am feeling very confident (check out the sneak peak of it below).This project will include every skill I learned throughout the semester:
Transferring a design
I am happy I took it step-by-step and skill-by-skill rather than jumping into random projects each week, I think this helped me create a strong foundation with transferable skills. I am excited to continue embroidering and I do think that, my gift giving game has gotten better!
My colleagues in EDTC 300 have helped me immensely over the course of the semester – be it answering the discord questions that I asked, sharing interesting resources, or providing encouraging comments on my blog posts. Reflecting on my contribution throughout the last four months, I just hope I was able to be as helpful to them as they were to me!
I was fairly active on Twitter and felt as though I contributed to my peer’s learning whenever I shared a post, as I felt as though every tweet they made benefited me as well! Here are a few ways I believe I contributed to my peer’s learning:
Retweeting & Quoting tweets that I felt would be truly beneficial: I like to read about why my peers liked resource or tweet they shared so that I can understand why they thought it was important to pass along. In saying that, I did the same – for
example, I Quoted a tweet about an Advice to My Younger Self bulletin board and explained why I would use this & thought it was so important. This specific tweet had replies from my peers thanking me for sharing & that they also thought it was a great idea.
Replying to my peers: I replied to my peers with words of encouragement for what they were sharing, additional ideas, and personal experiences. Please see some examples below. Though I was proud of my twitter activity, I do wish I replied with more intent to my peers tweets. As I looked back before completing this post, I noticed that a lot of my replies were “I love this!”, “I will definitely use this in my classroom!”, “Thanks for sharing!”. If I had a do-over, I would ask more probing questions of my classmates or explain to why I would use this in my classroom.
Sharing beneficial resources: During our “Twitter time” I shared quite a few different resources – but to highlight this I wanted to share one thread that I felt really connected to EDTC 300 as it discussed Digital Literacy!
Sharing personal experiences & lesson ideas: I shared a few of my own lesson plan ideas (Vocab Go Fish!), my personal experience with resources (Broken Strings Infographic), and comments on how certain lessons played out! This contributed to my peers’ learning as they can check out free resources that were made OR reviewed by someone who is in the same boat as them – learning how to teach! Check out some of my personal experience sharing tweets below:
Asking questions of my peers to encourage critical thinking: There were a few tweets that I made where I stated my opinion on a topic but then also questioned what my peers thought of it and their reasonings. Not only was this beneficial to me to hear more ideas on the topic but I do believe it also challenged my peers to think critically about it as well! My favourite example would be the example you see to the side:
Ok – this is sad, and it is my own fault, Katia warned us of this. Listen to your professors, lesson learned! It is actually a combination of two things:
I did not keep track of my comments on my peers Edusites blogs. In our last class many other students were able to sort their comments so that they could see the comments they made on others blogs – I was not able to do this. Another peer said they were able to search their name & comments to see all of the comments they made – which would have been helpful BUT (see below)
I realized about 2.5 months into the semester that my comments were going through under “Anonymous”.. UGH.
Anyways – I will make do with what I can off memory with generalized comments and a little bit of back tracking for more specifics. One comment that I do remember was on a peer’s post about their yoga journey – I had explained a potential lesson plan idea for Yoga in a younger Physical Education class. This lesson was basically a story that was told and the yoga moves worked alongside with the story!
Similar to my replies on Twitter – I wish I would have asked stronger questions in my comments on Edusites blogs!
Now – this last item of contribution is my Learning Project. I felt as though I contributed to the learning of those who read them as I explained the pros and cons of different resources, cited and linked these resources so that they could use them if they were interested, and I created an environment where I let myself be vulnerable and show both my successes and my failures – which I think is incredibly important.
I am thankful for the connections I made throughout this course & am positive that we will continue to strive towards professional development together – lending a hand when we can!
As mentioned in my Critical Teaching Manifesto – I am working towards becoming a life-long learner and that is inclusive of educating myself on Indigenous peoples, Treaties and Truth and Reconciliation. Please see my first step towards this goal below or here:
I can hardly believe that this semester has come and gone so quickly! Infographics are awesome, I am a sucker for them, which is why I was wanting to create a live infographic through Vyond but being that I have been fighting a nasty cold, which I am sure most of us are, time seemed to pass too quickly this week, my idea of experimenting with a new digital resource escaped me.
This semester I had noticed many of my peers using Canva for their presentations and they looked NICE, so I took note. With already being familiar with the Canva program but not doing much more than the odd infographic and worksheet, I thought I would take my shot at creating a presentation and recording it directly through Canva.
To listen and watch my presentation you can do so below and as I have listed this Youtube video as unlisted, you will not be able to find it by searching but can revisit here if you please!
My Learning Summary Presentation can be referenced through the Canva program itself. Again, I am leaving this course feeling as though I have a whole new toolbox full of skills. I feel confident in teaching digitally and being transparent with my students when need be, ensuring they know I don’t have all the answers to when it comes to learning and living digitally but that I will try my best. Though it is still intimidating and I am sure that there will be a learning curve, I know teaching digital citizenship, coding, digital identity and literacy are so important and I wish that I had the guidance I hope to give when I was a student.
Working on implementing and trying out different types of instructional strategies is fun – especially when it isn’t one I would have originally reached for! In my ECS 303 class we were tasked with the challenge to pick an instructional strategy and explore it further.
What is Arts-Infused Instruction?
The Kennedy Centre was an impactful resource for myself while I was learning more about this strategy. Like I mentioned earlier, this wasn’t necessarily a strategy I would have picked to explore so I had done a substantial amount of research before I felt comfortable with it!
To summarize the different definitions I read, Arts-Infused/Arts Integration is:
Using a strand of art as a guide to teaching a new concept or having students show their knowledge or the process of their learning through an art strand.
My Experience with Arts-Infused Instruction
Myself and three of my peers presented this strategy to our colleagues in our class by doing the following:
Modelling how visual art – specifically, a mosaic, could be used within a math lesson. Using a mosaic to teach math could be helpful in identifying and sorting shapes in grades 2 or 3 as well as measuring angles in grade 6.
Providing this prompt: “Using the pre-cut shapes, create a mosaic that represents our culture in Canada.” We seen great success with this and this is an activity that could be adapted for any social or ecological injustice lesson. Check out the work our peers completed below.
We seen a variation of a new Canadian flag that represents our diverse culture and inclusive of the colour orange to represent our responsibility for Truth and Reconciliation.
One group had created a collage of what they thought represented Canada – a hockey stick, Tim Horton’s coffee, a heart, and timbits.
Lastly, you see a mosaic of two people holding hands – to represent a welcoming culture.
I really liked this instructional strategy! With my small experience with it, I am sold. I plan on implementing arts-infused instruction to help teach social justice and self-identity.
In our Education Technology lecture this past week we learnt all about Digital Identity and the trace we can leave on the internet. We were assigned an interesting task this week – to get to know our classmates through a cybersleuth… can’t say I have every had an assignment like this before!
Follow me along my cybersleuth!
I got to know my partner, Jorden Robitaille in a very non-traditional way… but I am thinking this is not out the norm for the world we live in now. I follow and interact with Jorden on twitter so had already known from her bio that she is busy being a mom and student, which is incredible! I have really enjoyed being able to connect and follow along with her dancing journey as she teaches herself and her son to do some cool moves through online learning!
Taking my “creep” to the next level I turned to Google where I found Jorden’s blog (check it out by the way, click here!). From Jorden’s blog I learnt that she lives small town Sask now but was actually born in Quebec and moved here quite awhile ago – cool! On her blog you are able to follow along with her educational journey, she has created a strong professional presence online. Moving onwards with my deep dive into Jordan’s online persona, I learned she is not the only Jorde(a)n Robitaille out there… just a little bit different spellings! She even shares a name with a Canadian Idol contestant… if anyone remembers Canadian Idol lol.
To sum up my search, I didn’t find much personal information about Jorden online but I did get a good idea of what kind of person she is just from her professional pages.
Let’s talk about Digital Identity!
It is a scary thought that you can have this entire online persona and it is even scarier to know you might not be able to control how you are perceived through the internet. Madison Holler’s story on ESPN really spoke to me and had me wondering about how people might perceive me through my posts on social media and If how I am perceiving my friends is really how they are doing.
So often I think to myself – “Wow. I haven’t talked to “so and so” forever, I should check in but I know they have been busy since they were posting on Instagram.”. Reading about Madison and how she was struggling yet living a different life via social media breaks my heart. We see other peoples best 10% of their lives online and make the assumption we are seeing their whole life and that it is wonderful, but we shouldn’t.
As per the screenshot from the story about Madison – we feel this pressure from social media that we aren’t doing enough or that
we simply aren’t enough because we only see people’s highlights. This then causes us to create a digital identity that does not accurately represent our actual identity – and unfortunately, it seems like a vicious cycle.
Digital Identity in my classroom!
I want to be transparent with my students in explaining the “Split Image” a digital identity can often cause and that things are never just as they seem. We post what we are proud of and what we want people to see, I understand that and I know that might not change. What I want to do is allow my students to build their toolkit to also understand that so that hopefully they don’t feel this pressure at some point in their lives.
This week I tried out something different for my learning project. Not only did I do a small piece, but I also taught my roommate a few basic stitches and she created a piece as well! I am travelling for the month of December so will not be home for Christmas, so we thought we would use our time over the break to do some festive crafts.
I did what I think most anyone would when looking for a DIY project – I turned to Pinterest.
We both found designs that we wanted to do, but unfortunately, they were both being sold by Etsy store fronts. While I enjoy using Pinterest to find ideas for embroidery I have found it is mostly just doing that on the platform, finding ideas. It seems as though there are not as many free resources for patterns or tutorials for hand embroidery as I first expected – it can be a little disheartening when you find a design you really like only to click on it and see that it costs $8.95. Back to the positives, I am able to find a lot of ideas and inspiration on this platform though, and that is how we used it this week.
We both found designs we liked and I figured I had a good idea of what stitches I could use and so I just drew a basic outline of what I wanted and got to work on my piece. Mine used only one stitch – the satin stitch, but I felt like all my recent projects that used a satin stitch just didn’t look as nice as it could – it was uneven and just looked kind of messy. I asked Google for help on “How to make your satin stitch look better?”.
My search brought me to a blog post “Satin Stitch Secrets” by Jessica Lang Embroidery. This post helped me understand the techniques to improving my satin stitch work, using sections and only 1 or 2 ply floss (not what I was wanting to hear as I knew this meant it would take longer). There was also a YouTube video linked in her blog , but I mostly relied on the instructional photo you see in this post.
The above also helped me in teaching my roommate how to perfect her project. I taught her how to start off her project, follow a pattern, and three types of stitches (satin, french, and single back stitch). We decided that while doing the tree, the stitches should be a little bit thicker, so taking note on what I learnt from my search – instead of using 1or2 ply like me, she used 6ply with her green floss. When she did her satin stitch, she also used 2ply to ensure she had a neat looking stitch.
I had so much fun teaching a friend how to do this, I think this is going to be a hobby that sticks after our learning projects are done! My roommate seems to be hooked as well 🙂 Check out our final products below – the next step is to get them finished off and hung on our Christmas Tree!
I love that this journey has allowed me to feel like I am successfully completing DIY projects – Woohoo!
To be completely honest, up until the beginning of October, I had no idea what it was. If you would have probably said something along the lines of “IDK, reading e-books or something”. So before I get into the rest of this blog let’s go over some definitions of Digital Literacy so we all have a better idea moving forward.
9 Elements of Digital Citizenship tell us that “Digital literacy includes the discussion of media literacy and the ability to discern good information from poor, such as “fake news” from real news.”
The Ministry of Education and Child Care in British Columbia says digital literacy is “the interest, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital technology and communication tools to access, manage, integrate, analyze and evaluate information, construct new knowledge, create and communicate with others”.
To summarize the common ground from the definitions below I have come up with the following personal definition:
“Digital Literacy is the ability to locate and evaluate information within the digital world and come to an informed decision on whether it is fake news, or real news”
What is Fake News?
Umm, lets start with maybe saying its news that is not true? But to be more specific, TRU Libraries says it well: fake news is a hoax that is meant to mislead in the hopes of a financial or political gain of those spreading it, with its’ purpose being that it spreads information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, which is used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.
Let’s be honest – fake news doesn’t just exist in the digital world but, the more time we spend on technology, the more we are exposed to both fake and real news through digital platforms. In my personal experience, I see it multiple times a day on Facebook and other social media platforms.
How can/ should it be taught in a middle years classroom?
YES! It absolutely should be taught in the classroom – I know if I am seeing fake news on my Snapchat, my Grade 6 students probably are too. This is the age where students are starting to get their own emails, phones, social media accounts, etc. where they will be exposed to all sorts of fake news, phishing emails, trolls and so on.
I think that the best way to approach this with students is to teach them how to find reliable news sources so they are starting their search on a strong note. By complimenting the first approach we should also teaching them how to identify fake news because chances are they are going to be exposed to that without even searching for it.
Finding reliable news: Get the news straight from the source, avoiding the “middle-man”. This could be from news websites, social media pages rather than from a blog post by a local high school teacher who was not involved in any capacity. Allow
for news sources to get the news, check a few times a day rather than every 3-5minutes. Build a puzzle – if a direct source isn’t available, take the commonalities from multiple sources to piece together the story.
Teach our students what fake news can look like: Bring REAL examples to the classroom (like I said, they are everywhere so this shouldn’t be hard). Increase activities where students are encouraged to put on the detective hat. Though this was not in the article linked above, I think it is important to have classroom discussions around what sort of organizations would email you for information vs. those that wouldn’t – helping identify phishing emails.
In our EDTC 300 class we worked through some “Fake or Real” examples and they can be tricky! I think that this would be an awesome activity to do with a middle years classroom – it is not only eye opening but definitely fun and engaging.
Many outcomes in the Saskatchewan Curriculum has the word “Investigate” – for example see the screenshot to the left. I think that this is an invitation to have students conducting their own investigation through online sources – be it current or historic. It is important students can identify the difference between real or fake news for both academic and non-academic reasons – it is a life skill that I think the curriculum has encouraged us as teachers to build in our students.
When teaching Digital Literacy in my classroom I am positive I would be implementing many NCTE frameworks. To remain consistent with the earlier parts of this blog and how I would incorporate digital literacy into my classroom I believe that this would allow for my students to Consume, curate, and create actively across contexts. Especially in connection to my example with the curriculum I believe I would encourage students to analyze, examine, review, etc. of the information that they find digitally.
“Hi class, today we are going to learn how to code!” – this might be a phrase that could potentially cause anxiety as a student, I know I felt immediately overwhelmed when I seen coding on our Weekly Overview for EDTC300 – turns out, it doesn’t need to be as crazy and complex as we might think!
This week we were tasked with spending some time working on a coding project or learning more about coding, I decided I need to know a little bit more. I took my learning journey to Code.org, an online resource that provides interactive 1-hour tutorials (honestly, they were games) that help introduce coding! Since I know very little, quite honestly – nothing about coding, I decided to find an activity in the Beginner level but for those who want to challenge themselves, there was a Comfortable level as well.
It was a cool activity with the focus being to get the submarine, Subby, around the underwater world to collect data on organisms under there. To get Subby to a specific area or organism, we are tasked with the challenge to move Subby by using sequences. The little I do know about coding is that sequences are a big part of it (what that means, I am still not entirely sure). These challenges start off simple with just a Forward option, slowly more get added in. I first was confused by the idea of using sequences, but again, as we moved through the activity it became much more apparent that using the sequences and the “short cuts” the activity provides allows for a more seamless process. Check out some of my sequences below:
This activity said it was appropriate for Grades 2-8, I found that it would be understood by students in Grades 4-6 best and still allowing them a bit of a challenge. I am excited to explore more of the activities on Code.org as I found the instructions to be very clear and the game itself to be very interactive. It allowed for a high ceiling but a low floor as well, this could meet students where they are now and work with them to build up – I think that is a great tool!
Why is coding in the classroom important?
Problem solving skills and again louder for those in the back, PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS!!!
I am sure that there are MANY other reasons to why coding in the classroom would be important but from my personal experience in this simple coding activity, the way I had to problem solve was incredible! I tried and failed on repeat, but this game allowed me to do so and increased my ability to problem solve and creative think my way through it.
We are living in a world where we are so reliant on technology – why not give our students the opportunity to strengthen not only their understanding of the inner-workings of some of these technologies but also improve their life skills as well?! Sounds like a win-win to me.
My oh my, I can’t believe how fast this semester is flying by and I have a feeling our learning projects will be complete before I know it.
I was really looking forward to this week
of my learning project, if you read last weeks you know I had made embroidered the outline of a pumpkin (see photo evidence) and my goal for this week was to spice it up a little bit. I am happy to announce that I did accomplish my goal – with the help of classmates, photo inspiration, and for finishing Gilmore Girls so I could finally quit procrastinating and get some work done!
The end goal in mind was still from the inspiration that I had gotten from And Other Adventures’ DIY Fall Floral Pumpkin Hand Embroidery . The final product by And Other Adventures was definitely the goal, but my skills just aren’t quite there yet, and, not to make excuses BUT, I “YOLO’d” the roses and two leaves then used another leaf outline from a completely different pattern… so my final product is make shift.
So like I just said, this project was just a punch of different resources thrown together to create this small piece of fall decor:
Inspiration from And Other Adventures (an embroidery company)
Pumpkin outline from Google
DMC – a website with MANY free embroidery patterns. This was actually recommended by one of my classmates, a true lifesaver as I was running out of resources to use!
Past knowledge – I already knew how to create a wheelbarrow rose and a few leaves, so I free handed those!
Step-By-Step Pumpkin Decor
Found an idea pattern, unfortunately this pattern was not free. Knowing I still wanted to do something similar, I decided to piece this project together.
Find a pumpkin outline – Google was my friend on this one! More details on this step can be found in last weeks blog post which you can find, here.
Check out more floral patterns, DMC helped with this one! I found a floral pattern I liked, which you can find linked here! Again, I knew I had to get creative, so I picked out the flower/leaf that I wanted. Printed this pattern off and copied it onto my project. The patterns from DMC are amazing, they have a full PDF tutorial for how to complete the project – I will definitely be returning to try out an entire project!
Putting my prior knowledge to use – I already knew how to do a rose as well as a leaf with a satin stitch… so I got busy!
COMPLETE… Kinda.. I think I do want to add more detail to it later on as it seems a little empty in comparison to my inspo pic, but I am happy with it for now!
Thanks for reading about my mismatched project! I think this was my favourite part of the learning project so far – it allowed me to create my own piece by using the assistance from multiple online resources, even my prior knowledge had been built using the internet… pretty cool!