You Get a Car and You Get a Car! Everyone Gets a Car!

oprah winfrey GIF

Teaching is hard, and it is even harder when you switch grades and have to start from creating material from scratch. If you are an elementary teacher, you do not just teach a select course or a few courses, we have (I have) 10ish different classes/subjects to prepare for every single day; this is A LOT, it is overwhelming when starting from nothing. If there is something that I have appreciated immensely is when another grade alike teacher is willing to share their already put together units. Let’s be honest we are probably all “guilty” of accepting this most generous offer more then once and we do so with open arms. Then there is teacher pay teachers; I have a serious love affair with this website because why not? If it covers curriculum, is engaging, is possibly low prep (not all the time but sometimes) AND it looks nice, this is a win!

I have always been so unbelievably grateful for those teachers who have shared their work with me in order to get me started that I feel the need to do the same if anyone ever asks me now that I have a few years under my belt and created my own materials; if you didn’t know there is secret society of teachers that help each other out but you have to know the secret handshake and door knock. Honestly I feel that it takes a village to educate the minds of children and it is a hard and demanding career so if we can help each other out, take the pressure off, lend a hand why wouldn’t we? So you will find me sharing my material or ideas all the time with full disclosure of course that it is not perfect or complete.

Copyright is a serious thing but in my years of teaching there have been moments where I have received items that go against it and I have never done it to be malicious or intentionally thinking about copyright legalities but I do need to be aware of the legal and ethical issues and take a stand to know when it is not appropriate, when to only take the 10% or go purchase the product myself even when the convenience is quicker and easier.

When I share my units, material, or ideas I do give credit to its original creators if it warrants it or I will share where I have purchased the product but I know I could do better. This week really made me think of the reasons why I should and reflect on how I can still lend others a hand while protecting all parties at hand. My division has also been encouraging us to share our units these past few years and as I had said before I am 100% game for doing so but I have been very mindful of what I share and if it is something I have purchased from TpT I will give some sample pages and leave the link to where others can purchase their own license. This is good practice to me, we need to work together and help each other out, we are not on an island by ourselves, especially when teaching the exact same curriculum.

What are your thoughts? Do you share your work or do you keep your work more to yourself? How do you manage copyrights?

turtle helping GIF

Guilty as Charged But I Honestly Don’t Mean To Officer!

Guilty As Charged Reaction GIF by TRT - Find & Share on GIPHY

Who gets their information from Facebook and believes it? I do sometimes… guilty

Who gets caught up in emotional targeted news? Me…. guilty

Who is too lazy to go verify and fact check? Me… guilty

Who looks at the sources? Me…guilty but this might be an okay thing, I look to see if the website or article is coming from a news outlet so that is a positive

Who trusts news media outlets? Me… guilty

Have I ever fallen for photo manipulation? Yep… guilty

I clearly have a lot of work to do

Cymone this week posted an article Defining Fake News, I found myself making connections to the types of fake news I have fallen victim too; news fabrication, photo manipulation, advertising and public relations. It really bugs me when I fall for the news article because they LOOK REAL to only realize afterwards that it wasn’t or something inside says this doesn’t seem and I go look at a “trusted” news source and let me tell you my trusted news sources are like pretty ridiculous at times. I will look to see if it is on Discover Moose Jaw or Moose Jaw Today, the LeaderPost, or any other Saskatchewan/local news outlets but then I hear about their one sided views. This makes me so frustrated!

When it comes to photo manipulation it just blows my mind how pictures can be made to look so real or how easy it is to take a picture and place it in a different context, much like that ones that Alec showed us a few weeks ago in class. This occurs so easily and often as the article states it’s to catch the eye of the audience or to reinforce the content being discussed, my husband often says “a picture or it didn’t happen” but this cannot even be trusted anymore.

I am also a sucker for click bait stuff with interesting headings but for me this doesn’t have to do with me thinking it is a news story, it is more for the mindless entertaining story it may provide or for the shopping; thanks advertising and public relations!

Chris then talked about the consequences for students in the video and I think these are exactly where I am when it comes to the Ukraine & Russia War. I am terrified about all the misinformation out there and there is no quick and easy place to find the right information; well there might be but I don’t know where to look and I feel so overwhelmed already with my busy life that I do not find the time or energy to dig into it. Does this make me a bad person? I feel that it does. I feel worried that I am not able to tell false versus real in the time frame I would like to get my information in. Then I second guess news sources and I do not know who to trust, HELLO can I just get the old fashioned Moose Jaw Times Herald newspaper back, maybe I can trust that information; the world of getting news information seemed simpler then or at least easier and more trustworthy. The other point brought forward was anxiety; I suffer from anxiety and it seems to be more heightened lately with balancing my life’s pressures and goals. So pairing identifying fake news in regards to Ukraine and not sure who or what to believe or the anxiety of believing something that is not true, I am avoiding it all together.

Holly then provided 3 easy tips to teach our students how to spot fake news that I think I am going to use and take for myself; take a look at the source, look for its accuracy; fact check on snopes or politifacts), and look for neutral language. I believe it isn’t fair of me to teach my students how to spot fake news if I cannot do it myself and be confident in it. I am grateful for those websites to offer the ability for fact checks; thank you for sharing Alec and Holly for the reminder.

Frame of References:

An infographic showing media source ratings for reliability and bias

Alec has provided these frames of references for understanding media bias but I still have some learning to do when it comes to understanding what left and right mean, or how to interpret them. So if you have any help with that I would love to hear it!

The jury is most definitely in, and I am so guilty and have a lot of work to do in order to grow in this area.

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Tonight Show Oops GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Find & Share on GIPHY

Major Project Update

I have been busy working on and thinking about the actual final product lately. I was able to learn how to create sub tabs or categories on my blog and then sub sub categories under my major project. I did this because I needed to have more organization but to also to process what kind of information I want to be included. Some of the sub categories do not have anything in them yet but will as I continue to grow my project. I have re-learned that I need some patience when working with technology and at times it is just not as easy as I want it to be. I struggled with wordpress this week allowing me to upload my TikTok videos, then all of a sudden one upload worked but the others did and would not so I left them in link format. Check out My Exploration for my newest videos: adding effects, text, combining videos, adding sound. I am so amature at it that I just have to laugh at myself! Something else that I have been busy doing is looking at Common Sense Media and realizing that it has ratings for both Edsby and TikTok along with a parent guide, these I also included in my project, I felt they offered a lot of great information. My next goal is going to be looking at the privacy policies and terms of use and then getting an summed up version posted under those categories.

I have done more in TikTok then I have in Edsby because I wasn’t sure how I wanted to tackle it, but I think I have a plan now which includes exploring the app from a parent perspective and as a teacher, I wanted to from the student perspective also but I do not know if I will have enough time to do that but it is in the back of my mind.

Below is video I recorded showing my new tabs I created. I was so excited that I accomplished this (even if its a beginner thing). I also was pumped that I was able to create this video…all the learning! However I am still having issues now uploading just videos (will I ever win? will it ever be just as easy as I want it to be?) So now I am hoping that you can all click on the link and be able to open it up; I was going to put it on TikTok and upload that way but then it’s public and I just didn’t want that.!AtrPyiqlAyw7hBTjf6Ethrf9D1OS?e=kELAD9

Media Literate, What’s that? You want me to add that to my day too?

The bar is so high, there is already so much to do, covering curriculum is already overwhelming and to now add in digital literacy, especially when it is something you know nothing about makes teaching in today’s world feel almost impossible. Anyone else ever feel that? I am not sure what is going on with everyone else but finding a balance to meet all demands is becoming overwhelming especially with what COVID has done to students education; reading scores are low- so get them up, math scores are low- get those up too, focus on extra Religion minutes we have to promote our Catholic faith more and faith permeate into our other curricular lessons, but we are back to regular curriculum minutes, and now for the betterment of our students please consider adding digital literacy, citizenship, and medias; the plate just keeps getting more full, something is going to topple over soon- these is common thoughts amongst teachers. As I continue my education in this area I become aware of its importance, and I am able to see how I can fit it into my curriculum time already and it is actually not a whole bunch more work, my students are benefiting greatly, and I find I do not have to moderate the chats on my google classroom as often.

So What is Media Literacy Anyways?

Bart summed up what is media literacy perfectly this week in our presentation from his article What is Media Literacy and Why Does it Matter

Media Literacy is important because the digital world is full of fake news (which we are reading about this upcoming week), media bias, and I think the most important to me is the mental health concerns that are associated with media use as outlined in the article; this one hits home to so many of our students, cyberbullying is real, and is done so silently; as parents or teachers, if we are not checking in, watching our children’s behaviours change right in front of our eyes this could have serious implications on children’s wellbeing. Being more informed and involved in a age where it’s easy to become distant due to technology is crucial to supporting the mental health.

Teaching media literacy is newer to me, I kind of did it before but with no real intent, it just flowed into class conversations; just as quickly as the conversations happen it left and never appeared again. Throughout my article What is media literacy, and why is it important? I quickly realized how effortlessly teaching the 6 essential skills to media literacy intertwined into teaching reading literacy at a grade four level; in grade four a big switch is made in literacy instruction, it is not about learning how to read anymore but reading to learn. The skills listed below are already teaching points I do in teacher time so when I go to teach these skills during a media literacy lesson I can quickly have them connect to prior knowledge that has already been instilled. It was such a relief to see the connection and to realize it was not going to be an overbearing task to take on.

The biggest section in the article was the questions to ask students when thinking critically:

  1. Who created it? Take a look at the author (company, private, anonymous)
  2. Why did they make it? Informative, opinion, to make you laugh, get you to buy something
  3. Who is the message for? Is it for adults, babies, little kids, big kids, boys, girls,
  4. What techniques are being used to make this message credible or believable? Take a look at its sources (this is a tough one for younger kids, but opening up the conversation is a good starting point)
  5. What details were left out, and why? Observe the view points, more importantly look at what is missing.
  6. How did the message make you feel? Feelings of yourself, others, would people agree or disagree?

As I did further research for additional resources I came across this TedTalk and what resonated with me the most was to pay attention to what is missing or not being included; this offers such a powerful message in itself, “Once students have learned to deconstruct media, they have gained a superpower”, this was my favourite quote in her talk.

Can Everyone be Fully literate?

I believe everyone if given the proper tools and education can become literate but just as we know in reading and math not everyone will become “Fully” literate in digital medias. This then opens up the conversation to who is included in being allowed to become media literate, and more importantly who is being left out (see how I tied Andrea Quijada’s message in here) ? Considering Mike Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship focusing on the first element of Digital Access being “about the equitable distribution of technology and online resources” do all students in Saskatchewan have equal digital access in our first world country? We know the answer is no, and that is a problem. Take a look at this article I tweeted about today Digital Equity for Indigenous Communities. We have quite a digital divide right here at home which prevents all students from becoming media literate.

Have you considered students who have disabilities? I typically do but that comes from a passion of inclusion, my teaching experience, and certificate of extended studies. A study done in Malaysia explored digital literacy strategies and the ability to help teachers develop their digital literacy skills to create and design effective teaching and learning strategies for students with disabilities. Everyone deserves access to fair education and media literacy should be included. Check out the study here.

Digital Citizenship in Schools

Digital citizenship in schools is very much like the Woody and Buzz meme; it’s there and some teachers are excited to explore it, share it with others, take on this becoming more apparent need of curriculum and others are terrified like Woody. Not sure where to start, never even heard of the concept, see it as completely foreign planet.

Are there Roles?

Technically yes for my grade level, which until I did not realize till I went “digging” into my curriculum looking for it, I found it under my health which makes perfect sense; Understanding, Skills, Confidences, 4.4 Determine basic personal responsibility for safety and protection in various environments/situations. Within the indicators I located many that tie into cyber safety, cyber etiquette, responsible use of electronic networks. However the indicators are not the mandatory parts to which we need to teach so teachers have the professional autonomy to decide how to best meet the outcome and unfortunately if they are the Woody they will not choose to venture down the digital citizenship side of things. This I don’t see as a “bad teacher” shaming moment, I see this as an opportunity for the serious need for professional development that needs to be provide to all teachers; Gerry discussed this in his articles he shared last week. I am a Woody who is venturing out to the Buzz Lightyear side, exploring a whole new planet that I knew existed but was afraid and uneducated not only about the importance this area needs to be taught but uneducated in how to teach it (insert-this is why I am back taking my masters, I have this need to keep learning).

In our school I do not see any ongoing practices currently in place that focus around digital citizenship. I see our upper grades immersing themselves into Edsby for finding assignment directions, worksheets, and submitting work but I am not hearing about any learning that has to do with Mike Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship. Occasionally we will have our Community officer come into classrooms to give presentations based around posting of private pictures online, online bullying, and giving personal information to strangers BUT this happens once and then it is not talked about again; almost like a check mark made on a list and now it’s done.

Envisioning the Future

So much work needs to be done that I see a serious need for a collaborative approach. Something that needs involvement from our division team and administration. We need the division to provide learning opportunities and guidelines to teachers; a supplemental curriculum prepared and approved with appropriate learning materials that are easy to use, low prep, blackline masters included, grade level appropriate, and ties into present curriculum. Common Sense Education already has much work already done, and Durston has already offered many other websites that would make putting together such learning materials less daunting. I would like to be apart of that change.

But for now…

I have already taken on the suggestions and resources mentioned by classmates and I have presented to my principal about having our SCC host a parent night based around social media and children. Teaching parents how to support the learning of their children in this digital age. I feel I may become an advocate and encourager for our school to transition towards the inclusion of teaching digital citizenship; my principal was very excited to present this idea to our SCC.

In my classroom I am going to be creating a new unit based on the indicators USC 4.4 that have a strong digital citizenship presence. This past week we focused on Anti Bullying lessons and I had included “The Power of Words” from Common Sense that “Help(s) your students build empathy for othersĀ and learn strategies to use when confronted with cyberbullying”. It was very user friendly and I felt was a great way to begin this new unit. The feedback I received from my students was so positive and left me feeling empowered to continue with it, and feeling that it is possible even with 8 and 9 year olds.

Below are health curricular connections I have located for each grade that can connect to teaching of digital citizenship; there are more I only included one per grade

Grade 1 & 2- No direct connection to any use on media

Grade 3- USC 3.6– 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. Indicators (a), (d), (e), (f), (g)

Grade 4- USC 4.4- Determine basic personal responsibility for safety and protection in various environments/situations. Indicators (a), (b) ,(d) ,(f), (i), (j)

Grade 5 USC 5.3- Analyze how infectious diseases (including HIV and Hepatitis C) and non-infectious illnesses/diseases challenge holistic well-being. Indicator (a), (b), (c) & USC 5.4- Analyze the connections between personal identity and personal well-being, and establish strategies to develop and support a positive self-image. Indicator (k)

Grade 6- USC 6.6– Develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and personal standards necessary for establishing and supporting safe practices and environments related to various community activities.

Grade 7- USC 7.1– Establish and use strategies to commit to and act upon personal standards (see grade 6) for various aspects of daily living over which an individual has control.

Grade 8- ** No direct connection

Grade 9- USC 9.2 **But not very direct-Analyze how the well-being of self, family, community, and the environment is enhanced by a comprehensive, community approach to safety.

Grade 10-12- No Health curriculums

It seemed to be that there are only brief moments throughout health curriculum where the possibility of digital citizenship could be included, it gets very sparse as our students got older which seemed odd to me but shows there is much room for growth.

Digital Identity is Complex… Who do you think I am?

We are asked to blog about our digital identities in reference to my past, present, and future, along with my own children’s identities, I will focus mainly on my present knowing that my past and future still play a huge role.

Thinking about digital identity is complex, it is considering and analyzing where I am leaving my digital fingerprint and what it says about me and what I am already leaving about my children.

To preface part of my discussion I want to start with this video:


I know we have all fallen to some of these password protection errors and some point. I am noticing the increase in digital identity protection in multiple areas of my personal and work life. When I think of my identity I think of protecting it and how much of a headache this can be at times. Which leads me to yesterday… oooh yesterday… I hope you enjoy the humor in this or you can make a connection. Yesterday, I wanted to get into my account on CRA, you know many of us head to this site once or twice a year, tax season and all. I just needed to check one small thing, see if a tax document was available yet. Do you think that I remembered all the information needed to get onto my account? Nope. Here I was running around my house looking for this document for a number, finally getting on and then realizing I did not change my address and now I have locked myself out of my account due to a security breach and need to contact CRA to get back in. Once I authenticated my identity with the nice lady on the phone I was now needing to regain access to my online account which required bank information, address, birth date, last years income tax number line XXXX, then I had to enter in my phone number, get an 2 factor authentication number to enter and then finally I was able to access my account only to realize I need another number to gain full access to my account which will be sent in the mail. SERISOUSLY??? I appreciate protecting my identity but UGH. Then I had to make my way to the Canada Student Loan website as well which has similar identity protection set up. In my personal life I access many websites and without using a password saver there would be huge amounts of frustration and tons of password resets.

Work has also recently increased its protection and now requires us to authenticate ourselves when logging on to a variety of multiple different platforms (for example Edsby). This again helps with protection but comes with inconvenience and requires that I have access to my phone to get that special code. If it was not for my smart watch that I can see the text message on I could spend precious teaching moments looking for my phone which could be in my lunch kit in the staff room fridge (yes it has happened, more then I want to admit), in my car, my purse, my jacket, on my desk, on the back table where my son was playing on it before school, etc. Authenticating myself throws me off sometimes, it makes me feel unprepared and scattered, but more importantly it can interrupt the flow of my teaching and I let my frustration show sometimes. However I am evolving and learning from this class and I should take these moments and turn them into teaching moments about the importance of digital identity. The teaching moment is literally presenting itself and I should be seizing the opportunity to use it.

A reflection on something Alec said…

Alec said to think about if you were to die and your last 3 posts define who you are as a person, what does that say about you? So let’s take a look:



TikTok (you only get one video)

Based off of my 3 last posts on Twitter and my last 3 posts on Facebook in my comments let me know who you think I am? What does my digital identity in these posts say who I am? Be honest with me! I won’t be offended (much haha).

My present identity in these platforms are very different then each other. They each show a side of who I am, sides of myself that I am willing to share; pieces of my digital identity. It has definitely evolved over time but through its evolution I am becoming more aware of the fingerprints I am leaving behind. I am also becoming more aware of the fingerprints of my children that I am leaving behind; I did not give that a second thought but I sure am now.

Thank you Alec for inspiring my post this week!

9 Elements- Focus Shift to Edsby

My focus thus far on my major project was on TikTok but for this post I wanted to shift my attention over to the second app I will be diving further into; Edsby, and how the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship fits here.

 Digital Access is about the equitable distribution of technology and online resources. Teachers and administrators need to be aware of their community and who may or may not have access, not only in school but at home as well. Educators need to provide options for lessons and data collection such as free access in the community or provide resources for the home.”

Digital access is the first element of digital citizenship and the first that I wanted to discuss. When the shift was made to Edsby for parents to see their students digital portfolio, enter absences, see students grades, have access to report cards, etc. This was seen as through the eyes of privilege. We discuss throughout our university classes (undergrad & graduate) the privilege that many of us have, we become very aware of this, it is drawn out of us. Thinking of this brings me to my last class with Dr. Twyla Salm where we discussed so many versions of privilege; racism, ableism, sexism, and heterosexual normative discourses and I see that accessibility to technology could easily find a spot here too. It is wrong to assume that parents always have access to internet , that phones are never disconnected, or that parents have access to a computer. I bring up computers in particular because Edsby works better on computers then on a phone, so if you want full access to your child’s learning or the many other things Edsby can offer you need a computer. To have a computer, a cell phone and reliable access to the internet is privilege, an assumption that most have both. Full disclosure here, until beginning my masters I have not had a computer in my house in years; I didn’t need one at home. So if not in my masters my only option for checking on my own children’s work on Edsby or having full access to what it offers parents would be through my work computer. But what if I wasn’t a teacher, what if I was a mom working at a job that did not have computer access, I guess I would miss out on some stuff hey? But no big deal I probably would not know what I was missing out on anyways.

“We need to know our community and be aware of who may not have access at home as well” so how does Edsby then support this? It does not. As mentioned above there is a scaled down version on the phone app but that does not address those who have lack of cell phone data. There is definitely some work that needs to be done here; I have brought it up a few times to administration and others.

The second element of citizenship that I will focus on is digital communication and collaboration which is the electronic exchange of information. For students this is great, they are able to see their marks in real time, and in the older grades their assignments are/can be assigned on here. I have yet to dive more into this but my daughter and her teachers use them frequently and they both seem to understand and engage in the platform with ease. When it comes to parent access to this form of digital communication I focused on the negative above which still applies here but for the parents who do not meet the criteria above and are using Edsby it is a good platform to show parents their child’s work through the learning story, or to see school newsletters etc. I appreciate checking in on my daughters grades, seeing if they were handed in on time but also seeing the areas she struggles in or is thriving in; it opens up the conversation at home more. However part of being able to share this information is also being able to understand it; and for some of my schools cliental we have ESL families who speak/read little English and therefore understanding the Edsby app would be very difficult to navigate let alone being able to read the messages. This is an area Edsby could provide a better service in to make is more accessible to other languages so communication can occur.

The third element I would like to talk about is digital fluency in relation to Edsby. As a parent I am able to easily navigate the program and see what it is intended for. I like that I can promote comments and show good digital citizenship by leaving comments on my child’s learning story posts. As a teacher I am doing the bare minimum that the program can offer, I do my attendance, enter grades, upload work to students learning stories. I have taught my students to find their grades, locate their learning stories, and taught them how to leave comments or upload their own work (thanks to our Tech Ed guy he opened this up for me last month). I would like to become more digitally fluent in the app and thus my students can become more fluent as well. To increase my students fluency in the app and for students who are younger then grade 4 I strongly believe there needs to be a elementary version or platform created; I find the layout too advance for our younger learners; and as it stands right now it appeals to more advanced students. Which I am not sure why the Edsby website appears to show that it is actually child friendly with a space theme background but that is truly not the case at all. Take a look at the pictures below; it is misleading to me.

Edsby website design (looks exciting, inviting for younger children)
Actual Student View (for all students)

There is definitely more that needs to be done to meet the 9 elements of digital citizenship within the Edsby platform. The first is to examine the place of privilege and second the ease of use for the younger cliental. This meme below speaks to many different levels.

Hair & Makeup Tutorials: TikTok

First the makeup! Ah so what I noticed is there wasn’t any description in the video, no suggestions on colour palette, suggested brushes; notta. My goodness the speed of the video was fast and when I was recording myself I was trying to keep up but eventually got a bit behind.

The logistics of setting up a video to be as “professional” as the people in the videos requires many other things I am sure, things that I did not have… like this stand; I bet that is useful.

You can by this on Amazon for a decent price (if you are in to that sorta thing)

After creating my video, I learned that I could put the videos together back to back but I have not quite figured out how to make them go side by side yet and be in sync with each other. That will be learning for another day. I tried adding music but then in cut my video and I could not get that to work but hey, I dipped my toes in a little further today…

Now to talk about the result of such make up tutorial; lets just say I think I will stick with my own makeup regiment for now; I felt like when I was done I had the look of “I worked on cars all day and had grease marks left on my face” all probably due to not blending properly, not using the right brush, and so forth. Watch below and have a laugh, I sure did.

Now the Hair Tutorial

I am so jealous of those girls who seem to be able to rock the messy buns, make them look perfect, heck lets be honest all the ladies out their who have kick butt hair styles, know that I am jealous!!! So maybe getting into some TikTok tutorials on hair styles might be a great way for me to learn. The video I watched and mimicked had a hair dresser doing it so clearly they have the advantage and my sister (a hairdresser) can’t come over because I’m self isolating so I gave it the “old college try” as my husband says.

I was unable to get the videos to directly embed here so I left the link instead. I also have the videos set up as private so I do not know if you will be able to see them let me know though!

Make up Link:

Hair Link:

Messy Bun experiment 1

Taking the First Plunge: TikTok

Downloading the TikTok app

So I added the TikTok app… It asked me to select some of the thing I am interested in so I selected a few. After creating my account and using Facebook to log in it now asks me to follow some of my friends that are on TikTok; I bypassed that option for now.

My first set of videos (is that what they are called?) I have listened to are pretty funny! They were comedy ones that came up right away about married life; made me giggle! My second set of videos were some hair hacks on creating “cute messy buns”. Stay tuned for tomorrows class I might give it a try; I mean I have all the time in the world right now being in isolation for the next 5 days so why not right?

Future of Education is a Scary Place; Is it Balanced?


Balance, Balance, Balance. Everything should be balanced.

We know that life is not always perfectly balanced but we sure do feel it when we put to much emphasis on one area of our lives and not enough on others. Therefore we have to regroup and adjust. In a time where technology can consume so much of our lives I find it increasingly difficult to find a balance in raising children in a tech filled world. Technology gives us this amazing ability to just shut off the outside world but in doing so what are we giving up? Are we letting our children become unbalanced? Take a moment to think about the time they spend with technology. Does it consume most of their day when they are at home with you? What does their outside time look like? Imaginative or interactive play? How about hands on, messy art projects? Reading time or being read too? Exploration time? We all know how important these areas are in children’s development so my question still begs to be asked, is there a balance? Or are we leaning far to one side and forgetting the importance of the rest. I admit that I fail at times, we become unbalanced, or some days are more towards one side then the other and I see the emotional and behavioral change it causes in my children and myself. In a life that is so busy at times I forget to slow down and balance our lives out.

Excuse the mess, university work was calling… #messyhairhedoesntcare

Here lies my worry for the future of education; will there be a balance?

In the article Future Work Skills 2020 the drivers for change two of the topics caught my attention. The first topic that I saw was the rise of smart machines and systems. Questions that came to the forefront was how much are we willing to give up of our own abilities and capabilities to be co dependent or solely reliant on technology? What does this mean for entry level jobs? Will there be less jobs available overall? Will unemployment continue to rise? We already see the effects of this when we head to Walmart, Superstore, Safeway, Shoppers Drug Mart, with self checkouts. These are jobs that are lost because we as humans can not be inconvenienced with having to wait to purchase our items. Do I appreciate self checkout? Yes. Could I do without them? Yes. I have made observations and a local grocery store who have self checkouts will allow lines to get so long and only have 2 cashier checkouts open. They do not open more cashier lines because they don’t have the people to man them as a result of the convenience of the self checkouts. Job loss due to technology. My last thought that I had with this drive for change was that of laziness. Is allowing for smart machines and systems to do things for us creating a new kind of lazy?

The second driving for change topic that sparked a fire was creating value in social technologies. In creating this value, is there going to be something also created for managing and holding people accountable for things put on social technologies? I am not talking about complete deformation of someone’s character but also the little things, the passive aggressive comments, the things that happen to everyday people that can cause damage. What will the safety and responsibility look like for the victims and perpetrators? We give our students daily reminders of being kind, fixing their mistakes, making things right, but who is going to monitor and how is it going to be monitored?

The article then discussed 10 skills for the future and I honed in on two of them. The first being social intelligence, “Our emotionality and social IQ developed over millennia of living
in groups will continue be one of the vital assets that give human workers a comparative advantage over machines” but how is this going to happen? Kids are losing the ability to have social and emotional connections with people, they are losing the ability to see how their words and actions immediately affect a person because they cannot see the physical discomfort of another person through social medias.

The other skills for the future that caught my attention was the new media literacy. I am left wondering about when will students be taught and become fluent in media literacy, at what grade do we begin? What do we begin with? I believe there may need to be curriculum changes, significant training of teachers & support staff new and old and a whole crap ton of support. Although from reading other classmates blogs, there might have been someone who is looking into this as their major project.

I feel that my post is long but I am not quite done yet… Thanks for holding on

9 Things That Will Shape The Future Of Education” and TEDED articles are the terrifying part for me

A rush of anxiety is what I felt when reading this. I hated it, I hated teaching virtually. I just see students working at their own pace (ha for those who actually could and do not need CONSTANT motivation), it is self guided which almost feels like university classes I have taken in the past. How do children manage this? How do parents manage this? Has the logistics of this been thought through? If so I am really interested to hear it; although I fear that I may leave education if this becomes the norm. I thrive on teaching face to face, my personality likes us to all be together going through a journey and experiencing the ups and downs as a whole, as a family, growing and learning together. The idea of not having a physical space for school my mind cannot understand. We saw what happened when students couldn’t make social connections and their ability to interact became strained, problem solving conflict issues was difficult. If students are struggling mentally we will miss all the physical signs, we won’t “know” our students in the same way we do now. What about children who have special needs and need a inclusion model to learn? I see so many issues, of course I can see some positive but the issues out weigh the positive, it has too. Maybe these changes will occur in the higher levels and not at the elementary level? I don’t know the answers but this makes me sad.

I go back to my question from the very beginning, will there be a balance?