Month: June 2024 (Page 1 of 2)

Learning Together

One of the first things we talked about in this class is that throughout our journey is this class we have the opportunity and are encouraged to help one another learn. Having this made clear right off the hop helped for and my classmates be engaged. With having a class full of diversity, it helped learning from others and hearing about different perspectives to further our learning and understanding. I am glad this was something we all had to work towards as I continually saw effort made by each student to contribute to each other’s learning. I am lucky to say I contributed to others learning, whether it was during class zoom, blog comments/interactions, or in the discord.


During Class Zooms

Sometimes you can dread taking an online class and being in zoom every week but that was not the case with this class. Whether we were listening or discussion there was always so much learning going on each day. One of the major contributors to this was all of the breakout rooms we did. Although I did not have my camera on during lectures, I made sure to turn my camera on and unmute myself when I wanted to speak. I have been a part of zoom breakout rooms where classmates will just sit there with a black screen and on mute. Those breakout rooms usually seem like they last forever. During our class zooms I felt each time I was in a breakout room the time flew by as every time I was with students who mostly had their cameras on but always unmuted to speak. We countless great discussions where I heard other perspectives and gained new ideas and thoughts because of my classmates.

When thinking about our breakout rooms I think of one example where we were discussing AI and the use of technology growing up. With how diverse our classroom is, not only did I share the same experiences with others but heard about different experiences and knowledge from my diverse classmates. I clearly remember this time because it was 6-7 minutes long and I thought going into it, it would seem like forever but that was not the case. Each person contributed to the conversation and had thoughts to share. I believe our breakout rooms were a crucial part to making classes seem engaging and fun for all. Breakout rooms were a huge contribution to our learning, and I felt I always made a solid effort to contribute to others learning during this time. I believe I always made my best effort to help others learn and share ideas to further expand discussions and learning with my classmates.

work, home, laptop

Photo by arivleone on Pixabay


Blogging was a big part of this class. I would be a liar if I told you at the start of the year it is something I think I would enjoy, but man was I wrong. I quickly became engaged not only with my blog but the amazing blogs of my fellow classmates. The way these blogs were set up to be accessible all on one feed made it easy to follow along my classmates’ journey of learning throughout the class. I knew I would not be the only one who did not think they would love blogging, so I always made an effort to be positive and encourage my classmates on their blogs. I always thought to myself what would be something I would want to hear, which is obviously something positive rather than negative.


For example, here are some encouraging words I shared with my classmates:

Whether it was reading about something I never knew about, or something I found interesting I always tried to bring that positive attitude of affirmation to my classmates to give them the push to keep going. I believe I contributed well thought out comments that gave a strong message of encouragement to them. I always found reading comments on my blog that made me smile or feel good pushed me to keep going and give my full effort on my blog. I always tried to be authentic and relatable when making comments on my classmates’ blogs as I wanted them to know there were always genuine. The blogs were such a big part of journey in EDTC300 so I wanted to contribute to others by helping them get through and always encourage them to present their best through their blogs! This was also shown to me through the comments left by my classmates which contributed to me work harder each week to provide great content for them to read!


Here are some of my others comments I kept track of throughout this class– Contributions to the Community Log.docx



Lastly, discord was something that we all had access to throughout this class. For myself I have used discord here and there for things like gaming or sports discussions but never for class. I thought this was a really cool way for myself and classmates to engage with one another and contribute to each other’s learning. It was very easy to use and for myself always having my phone with me I never missed something. Even something like not knowing if we had class or not, I could easily be reassured by looking at discord and seeing what is going on. I think for myself with it being something I was not used to using for class it was not my strongest in this class. I wish I could have shared more resources, but I always made sure to engage with ones that were shared with me.

Here are some examples of my engagement in discord and participation while contributing to other’s learning:

I believe it is always important to be heard, therefore I tried my best to reply to resources that were shared after checking them out for myself. I believe this contributed to other’s learning because having that positive reassurance of something can help others to continue to share things and know that people are checking them out.

I Can Now Call Myself a Card Magician

Going into this class I did not fully know what to expect. One thing that always came up when I talked to people about their experience doing this class was the learning project. The learning project involved us picking something we wanted to learn through online resource. I did not think about it much, but I was definitely excited to see what it was fully about. This learning project truly made this class fly by as each week I looked forward to learning a new trick or new skills with a deck of cards.

card, trump, magician

Photo by hanpen2 on Pixabay

When I heard about us doing this assignment, I couldn’t help myself but to go to magic right away! I spent some time thinking about some other options that might seem more practical, but card magic is something that I have always shown interest in. I have never been amazing with card tricks, but I have learned a few over the years, but I can confidently say I don’t even remember a thing, which is pretty crucial to something like magic. I believe one of my first moments that I became interested in magic was through the show America’s Got Talent. This talent show was something I would watch with my family each week and it was always my favourite when magicians came on. My favourite part in magic had to do with cards because it was something I always had at my house and always was easy to follow. Usually after watching an episode and seeing a magician is when my interest would be at the highest level and I would spend the next day or two trying to learn a trick. Unfortunately, I never stuck with it and by the time we were watching another the following week I had already forgot what I spent hours learning. Ironically my Tik Tok algorithm is what influenced this choice for my learning project as I always saw it on my feed. This led to Tik Tok being a primary source of how I learned. Now that you have a little bit of inside info on my learning project I will give you the full rundown.

letters, game, deck

Photo by nuno_lopes on Pixabay

My Learning Project Recap

Each week I blogged about what I did:

  1. Starting the Journey of Becoming a Magician
  • Introduction
  • Where I am at
  • Why I picked card magic
  • What resources I think I will use
  • Where I hope to be
  1. Card Basics
  • Working with cards before getting into magic
  • Being comfortable with a deck of cards
  • Shuffling
  • Why it will be important while doing card magic
  1. Learning my First Trick
  • Using basic skills with cards to perform magic
  • Learning my first trick
  • Learning from Ash Marlow
  • Using Tik Tok
  • Sharing the tutorial
  • Performing the trick
  1. Building a Magical Foundation Through Ash Marlow’s Teachings
  • Learning my second trick
  • Learning from Ash Marlow using YouTube
  • Comparing learning from Tik Tok Vs. YouTube
  • Why I chose the trick
  • Sharing the tutorial
  • Performing the trick
  1. Becoming More Fluent with the Cards
  • Learning my third and fourth tricks
  • Using a website to learn
  • Using pictures and directions to learn
  • Not learning from seeing the trick
  • Comparison of learning from pictures vs. videos
  • Sharing the tutorial
  • Performing the tricks
  1. This Will Freak You Out
  • Learning my firth trick
  • Learning from Oscar Owen on YouTube
  • Comparing Oscar Owen and Ash Marlow Tutorials
  • Sharing the tutorial
  • Performing the trick

You can check out my full Journey of my learning project all together right here.


Assessment of my Learning

To show my level of learning I put together a video of me doing a short performance to my dad. (I had to keep it under 10 minutes or it would not upload to YouTube) The only way to demonstrate my learning was to show how I can shuffle, handle cards, perform the tricks and perform to my audience which were all things I learned through this project. I mentioned before when I have tried to learn magic in the past, I have never been able to fully perform tricks or even when I did, I could not remember all the steps or the whole trick. I set out to learn in a way that I could remember these tricks and perform multiple tricks to people. This video demonstrates that which I thought would be the best way to show my assessment of learning. I chose to do a performance to my dad of my three favourite tricks while displaying my handling of the cards and performing to the audience.

As you can see, I was able to achieve exactly what I wanted: the ability to perform card magic. I found the more I practiced the more I became comfortable with a deck of card which ultimately led to me performing tricks more fluently. I am happy that I kept working towards this goal of learning multiple tricks. This video is an example of something I could not do before but now can do because of the work I put in throughout my learning project.


Reflecting on the Process of Learning Through Online Resources

After doing such a great process of learning online I think it is important to look at what learning online makes possible and impossible

Online learning has revolutionized education by offering a wide range of possibilities, including:

  • Accessibility and Flexibility: Learners can access courses from anywhere in the world and often on their own schedules, accommodating different time zones, work commitments, and personal responsibilities.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Online learning can be more affordable than traditional education due to reduced costs for transportation, housing, and sometimes even course materials.
  • Self-Paced Learning: Many online courses allow learners to progress at their own pace, catering to different learning speeds and styles.
  • Interactive and Innovative Learning Tools: The integration of multimedia, interactive quizzes, discussion forums, and virtual simulations can enhance the learning experience and cater to different learning preferences.
  • Inclusivity: Online learning can be more accessible for individuals with disabilities or those who face geographical, economic, or social barriers to traditional education.
  • Lifelong Learning: It encourages lifelong learning by making it easier for individuals of all ages to continue their education and stay current with new developments in their fields.
  • Creating an Online Community: Creating a community where people can connect and learn from others like you could see with our class and our community of blogs.
  • Data-Driven Personalization: Learning platforms can use data analytics to personalize learning experiences, providing targeted feedback and resources based on individual progress and performance.

Online learning has democratized education, making it more accessible, flexible, and tailored to individual needs and preferences.

While online learning offers many benefits, there are some aspects of traditional education that it may not be able to fully replicate or provide, making certain experiences and outcomes more challenging or impossible:

  • Hands-On and Practical Experience: Fields that require hands-on practice, such as laboratory sciences, medicine, or performing arts, can be difficult to fully experience online. Virtual simulations and remote labs can help, but they may not entirely replace the tactile and immediate feedback of in-person practice.
  • Discipline and Motivation: Some learners may find it challenging to stay motivated and disciplined without the structure and routine of attending in-person classes. The physical presence of a classroom environment can help keep students accountable and focused.
  • Immediate Assistance: The ability to ask questions and receive immediate help from instructors or peers can be more straightforward in an in-person setting, where students can easily approach someone for clarification.


Final Thoughts

I think my biggest challenge throughout this was remembering all the tricks I learned. I have mentioned that this was what has stopped me in the past when learning magic as I would forget steps and just completely forget tricks. I found that continuously doing the tricks I was learning helped me. Each time I learned a new trick I tried to perform the trick(s) from pervious weeks. Maintaining this pattern helped me to remember my tricks and be able to perform them with one another.

Throughout this process I also found it hard to use a variety of online sources. For me it was a lot easier to learn from videos and seeing the trick done before trying to learn. This was displayed through me using videos more often than not but still finding a variety of magicians to learn from. I tried to compare and contrast between each trick and my process of learning. This process helped me to fully engage with the resource and get a full grasp of each trick or skill. It was important to focus each time on each trick as they were taught in different manners and each one was unique.

I would definitely see learning online as a benefit after completing this learning project as I was able to complete and succeed in something I have been challenged with for many years. This project forced me to have the discipline to learn online and each time I spent learning I realized how impactful it can be. I would say there is still benefits to learning something in person like magic but for me being able to stop and start videos and learn at my own pace was crucial to my understanding and success of this project.

playing cards, cards, magic

Photo by b0red on Pixabay

What is AI’s Place in the World?

I chose to explore Google’s AI tool, Socratic, which leverages AI to help students with their homework and study questions. It uses a combination of text and visual input to provide answers and explanations, offering a personalized learning experience. Here’s how it could be used in the classroom:

My screenshot of where it can help

Enhancing Teaching and Personalized Learning

1. Instant Clarifications and Support:

  • Teachers: During lessons, teachers can encourage students to use Socratic to look up concepts they find confusing in real-time. This can reduce the feeling of being left behind and allow for a smoother flow of the lesson.
  • Students: Students can independently use the tool to get explanations on topics they struggle with, thereby supporting personalized learning. It’s especially useful for students who may be too shy to ask questions in class.

2. Homework Assistance:

  • Teachers: They can assign more challenging homework, knowing students have a tool to assist them. This ensures that homework serves as an effective reinforcement of classroom learning rather than a source of frustration.
  • Students: Students can use Socratic to help with their homework, ensuring they understand the material rather than simply completing assignments. This promotes deeper learning and comprehension.

Automating Administrative Tasks

1. Grading and Feedback:

  • Socratic doesn’t directly grade assignments, but its ability to provide explanations can reduce the amount of repetitive feedback teachers need to give. Students can get immediate feedback on their understanding before turning in assignments, leading to higher quality work that teachers can grade more efficiently.

Engaging Students and Supporting Different Learning Styles

1. Visual and Textual Learning:

  • Visual Learners: Socratic’s ability to analyze images (like a photo of a math problem) and provide visual explanations can be highly beneficial.
  • Textual Learners: For those who prefer reading, the detailed text explanations and step-by-step solutions cater to this learning style.

2. Encouraging Critical Thinking and Creativity:

  • Critical Thinking: By guiding students through problem-solving steps rather than just providing answers, Socratic encourages critical thinking. Students learn the process of reaching a solution, which is crucial for developing problem-solving skills.
  • Creativity: When students understand the fundamental concepts, they can apply this knowledge creatively to new problems and projects.

Assessing Student Understanding

1. Immediate Feedback:

  • Teachers: Can use Socratic to create formative assessments. By seeing where students frequently seek help, teachers can identify common areas of misunderstanding and adjust their instruction accordingly.
  • Students: Receive instant feedback on their answers, helping them to recognize and correct mistakes on their own.

Ethical and Practical Challenges

1. Over-reliance and Academic Integrity:

  • There’s a risk that students might rely too heavily on Socratic for answers without understanding the underlying concepts. It’s important to foster an environment where the tool is used as a supplement, not a crutch.
  • Ensuring academic integrity is another challenge. Teachers need to encourage students to use the tool ethically, emphasizing learning over simply getting the correct answer.

2. Equity and Access:

  • Not all students may have equal access to the technology required to use Socratic. This could exacerbate existing inequalities. Schools and educators need to ensure equitable access to such tools to avoid widening the digital divide.

3. Data Privacy:

  • Using AI tools involves handling student data, which raises concerns about privacy and security. It’s crucial to use tools that comply with data protection regulations and to educate students and parents about these practices.

Socratic by Google is a powerful AI tool that can significantly enhance the learning experience by providing personalized support, encouraging critical thinking, and catering to different learning styles. However, to effectively integrate it into the classroom, educators must address potential ethical and practical challenges, ensuring it serves as an aid to, rather than a replacement for, traditional teaching methods.

Personal Perspective on Integrating AI in Education

As an AI language model, I am both fascinated and optimistic about the potential of AI in education. The integration of AI tools like Socratic offers a transformative approach to teaching and learning, providing numerous benefits while also presenting certain challenges. Here’s my personal perspective on the matter:

Benefits of AI in Education

1. Personalized Learning: AI has the capability to tailor educational experiences to individual students’ needs. This personalized approach can address diverse learning paces and styles, ensuring that each student receives the appropriate level of challenge and support.

2. Accessibility and Inclusivity: AI tools can make education more accessible to students with different learning abilities and backgrounds. For instance, speech-to-text and text-to-speech functionalities assist students with disabilities, while language translation features can help non-native speakers.

3. Efficient Resource Utilization: AI can automate administrative tasks such as grading and attendance tracking, allowing teachers to focus more on instruction and student engagement. This can lead to more efficient use of time and resources within the educational system.

4. Immediate Feedback and Support: AI tools provide instant feedback, which is crucial for the learning process. Students can receive help when they need it, fostering a more supportive and responsive learning environment.

Challenges and Considerations

1. Ethical Concerns: There are significant ethical considerations, particularly regarding data privacy and security. It’s essential to ensure that student data is protected and used responsibly. Additionally, there must be transparency about how AI algorithms work to avoid biases and ensure fair treatment for all students.

2. Digital Divide: Not all students have equal access to the technology required to benefit from AI tools. Addressing this digital divide is crucial to ensure that AI integration does not exacerbate existing inequalities.

3. Over-reliance on Technology: There is a risk that both teachers and students might become overly dependent on AI tools, potentially diminishing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It’s important to strike a balance, using AI as a supplementary tool rather than a replacement for traditional learning methods.

4. Professional Development: Teachers need adequate training to effectively integrate AI tools into their teaching practices. Continuous professional development is essential to keep educators up-to-date with technological advancements and pedagogical strategies.

artificial intelligence, brain, think

Photo by geralt on Pixabay

Future Role of AI in the Classroom

1. Enhanced Learning Experiences: In the future, AI could create more immersive and interactive learning experiences through virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). These technologies could bring historical events to life, simulate scientific experiments, and offer interactive lessons that enhance understanding and retention.

2. Advanced Analytics for Personalized Education: AI could analyze vast amounts of data to provide deeper insights into student performance and learning patterns. This could help educators design highly personalized learning plans and interventions, ultimately improving educational outcomes.

3. Collaborative Learning Environments: AI can facilitate collaborative learning by connecting students from different parts of the world, enabling them to work together on projects and share diverse perspectives. This global collaboration can prepare students for the interconnected world they will navigate in their future careers.

4. Lifelong Learning and Skill Development: As the job market evolves, continuous learning becomes increasingly important. AI can support lifelong learning by providing personalized learning paths and upskilling opportunities, ensuring individuals can adapt to changing career demands.

5. Ethical AI Education: Future classrooms will likely place a greater emphasis on teaching students about AI and its ethical implications. Understanding how AI works and its societal impacts will be crucial for the next generation, empowering them to use technology responsibly and creatively.

Integrating AI in education holds immense potential for transforming how we teach and learn. While there are challenges to address, the benefits of personalized learning, enhanced engagement, and efficient resource utilization are compelling. As AI continues to evolve, it will play an increasingly central role in education, shaping the future of teaching and learning in profound and positive ways. By thoughtfully integrating AI and addressing its challenges, we can create a more equitable, engaging, and effective educational landscape for all learners.

ai, artificial intelligence, typography

Photo by GDJ on Pixabay

Understanding Digital Identity

In today’s hyperconnected world, our digital identities have become as significant as our real-world personas. Digital identity, in its essence, is the persona we create and present on digital platforms. It encompasses our social media profiles, online interactions, and the digital footprints we leave behind. This concept is well illustrated in Kate Fagan’s poignant article, “Split Image,” which explores the life of Madison Holleran, a University of Pennsylvania student-athlete whose Instagram account portrayed a life of perfection, masking her profound inner struggles.

ai generated, hand, fingerprint

Photo by alanajordan on Pixabay

The Curated Self

Digital identity often involves a high degree of curation. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow us to present the best versions of ourselves. We share moments of joy, success, and beauty, often filtering out the mundane or distressing aspects of our lives. In “Split Image,” Madison Holleran’s Instagram posts depicted an idyllic college experience, filled with picturesque scenes and smiling faces. However, this carefully curated digital identity concealed her severe depression and the pressure she felt to maintain this facade.

This phenomenon of curating our online selves can lead to a dissonance between our digital identities and our real lives. We might feel compelled to live up to the personas we project online, which can be mentally and emotionally taxing. The disparity between Madison’s real-life struggles and her digital persona ultimately highlights the dangers of this digital curation.

The Impact of Social Comparison

The digital age has amplified the human tendency for social comparison. With social media, we are constantly bombarded with images and stories of others’ successes and happiness. This can lead to a distorted perception of reality, where we believe everyone else is leading a perfect life. “Split Image” illustrates this through Madison’s story; her followers saw only the beautiful moments she shared, unaware of the pain she was enduring.

This comparison can be detrimental to mental health. It fosters feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression as individuals measure their own lives against the seemingly flawless lives of others. Madison’s tragic story serves as a stark reminder of the pressures that come with maintaining a perfect digital identity and the harmful effects of constant comparison.

The Duality of Digital Identity

Digital identity can often represent a duality – the public persona and the private self. For many, like Madison, the public digital identity is one of happiness and success, while the private self may be struggling with various challenges. This duality can create a sense of isolation, as individuals may feel that their real selves are incongruent with their online personas.

Fagan’s article delves deep into this duality, showing how Madison’s public posts were a stark contrast to her private pain. This highlights a critical issue in the age of social media: the pressure to conform to an idealized digital identity can sometimes overshadow the need to address personal well-being and mental health.

Toward Authentic Digital Identities

The story of Madison Holleran underscores the importance of authenticity in our digital identities. While it is natural to want to present our best selves online, there is a growing movement towards sharing more genuine and unfiltered aspects of life. Authenticity in digital identities can help mitigate the negative effects of social comparison and the pressure to maintain perfection.

By sharing our true selves – including our struggles and imperfections – we can foster a more supportive and realistic online community. This can encourage others to do the same, reducing the stigma around discussing mental health and promoting a more balanced view of life.


Digital identity, as illustrated by Madison Holleran’s story in “Split Image,” is a powerful yet complex aspect of modern life. It is a curated persona that can influence how we perceive ourselves and others. While digital identities allow for self-expression and connectivity, they can also lead to unrealistic expectations and mental health challenges. Striving for authenticity and balance in our online presence can help create a healthier and more supportive digital world. As we navigate the digital landscape, it is crucial to remember that behind every perfect image, there may be a more complicated and nuanced reality.

After reflecting upon what digital identity is, I took a look at a classmate and friend of mine on the Internet to see his digital identity, these were my results.

search, look, view

Photo by Republica on Pixabay

Name: Noah Pelletier
Professional (job-related):

–        School

–        Football

Biographical (age, birthday, location, appearance, etc.): 

–        University of Regina

–        Regina

–        Europe traveling

–        Graduated in 2020 from highschool

–        Played for Team Canada Football

Personal (relationships, family, hobbies, activities, likes/dislikes, etc.): 

–        Football

–        Guitar

–        Travel

Where are they on the web? (social networks, job profiles, etc).

–        Sports related

–        Social media (Instagram)

–        Football Mixtapes

Based on their digital footprint, what are your overall impressions of this person?

–        Very sports involved

–        Nothing too personal online

–        Nothing I found was harmless towards themselves or anyone else

Based on their digital footprint, do you trust this person? Would you hire them? Would you be their friend? Why or why not?

–        With being so successful in whatever he does I would hire him – dedicated and hardworking from what it appears

–        Can listen to a higher authority from football – transitional

–        We have similar interests which makes me think we could be friends

–        I found myself and Noah being very similar

Based on their digital footprint, what are this person’s beliefs? Political views? How do you know?

–        Did not find much about this, was mostly sports dominant

–        Would believe him to be accepting of all

What advice would you give this person about their digital footprint?

–        Post more about your education journey

–        Let people know a little bit more about yourself from what you post – mostly football online

–        Keep up the great work of keeping positive stuff on your profiles

This Will Freak You Out  

After doing some exploring last week of finding different ways to learn a magic trick, I stumbled across I couple of videos I wanted to circle back to. One of these videos was from Oscar Owen who runs a very successful YouTube page. I have not used any of Mr. Owens video’s, so I was looking forward to seeing how it was learning from him. It was nice to go back to learning from a video rather than reading directions as this is one of my favourites I have learned so far and I found it rather easier to learn. Without further ado here is the trick that will freak you out.

Now I know you are thinking, “How in the heck did he just do that?” and “Wow did he just freak me out!” As much as I hate sharing my secrets I will always show where I learned my tricks from. Like I mentioned I found Oscar Owen’s very successful YouTube page the other day, he has countless videos and a big following to go along with it. To tell you the truth I picked one of his videos as random and it ended up being a really good trick! Here is the full tutorial:

This week was a lot nicer going back to my roots of learning from videos rather than reading directions and not actually seeing the trick done for me. I had the chance to watch him perform the trick fully through once before showing me step by step how to perform the trick. The reason I liked this week’s trick so much is because it is another trick where you truly let the cards do the work and as long as you follow a couple of steps you will be successful every time. Oscar Owen set up the viewer to learn quickly and efficiently from this video. He has grown a successful community through these videos, and you can tell he has great experience through the way he teaches in this tutorial.

I have found myself now being able to demonstrate multiple magic tricks to viewers like friends and family and also find myself learning each new trick quicker than the previous one. I am getting a stronger understanding of the cards and letting the cards do the work. I can definitely say I learn better from watching videos and seeing the trick done rather than reading directions, but I am happy I can learn either way. Having the ability to learn a new trick in different ways allows me to have endless possibilities in the world of magic!

One thing that I found funny was mid way through the tutorial, Mr. Owens took the time to sell the viewer on some of his magic programs and distract the viewer from the trick. I am glad I have my ad guard on my laptop so I was able to skip through the infomercial with ease.

Becoming More Fluent with the Cards

Since I spent the first two weeks learning from videos, I wanted to transition to something different this week. I simply searched up on google “card magic tricks.” Although most of the results I got were videos, when I scrolled down, I found countless websites and articles sharing different types of card tricks. I stumbled across a website that shared five different card tricks with step-by-step directions as well as a few pictures. After reading the directions of each trick I really liked two of them and decided those were going to be the ones I was going to learn and present. The two tricks I chose were called “The Mind Reading Card Trick” and “The Upside-Down Card.” After going over the directions a couple of times and practicing I felt comfortable to present it to my Audience of my amazing Mother. Here are the results:


Now these card tricks were a little quicker than what I learned previously but I found that they would be perfect for little fillers in between tricks as there was not a whole lot of set up and were quickly completed. I found these tricks through the Vanishing Inc. website. There are countless of categories and exploring you can do at this website, but where I found my tricks is here.

Now after looking at this website, you can see how the learning process is a little different. For this learning process you are not actually seeing the trick being done but simply reading how it is done. This process is tremendously different from what I have worked with previously in learning from videos and watching the tricks being performed before learning them. For myself I found it more difficult learning this way because the first time I saw the trick being done was from myself. I had to make sure I understood and read each step thoroughly to ensure I was doing it right. Lucky for me the tricks both worked, and I can say I successfully learned this tricks in a different manner.

I definitely found myself spending more time on learning through this process compared to the videos which I found more difficult and discouraging. Although it is easier to learn from videos, I am glad I switched it up and learned not only from a new source but learned in a new manner as well. I believe it is important to know how to learn in different ways to produce a more successful version of yourself. Also, when I am able to learn tricks in multiple ways it creates more possibilities for me to learn more tricks as not all tricks will be recorded and have a tutorial.

I believe since I am becoming increasingly more and more confident with cards in my hands, I am finding it easier to set up and distract the audience during my tricks as well. With more confidence I feel like I am becoming a better and more persuasive magician. I think I am able to call myself a magician now with four tricks in my inventory.

card, trump, magician

Photo by hanpen2 on Pixabay

Becoming a Video Game Creator

I decided to chose one of the Hour of Code  options on I was intrigued right from the start as there were countless options to choose from. For me I have always been interested in code and how it works. This site does exactly that and presents it in a way that can be understood at a more basic level before getting into it deeper. This website is set up in a way that intrigues the viewer to find exactly what they might be looking for. For myself, we have a tabletop version of Space invaders at my cabin so I grew up playing it and as soon as I saw it as an option I instantly clicked!

Website Selection

My selection included a 9 step process. Each step slowly developed more steps which eventually leading to me building my own version of the game. Throughout the process I learned how to code what spaceship I wanted, the background, the noises of lasers shooting and hitting targets, scoring, lives, background music, and even creating the situation of losing all your lives equals losing the game. This was my final product – Space Invaders Game.  This process taught me each little step in depth to get a deeper understanding of coding. This also made me realize how in depth the process is for coding and this is simply a snippet of the whole process.

Throughout this process I tracked my progression with these steps:

Passing Each Level

Navigating the Menu

Each Step Passed Showed Code More in Depth

YouTube Tutorials With Each Step

End Goal – Creating my Own Game

Certificate of Completion

I believe code is fundamentally important for several reasons:

  1. Automation: Code allows us to automate repetitive tasks, increasing efficiency and productivity. This automation spans a wide range of activities, from simple data entry to complex industrial processes.
  2. Innovation: Code is the backbone of technology and innovation. It enables the creation of new software, applications, and systems that drive advancements in various fields, including healthcare, education, finance, and entertainment.
  3. Communication: Code allows different systems and devices to communicate with each other. This is essential for the functioning of modern technology, from the internet to smart devices.
  4. Problem-Solving: Writing code involves logical thinking and problem-solving skills. It encourages a structured approach to addressing and resolving complex issues, which is valuable in many areas of life and work.
  5. Customization: Code allows for the customization of software to meet specific needs. This flexibility is crucial for businesses and individuals to tailor solutions that fit their unique requirements.
  6. Data Analysis: Code is essential for processing and analyzing large amounts of data. This capability is critical in fields like data science, where insights drawn from data can drive decision-making and strategy.
  7. Economic Impact: The software industry is a significant part of the global economy. Coding skills are in high demand, leading to numerous job opportunities and contributing to economic growth.
  8. Empowerment: Learning to code empowers individuals to create their own projects and bring their ideas to life. It fosters creativity and gives people the tools to build solutions independently.

In essence, code is a powerful tool that shapes our world, driving progress, enabling innovation, and solving problems across diverse domains. Its importance cannot be overstated as it underpins much of the technology that modern society relies on. This process of learning how to code was presented in a fun and engaging manner. This allowed me to feel like I was playing around more than actually learning which I think can be very beneficial for engaging your students.

Enhancing Digital Literacy to Combat Fake News: Strategies for the Classroom

Increasing digital literacy is crucial to combat fake news and its associated dangers. As educators, we need to equip students with the skills to critically evaluate information online. Here’s how digital literacy can be taught effectively in a middle school English classroom, along with general curriculum ties and alignment with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) framework.

Teaching Digital Literacy in Middle School English

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1. Critical Evaluation of Sources

  • Lesson Plans and Activities: Utilize the Stanford History Education Group’s (SHEG) lessons on evaluating online sources. For example, analyzing the credibility of different news sites and understanding the biases present in various media outlets.
  • Projects and Assignments: Assign projects where students compare news articles from different sources on the same event, discussing discrepancies and identifying potential biases.

2. Understanding Media Manipulation

  • Curriculum Integration: Introduce lessons from Data & Society’s report on media manipulation and disinformation. Discuss case studies of fake news and the tactics used to spread misinformation.
  • Class Discussions: Facilitate discussions on how misinformation can shape public opinion and the role of social media in amplifying fake news. Use real-world examples to illustrate these concepts.

3. Fact-Checking Skills

  • Instructional Activities: Teach students to use fact-checking websites like Snopes and Create exercises where students verify the accuracy of claims found online.
  • Research Projects: Have students conduct research on current events, requiring them to use multiple sources and verify facts. This helps develop critical thinking and ensures they practice discerning credible information.

General Curriculum Ties

1. Research Skills

  • Alignment with Standards: Digital literacy lessons tie directly into standards related to research and information fluency. This includes locating, evaluating, and using information effectively.
  • Application Across Subjects: These skills are applicable not just in English but across subjects. For instance, science classes can benefit from students being able to identify credible scientific sources and distinguish them from pseudoscience.

2. Critical Thinking and Analysis

  • Curriculum Goals: Developing students’ critical thinking is a core goal in education. Teaching digital literacy fosters these skills as students learn to analyze information critically, recognize bias, and understand different perspectives.

3. Communication Skills

  • Oral and Written Communication: Lessons on digital literacy can enhance students’ ability to communicate their findings effectively, both in writing and verbally. They learn to construct well-founded arguments and present their analysis clearly.

Incorporating NCTE Framework Goals

to do list, complete, list

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1. Building Knowledge and Understanding

  • Comprehensive Literacy Development: NCTE emphasizes the importance of comprehensive literacy. By integrating digital literacy, we ensure students are equipped to handle diverse texts and media critically.
  • Diverse Texts: Encourage students to engage with a variety of texts, including news articles, social media posts, and multimedia sources, to develop a broad understanding of how information is presented and consumed in different formats.

2. Enhancing Reading and Writing Skills

  • Writing Assignments: Incorporate writing assignments that require students to synthesize information from multiple sources, critically evaluate the credibility of these sources, and present their findings coherently.
  • Reading Comprehension: Use articles and reports on media literacy as reading materials. This not only improves comprehension but also makes students aware of current issues in digital literacy.

3. Promoting Ethical Participation

  • Digital Citizenship: Teach students about ethical online behavior, including the importance of not spreading misinformation. This aligns with NCTE’s goal of fostering responsible and ethical participation in digital spaces.
  • Classroom Discussions: Engage students in discussions about the ethical implications of sharing information online and the impact of fake news on society.


By integrating these strategies into the middle school English curriculum, we can significantly enhance students’ digital literacy. This not only helps in combating fake news but also prepares students to be critical, ethical participants in the digital world. The combination of critical evaluation, understanding media manipulation, and developing fact-checking skills, supported by the NCTE framework, provides a robust approach to fostering digital literacy in the classroom.

For more insights and detailed lesson plans, refer to:

Integrating the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship in the Classroom: A Comprehensive Approach”

Approaching digital citizenship in my classroom involves a comprehensive strategy that integrates the nine elements of digital citizenship outlined by This approach aims to cultivate responsible, ethical, and knowledgeable digital citizens who can navigate the digital world safely and effectively.

Digital Access

Ensuring all students have equitable access to technology is fundamental. I will advocate for resources such as school-provided devices and internet access programs for students without adequate technology at home. This addresses the first element, Digital Access, promoting inclusivity and preventing the digital divide.

key, access, password

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Digital Commerce

Teaching Digital Commerce involves educating students on the safe and ethical use of online shopping platforms. Lessons will cover identifying trustworthy websites, understanding online scams, and managing digital transactions. I will incorporate real-life scenarios and role-playing activities to make these lessons engaging and practical.

Digital Communication

Effective and respectful online communication is critical. For Digital Communication, I will create a classroom environment where students practice clear, respectful, and positive online interactions. This includes lessons on email etiquette, social media use, and the impact of digital footprints.


Digital Literacy

Developing critical thinking skills to evaluate online information is the essence of Digital Literacy. I will teach students to differentiate between credible and non-credible sources, understand bias, and recognize fake news. Interactive activities like fact-checking exercises and research projects will be utilized to hone these skills.

Digital Etiquette

Respectful behavior online, or Digital Etiquette, will be emphasized through discussions on the consequences of cyberbullying, trolling, and other negative online behaviors. Students will participate in creating a digital etiquette charter, promoting ownership and understanding of respectful online conduct.

Digital Law

Understanding Digital Law is crucial for students to recognize their rights and responsibilities. Lessons will cover topics like copyright laws, privacy policies, and cyberbullying legislation. I will invite legal experts for workshops and use case studies to illustrate these concepts.

Digital Rights and Responsibilities

Digital Rights and Responsibilities education will highlight the balance between enjoying digital rights and fulfilling responsibilities. This involves teaching students about intellectual property rights, privacy rights, and the ethical use of information. Class discussions and debates will help students explore these topics in depth.

Digital Health and Wellness

Promoting a balanced use of technology for Digital Health and Wellness is essential. I will incorporate lessons on the physical and psychological effects of excessive screen time, encouraging activities that promote digital detox and overall well-being. Mindfulness and physical activities will be integrated into the daily routine to counterbalance digital usage.

Digital Security

Lastly, Digital Security focuses on protecting personal information and understanding cybersecurity. Students will learn about strong passwords, recognizing phishing attempts, and the importance of personal data protection. Practical exercises, such as creating secure passwords and identifying secure websites, will reinforce these lessons.


Implementation Strategy

  1. Curriculum Integration: Digital citizenship topics will be woven into various subjects, ensuring that the principles are consistently reinforced across the curriculum.
  2. Age-Appropriate Content: Utilizing the Digital Citizenship Continuum from the “Be Kind Online” initiative, I will tailor content to be age-appropriate, ensuring it resonates with students from kindergarten through grade 12.
  3. Interactive and Practical Activities: Engaging students through interactive methods such as role-playing, simulations, and group discussions will make the concepts of digital citizenship relatable and memorable.
  4. Parental Involvement: Collaborating with parents through workshops and informational sessions will ensure that digital citizenship principles are reinforced at home, creating a holistic approach.
  5. Continuous Assessment and Adaptation: Regular assessments of students’ understanding will help identify areas needing more focus, allowing for adaptive teaching methods to address emerging digital issues.

By implementing these strategies, I aim to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to be responsible and ethical digital citizens. These foundational elements will not only help them navigate the digital world safely but also empower them to make positive contributions to their communities. For more detailed guidelines, the following resources can be consulted:

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