The complexity behind cybersleuth: the case of Taylor McKinnon

1. Searching for Taylor McKinnon

During this week, I had the opportunity to partner with Taylor McKinnon and to cybersleuth her as part of our EDTC300 activity. As everyone can do, I first looked at her by typing her name on Google. By doing so, I saw her Instagram profile on the top of the first page with 1573 followers, 888 following and 88 posts (see image).  However, as there were many pictures with the same name that appeared, it was difficult to confirm whether the Instagram profile I found is related to my classmate.

Prinscreen for the search of Taylor McKinnon on google

Because I am the classmate of Taylor, I was able to look at her on Twitter to find her profile. From there, I found that:

Profession: She is an Elementary Education student at the University of Regina. While searching for her on LinkedIn, I found many profiles with the same name. After checking them one by one, none of them corresponded to her, and I concluded that she does not have LinkedIn profile or may have with different name.

Biographical info: She recently joined Twitter (September 2022) and is followed by 35 peoples (possibly her classmate).

Personal: She was born and raised in the mountains of Rossland, British Columbia. After having a look on Facebook, I found many peoples with the same name. I saw a profile with a picture that might be her, but I could not verify whether she is the real Taylor McKinnon because there was no information about her including the places lived.

Overall impressions: Taylor McKinnon ’s digital identity is complex because her name is shared by many other people not only in Canada, but also in the USA. The profile that might belong to her on LinkedIn and Facebook are not conclusive to ascertain that it is her. Nevertheless, the information obtained from her Twitter account (because she is my classmate) let me to understand that she is not active on the internet and that she is currently an Elementary Education student at the University of Regina.

2. My reflection on digital identity

Digital identity is the virtual image that is created of your person based on what you share on the Internet (likes, personal data, opinions, etc.).  It is part of a global trend toward the creation of a truly digital society. The advancement of technology is increasingly connected to the urban and global environment, seeking to bring consistency, security, and innovations to the relationship between communities, public authorities, and each individual. In addition, a digital society opens new possibilities for issues of sustainability and accessibility of services, products, and other demands available to the population.

The article by Nicole Lee about “Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think”, attracted my attention. I strongly agree that having multiple online identities give the opportunity to share a variety of content and talk to different audiences, but I personally believe that managing all those online identities might be challenging since it can confuse your audience. This can be explained by the fact that your audience may not understand the purpose or value of each of your digital identity.

It is important to note that one must be very cautious regarding what to post or share on the internet especially celebrities, because it can be catastrophic for your life and career. Apart from that there are cyber criminal site or organization that might attack you in many ways. This was the case of Monica Lewinsky (in The Prime of shame), an early victim of cyber attack, who was almost losing her personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.

The YouTube video below, recently posted shows the Cyber vigilante groups that go undercover to expose child predators.

Thank you for reading and sharing your experience with digital identity.

Your chance to see me drumming at the cultural event

Hi everyone,

As you already know, since the beginning of this semester, I have been learning how to drum. Although I came from Africa (Cameroon) where drumming and singing is more common, I never had the opportunity to learn that. Taking the course EDTC300 gave me that opportunity and I am sharing with you today my learning process and how we did at our cultural local event here in Saskatoon, SK.

First, it is important to note that drumming is not something that is easy to learn online. It is more appropriate when it is face-to-face learning. However, there are some YouTube videos and websites that teach how to drum. I followed the steps given in the videos or found on the website and tried on my own to reproduce the desired son. Learning alone was not easy for me but I took the necessary time to practice. I realized that knowledge comes with patience and dedication.

As a self-directed learner, I decided on what to learn and most importantly, I was trying to direct my learning to the rhythms that were like what will be presented during our local cultural event this November. Interestingly, I noticed that I was very improving when I started practicing with my community in preparation for the event. I realized that I had some talents that I was not aware of. As you will see in the videos, I was even the one having the main rhythm with the microphone pointed to my Djembe.

Photo of Jean-Paul (microphone pointed to the drum) at the local cultural event

It was a pleasure for me to see how white people were enjoying our drumming and singing (See the video below).

Here is another short video of our presentation.

This picture shows the team with whom I practiced in preparation for this event. I hope that you can identify me (down on the right side).

Team of Drummers at the cultural event (Jean-Paul is down-right)

Overall, this event was a success, and I would like to thank all of you who followed me during this learning journey. I will certainly continue to practice with my community for future events.

Digital literacy in/out(side) the classroom: fact or fiction?

1. Why teaching digital literacy

Digital literacy is the configuration of individuals or groups whose effective appropriation of digital language is revealed in continuous and meaningful practices related directly or indirectly to reading, writing, and other actions mediated by Information and Communication Technology.

Education is facing new challenges as a result of the Information Revolution, as well as becoming its main target. We are going through a historical moment marked by complex transformations that instill, in turn, new challenges. Nowadays, it is no longer enough just to know how to read and write; the literate individual is required to make decisive use of reading and writing to meet the new social demands. For this, it is extremely important for me as a teacher/future teacher to teach digital literacy to my social sciences students, so that they can understand and handle the tools available on computers and on the internet, as well as how to identify fake news and the consequences when fake news goes viral. To do so, analyze with them some resources and do some Quizzes such as “Can you spot the fake news headlines” and “Break the fake”. The YouTube video below with more than 730K views in 1 year is a good video I can also consider when explaining how to detect fake news.

2. Linking digital literacy with the curriculum

There are different ways by which digital literacy can connect with the curriculum.  You can bet on the use of interactive games (e.g. Spot the Troll and factitious), virtual libraries, and or digital research on a given topic. In this sense, the outcome can be:

  • Interaction and use of technological resources
  • Stimulating learning as a whole
  • Development of more complete skills
  • Acquisition of fundamental skills
  • Preparation for the professions of the future
  • More interesting learning

Of note, the government of Ontario as well ad the government of British Columbia has included digital literacy in their curriculum.

3. How you can incorporate the goals of the NCTE framework to your teaching

To well benefit from the questions associated with continued literacy demands, the NCTE has put in place some goals that you can incorporate to your teaching. If you consider for instance the goal to participate effectively and critically in a networked world, you can help them understand how to fight fake news with critical thinking or how to be discerning fact from fiction in news. Another goal of the NCTE is “to build intentional global and cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems and strengthen independent thought.” I think that for this goal, you can create a twitter group for your class and invite them to build network and pose questions that require critical thinking.

Learning the basic of Game Programming

1. My experience with coding

I had the opportunity to learn the basics of game programming. I am not really a fan of game, but I was able to do an Hour of Code using code.org. Particularly, I selected the 3D Mario Game which is normally appropriated for grade 2+. As a beginner, I was like a dog watching the TV at the beginning, without understanding what to do. After taking sometimes to understand and doing it many times, I finally completed the 9 steps. I took a screenshot of my progress that can be seen below. Please not that because of space constraint, I am only showing you the screenshot from step 4 to step 9.

Step 4 of 3D Mario Game

Step 5 of 3D Mario Game

Step 6 of 3D Mario Game

Step 7 of 3D Mario Game

Step 8 of 3D Mario Game

Step 9 of 3D Mario Game

2. Importance of Coding for students

Digital technology is an important part of many children’s lives and I think that coding as part of the digital technology is a great way to make students learn how to think and develop skills they will need in the future. Below are some reasons why I think coding is important.

  • Students learn computational thinking: When they learn coding, they develop cognitive skills and learn a methodical problem-solving process that resembles a computer.
  • Students learn to use logic: Logical thinking is necessary for coding.
  • Students learn to solve problems: Coding teaches them to break complex problems into components.
  • Students learn how things work and create things that work: Coding teaches them how to build, using cause and effect to make things work and adapt them to their specific purpose.

Thank you to share your own experience in your comment!.

Koughang, a mystical traditional dance in Cameroon

I have been very busy this week not only with university stuff, but also with the preparation of our local cultural event. I am here for one more post about a typical traditional danse of the Cameroon West region called Koughang.

The Koughang is a typical dance of the West region of Cameroon, that is characterized by particular dance steps. Unlike other traditional dances, the Koughang is only danced at funerals in Cameroon. Apart from the fact that it is a dance, it is also an initiatory and symbolic ceremony whose particularity is purely mystical and magical. Therefore, people who dance it belong to a secret society.

1. Dressing and accessories

This outfit is composed of a long black dress, the mask on the head covering the whole face and the nape of the neck.

Image by Akim Pascal Noukimi

The mask is extended by ropes woven from human hair fibers or strands that extend over the whole body. On the cranial mask there are horns. The number of horns expresses the degree of power.

Generally, the musical instruments consist of two drums, one large and one small.

2. Interdictions du Koughang

I was told that during the dance, no one is allowed to look into the eyes of those who are drumming and singing Koughang for fear of going blind. Similarly, those who are dancing must not remove their mask, because no more should know who is in the Koughang.

3. The mystical aspect of the dance

During the koughang dance, the initiated drummers plant a banana tree in front of everyone. They make the banana tree grow and become mature (yellow color), then, they eat it. All this occurs within a few minutes.

In preparation for our cultural event, here  is a short video from our training where I was drumming the Koughang.

Thank you and see you next time with one more post.

Coupling Brazilian Samba rhythm with Djembe

Hello everyone,

I am back with one more video from my learning project. This week, apart of training with my community for our coming local cultural event, I had the opportunity to learn about Samba Djembe. As you know, I spent 10 years of my life in Brazil (2010-2020), and I enjoyed Brazilian music. However, I did not know that the Samba rhythm can be coupled with Djembe. Therefore, it is called Samba Djembe. But, what is Samba Djembe?.

1. What is Samba Djembe and what does it look like?

Samba is a living music tradition heavily influenced by the drum rhythms of Africa. It is one of the most famous musical traditions in Brazil. Here are some Youtube videos of Samba Djembe.

2. Small history of Brazilian Samba

As you may know, like Canada, Brazil is a multicultural country and his music is influenced by many cultures including indigenous, Portuguese (trough colonization) and African (trough slavery). Of particular interest, it is known that more than four million of West African people (especially Yoruba and Bantu-Ewe) mostly from Angola were brought to Brazil as slave to work in sugar plantations.

3. Drumming and singing

The time is approaching for our cultural event, and we are continuing to gather and learn together. Here is a video of me and my community in preparation of the event.

I hope that you will be able to follow me till the event that will be held this November. I will be excited to share with you some pictures and videos of that.

Thank you for following me and do not hesitate to ask questions if you have.

Linking Ribble’s elements of digital Citizenship with the Saskatchewan Curriculum

1. The Digital world

Globalization has led to the concept of digital Citizenship which refers to the “set of relationships between rights, duties, participation in the civic community and identity, regarded as a social contract between the individual” (Arendes and Smith, 2018). Modern technology has had and continues to have various impacts on societies and human life in general.

Were you aware of the fact that there is a relationship between digital citizenship and some contents of Saskatchewan curriculum? In this Table, I used the Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship to show you how it connects with grade levels, subjects, and outcomes and indicators.

As you can see from the Table, it appears that the Ribble’s elements match mainly with the social science subject of the Saskatchewan Curriculum, and that they are mainly applicable with grade 3 students.

2. Digital Citizenship in my future classroom

I see myself as a future teacher teaching to my students how to act in an appropriate, responsible, and empowered way, and interact online with other peoples.  This will help them be better stewards of technology. In fact, you should consider integration of technology in your learning outcome. Research findings indicate that there is a positive trend in student learning outcomes when using mobile assessments in learning activities.

I will also try as possible I can, to incorporate the Ribble’s nine elements in my future classroom.

I hope that you learned something today!

Thank you for your time!

Reference

Arendese, A.; Smith, J. Economic transformation and emancipation through active citizenship education. Bulgarian Comparative Education Society Conference Books, v. 16 n. 6, p. 45–51, jun. 2018. Available at: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED586145.pdf. Accessed October 22, 2022.

Drum circle as a mean to gather together: What you need to know

The drum circle is one of the oldest forms of the creation of the community.  In practically all of the ancient civilizations we have news about, people gathered regularly to fulfill their various types of rituals, such as weddings, births, deaths, planting and harvesting. In short, drum circle is a group of people playing drums together. It is also practiced in Canada to celebrate nations, and more specifically by indigenous peoples.

A drum circle in Meridian Hall Park, Washington D.C. Photo by Elvert Barnes

There are three distinct types of drum circles:

  • Open drum circle

This is an open and free drum circle, without rules. There is no protocol. The rhythms evolve totally at random. At certain moments the drum stops in order to reorganize and/or start a new rhythm. In this type of drum circle, one participant in the middle point another participant to stand out. Once the participants come to a rhythmic agreement, a “rhythmic alchemy is created” where the group, through this momentary musical collaboration, creates a single harmonic voice.

  • Specific Cultural drum circle

This type of drum circle follows a specific ethnic-cultural model that is generally characterized by the use of instruments typical of a certain culture or social grouping, the formation of choirs, pre-structured rhythms, folkloric and ritualistic aspects, typical dances, costumes, among others. Examples: Senegalese drum groups, Afro-Cuban, etc.

In preparation for our local cultural event, here is a video of what our training. Please note that we will be wearing typical clothes while I will be drumming and singing during the event in November.

  • Community drum circle

In this one, anyone is welcome to participate; there is no commitment to prior musical knowledge or practice of drumming. An open space where people can come to gather and share the pleasure of playing, dancing and singing together. Within this category are drum circle for specific populations, such as children, schools (all levels), colleges and universities, etc.

Photo by Al Paton, from https://afrodrumming.com

Of note, drum circles are also used in education as you can see in the video below. This can be very amazing for students.

I hope to post more videos of our practice in preparation for our local cultural event in November. Looking forward to receiving your comments.

Why we should consider cyber security in our class

1. The school and digital citizenship

Digital citizenship is the set of rules that we must follow in order to use the Internet conscientiously, responsibly, ethically, and safely. Digital citizenship brings the ideas to the digital universe. In short, digital citizenship is about the broad understanding (and practice) of our rights and duties when talking about the virtual environment. This concept of digital citizenship is further extended according to a recent report by the Berkman Klein Center Research at Harvard University (Cortesi et al., 2020). According to the report, on the one hand, there has been a normative view of citizenship, which focuses on making sure that youngsters understand the values and norms regarding responsible, safe and appropriate use of digital technologies, emphasizing legal aspects and consequences in their teaching in schools.; on the other hand, it points to perspectives that highlight forms of civic and political engagement of young people, nurtured by a “culture of participation”. This is the cyber safety approach that was used in my own schooling.

Image by Vicki Davis, from www.edutopia.org

Image by Reciprocity, from https://reciprocity.com

2. Education into proper use of internet

The technique most of my teachers used in my schooling was the education into proper use of internet. This was because although internet-enabled learning has many advantages in the educational environment by offering information and support to students, it can also expose them to concepts that are not appropriated for their age such as information about sex.

What do you think about digital citizenship? Did you experience it in your schooling? I look forward to hearing from you. 

References

Cortesi, S., Hasse, A., Lombana, A., Kim, S. & Gasser, U. (2020). Youth and digital citizenship+ (Plus). Understanding skills for a digital world. Berkman Klein Center Research Publication Nº 2020-2. Retrieved September 17, 2022 from : https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/42638976.