The One Where We Say Goodbye

From 1994 to 2004, Friends dominated TV networks. Now in 2019, Netflix paid $100 Million (yes, you read that correctly) to keep Friends on Netflix. For anyone’s knowledge – Friends titles each episode “The one…”. In relation to this post – my mentoring post – I asked myself, “who were my mentees?”. My answer came to the answer that they are like friends, digital friends that is. And I don’t mean a literal goodbye, I mean goodbye for our mentee/mentoring experience. So it was only fitting I have caption related to Friends. And I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment this semester to incorporate the show into my blog posts. 

Friends – Intro HQ posted on YouTube by Jan Schmelter link:

Okay, so who are my mentees? I’ll introduce you. And be sure to check out their blogs and follow their Twitter!

ParkerParker is a second-year student in the middle years education program. For his learning project, Parker decided to learn a new language. The chosen language: French. Throughout his journey, Parker documented his learning experience on his blog. From here, I could see his progress he made in learning French such as being able to write an autobiography in French to eventually being able to have a conversation in French. To get to his goal, Parker always wrote about his hardships he experienced, shared resources and the people who helped him, and included recordings of him speaking French. Aside from his learning project, Parker also talked about his adventure with starting Feedly, his first Twitter chat, finding out perspectives of others for using Facebook in the classroom, learning about the importance of determining fake news and so much more. 

Megan. Megan is a science loving BEAD student with a BASC in Biological Science and Psychology. For her learning project, Megan decided to become a Dungeon Master. I thought this was a neat idea, partly because I had no idea what a Dungeon Master was so I learnt so much and partly because Megan embraced this project so much and got to spend time with her friends for this. Megan went from being concerned about her job done Dungeon Mastering to becoming a professional in my opinion. To succeed, she listened to podcasts (the ones which inspired her to be exact), had supporters (who even used the EDTC 400 hashtag), and even had a guest blogger offer his experience for being a first-time Dungeon Master. Like Parker, Megan also used resources and had great support. In EDTC 300, Megan learnt about coding, a new resource – Book Creator, the art of cyber-sleuthing just to name a few.

Hillary. Hillary is a fourth-year student in the secondary program with a major in English and a minor in French. For her learning project, Hillary made a beautiful blanket. To keep on top of her learning project, in each blog post, talked about her hardships experienced and always talked about what were the next steps needed to be taken which included what materials would be needed and what was going to be done. Hillary went from not using a sewing machine since grade 10 becoming a professional -creating a demin quilt. Hillary learnt similar topics to Parker and Megan. She learnt resources are great for teachers to use, coding isn’t her favourite thing to do but she has plans to use it in the classroom still as she sees the benefits of students learning to code and so much more – often referring what she learnt, to her classroom in the future. 

Were there elements that I found particularly challenging and/or rewarding?

At first, I was honestly scared of the mentoring assignment. I didn’t take EDTC 300 with Katia and had no idea what a learning project was. I think that was the most challenging thing. I didn’t know what to say to my mentees regarding their progress on their learning projects. Was I supposed to be nagging and always telling my mentees what to change or was I supposed to be supportive? I chose to be supportive. I chose this because I can’t be telling people what to do with THEIR learning project; it is their choice with how they want to do continue with their learning project. I also do not know what is happening in their lives so I couldn’t nag on my mentees about why they didn’t have a blog post in a certain week because life happens – simple as that. Another challenge I had was trying not to be too supportive because I know I would not like someone commenting on every single post “great job” so I tried to mention different aspects of the posts so my responses did not get too repetitive (sorry mentee’s if I did – I really tried to stop this). 

While I did experience challenges in my mentoring experience, I did experience rewards. Twitter is where I saw the most rewards. At first, I would retweet one of their Tweets about their blog posts telling my followers to check it out and I would mostly get a like, but as the semester went on, I positive differences. My mentees would soon be liking my Tweets, retweeting or commenting on a Tweet to spark a conversation about a certain topic. It was great to see my mentees start to converse, it helps them show their digital identity and they became more vocal on Twitter. I enjoyed seeing my mentees flourish with Twitter. Aside from Twitter, it was rewarding to see my mentees complete their goals with their learning projects. With not experiencing learning projects myself, I thought it was super cool to see students being able to teach themselves skills. It was rewarding to see how dedicated each student was towards their learning project – showing off their accomplishments in each post. In each post, the mentees started writing about their hardships and more of their thoughts which was great to see their progressions in blogging their experiences. 

What did this process teach you about what it might be like to teach an online class?

The mentoring process taught me a couple of things about what it might be like to teach an online class. First, I learnt it takes more time to establish a relationship with students online because you only meet with students once a week. My EDTC 300 mentees were literally strangers to me and now I feel like we know a little bit about each other based on blog and Twitter Interactions. Talking online only without any face to face interaction creates a challenge in getting to know how to approach and talk to students. It takes more time to establish a basis to who the students are. Secondly, the mentoring experience has taught me how detailed guidelines have to be for classes such as detailed rubrics. I had no idea what to do in regard to how to mentor and with not much teacher interaction – I had to refer to the rubric. The rubric was very clear of expectations and answered literally all the questions I had on my mentoring portion of EDTC 400. Furthermore, I learnt how online classes allow one to learn from the coziness of their own house so it helps students learn since the classes are more flexible for life. Lastly, I learnt with assignments such as the EDTC 300’s weekly blog posts, it is harder to ask students why the assignment is not complete. As a teacher, I must trust the students with their progress on assignments as contact with the students is not as frequent. Also, from my experience from mentoring and prior online classes, I have learnt assignments without due dates such as Tweets or blog posts may not be done – assignments without due dates may be completed after assignments in other classes with priority. Plus, life gets in the way and sometimes blog posts may not be submitted in the recommended time. 

What did I learn about teaching in general? 

With teaching, I have learnt three things. First, I learnt the internet is powerful. How did I learn this? I learnt this because I have seen my mentees teach themselves French, sewing or being a Dungeon Master without sitting in a classroom. The resources my mentees used were mostly from the internet. The internet has allowed people to learn skills they may not have. Mentee’s if you are reading this… Would you have learnt your learning project without the help of the internet? With this, I learnt Slack is a great classroom tool for any class as it gives students the opportuniry to share resources, ask questions or direct message classmates for group projects. Even though I didn’t use this platform with my mentees, I learnt it is a great tool which hopefully I remember for when I become a teacher.

Secondly, I have learnt how to give positive advice and comments to students. I was scared of this because I have never done this, but I learnt that giving comments and advice to students helps them feel more confident in what they are doing. Teachers must be positive in what they are saying to students. There is a time and a place for criticism but teachers must not always criticise students as it eventually will affect their education and mental health. 

Thirdly, I have learnt how important ones’ digital identity is and how important it is to use platforms such as Twitter to communicate with other education professionals. By using Twitter, I learnt engaging in conversations with others on a topic helps one understand the topic at hand much better. Also, positive encouragement on the internet makes a person feel more confident in their work. By commenting on a blog post, you can see what other education professions are doing and thinking about literally anything. You can find new resources or gain new perspectives. Lastly, by commenting on a Tweet telling a fellow follower to feel better if they are feeling down or if they are struggling – it is good to let them know they are not alone.


If I was to redo my mentoring experience, I would. Something I would change would be introducing myself to my mentees with Slack – I never even thought of that, but I did introduce them on Twitter so that counts. I would continue with how I responded to blog posts – responding with different comments each time and communicating with my mentees once a week. I have learnt so much from my mentoring students with my biggest take-away being how important it is to encourage students and let them know they are doing good – it encourages learning. I would like to thank Katia for giving me the opportunity to learn how to be a mentor. Thank you to Parker, Megan and Hillary for being amazing mentee’s and doing a great job with their posts and doing fantastic with their learning projects. I hope to keep in contact will all of my mentees via Twitter mainly to see what they are sharing for resources and how their teaching careers are going. 

Click here to view my mentoring chart!

Thanks for reading,

  • Jayden

So Long, Farewell

1965. The year The Sound of Music was made a movie. One of my favourite movies in fact (it’s my Gramma’s fault, she introduced it to me). This movie has a song called “So Long, Farewell” which I thought was a very appropriate title for my final blog post of the semester. You didn’t think I’d have a non-creative title for this post, did you? I had to keep up the unique titles. The video below captures all of My Favourite Things from EDTC 400 aka my Summary of Learning. 

I would like to thank Katia for running a very smooth and organized class. I also want to thank my classmates for being so supportive and for sharing their thought, opinions and great resources. I will remember what I learnt in this class for my time as an educator. I wish all my classmates good luck in their future endeavours and to have a great summer! 

Thanks for reading and watching,

  • Miss. Lang

Vaccinations are Bad

Vaccinations are bad… yeah okay. Multiple studies and research have been conducted into finding out if vaccinations are bad – with parents’ biggest fears being the idea autism are caused by vaccinations. If you look up why vaccinations you’ll be bombarded with articles with every reason in the book why vaccinations are bad. But the majority of the information is false news. I’d love to share some articles about this but I do not want to share articles that are false news and this topic is not very relevant to the post. It was just to get your attention, which was successful if you’re reading this post. But it does fit into the topic of fake news and opinions which fits into this week’s final EDTC 400 debate. The topic “Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and fight oppression”. One the agreement side we have Jesse and one the disagreeing side we have Daniel. So, let’s see what our final debate consisted of…

Facebook is just one of the social media outlets in which educators can use to promote social justice and fight oppression
Photo Credit: nodstrum Flickr via Compfight cc


Jesse laid the facts right across the table in this debate. When the topic of social justice and oppression were mentioned, often the topic of politics was brought up – more or less the #carbontaxrallygoing on. Here are some of the points for the agreement side of the debate given by Jesse and my other fellow classmates:

  • Staying neutral is problematic
    • Students may have questions about topics and by not discussing the topics, students may get the notion that you are against that particular topic and may veered by your avoidance on the issue
    • Students need to learn acts such as racism are not acceptable 
  • Staying silent isn’t that good
    • There is no such thing as digital citizenships if you are ignoring any issue in the world
    • If you do not talk about fake news and why the news is fake, students will continue to believe it unless they are taught the facts 
  • One must be smart about what they are saying online and while using technology
    • Share effective articles about news stories – use reliable sources
For educators, being a “silent Sam” may not actually be good
Photo Credit: trendingtopics Flickr via Compfight cc

One articlediscusses the good of sharing online. Social media isn’t just a site for one to share the latest assignment their students have completed or a cool idea to incorporate technology into a lesson, it can also be used for helping others. Teachers easily build up quite a network of Twitter followers, I’ve learnt this in my short time using Twitter. With these followers, teachers can share idea of students such as on teachers stating, “I have had success with students using social media to raise awareness for charity drivers,” where awareness for a charity were promoted with the use of technology. This is technology being used for good causes. 

‘Education is Political’: Neutrality in the Classroom Shortchanges Students discusses neutrality. The authors say, “neutrality is itself a political choice” meaning staying neutral may be expressing your opinion on the issue. Neutrality is not something which should occur with heavy topics such as the most recent on in Saskatchewan being the Carbon tax. Also, school is political. Look who runs the schools, the government, aka a political organization, therefore, schools are political. 

Jesse’s Video


I must say, Daniel had a very strong argument to fight against. But once again, like all other disagreeing debaters, Daniel did not back down. Arguments for this side of the debate brought up by Daniel’s video and my other fellow EDTC400 classmates include: 

  • The education system is political
    • Teachers are criticized for doing their jobs. Parents believe only certain topics should be taught, or teachers have an easy career. Incorrect. As I continue my education degree, I have quickly learnt teachers also take the occupation of a coach, nurse, counsellor, and so much more. It’s really a multi-career job with little training in any other career than teaching. 
    • I could try explaining exactly what Daniel meant by this but he did such a great job I’ll just let you watch his video (and rack up those views for him)
  • Students are sponges, they live to learn (for the most part) and they absorb information
    • Students spend a lot of time with students. Look at it like this, students spend five days a week for 8 hours with teachers, from September to June. That is a lot of time. 
    • Students expect the teacher to be knowledgeable
      • Question: Did you trust your teacher when they told you 1+1=2? Of course, you did, you trusted the teacher could teach math correctly.  
  • Teachers may teach students their stance on an issue
    • A teacher may wish to tell the students their beliefs even if there are beliefs wrong.
    • Ex: If a teacher tells students in a Grade 12 Health class vaccinations cause autism and provide all the “facts” about why vaccinations are bad, some students may believe this and choose not to vaccinate their children due to these false facts given by the opinion of a teacher. 
    • Teachers must keep in mind student’s beliefs
      • As Liz mentioned in our debate, an Ontario School had a student’s write letters to the Prime Minister about a world issue and why it was a bad thing. This is forcing students to only see one side of the story and they may not agree with it.
        • Let’s look at Saskatchewan. Is having students write a letter to Scott Moe about why oil is bad a good assignment? What is there are students’ whose parents work on the oil fields? Is it just for students to write bad about the occupation that has put a roof over their head, food on the table and clothes on their backs?
Daniel’s video

One article covers problems which arise when teacher’s put their own beliefs in the classroom without thoroughly explaining what truly happens. A teacher took Grade 3 students to an oil pipeline protest, students though, were not told exactly why oil pipelines may be bad. Students from this class believe they were protesting because “The trees would get black because of the oil…and then the birds would have no homes,” (nine-year-old Zulfiqar Lena). There are problems with this. First, the teacher made this event a class trip, where students were not given the option whether or not to join. Secondly, student beliefs were not considered. Thirdly, students were not told why oil pipelines may be bad causing misbeliefs. 

Should students attend protests as field trips/assignments?
Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue Flickr via Compfight cc

The Verdict

Both sides of the debate have very good points. In the end, I believe do in fact believe “educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and fight oppression,”. But educators must be cautious. Educators should follow the 5 steps to staying neutral when talking about issues as recommend by one article! Teachers should be knowledgeable to tell the difference between fact and opinion. If an educator is unsure of the topic, it is okay for the educator to tell students they will research it, and bring up the conversation once the teacher feels they have enough knowledge about the topic. Most importantly, students should taught to form their own opinions based on facts and should not be given a biased. I believe staying neutral and not including some of your bias into a conversation may seem challenging, it’s human nature, but as educators, we have to try. Now as I wrap this up, I have a couple questions for you. Are there any topics you wish not to discuss with students? Would you bring someone in the class to discuss that topic so your students could still be informed?

For additional readings check out:

Teacher shown door after Christian school discovers she had sex ‘outside of a heterosexual marriage’

Paula Simons: Jim Keegstra’s haunted legacy; Hate-monger forced Alberta to confront its dark demons

Social Media isn’t for Learning

Thanks for reading,

  • Miss. Lang 

Meet the Flinstones

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk Flickr via Compfight cc

What is the stone age? Driving cars with our feet. Living in boulders in Bedrock. Your next-door neighbour is Fred Flinstone. Is that the life I want? Heck to the no. This week in EDTC 400, it was finally my turn to debate. The topic “We have become too dependent on technology and we’d be better off returning to the ‘good old days’ before the Internet and smartphones took over,”. My competition was Kiera. I’ll just break the news right here, I did not win the debate but I did make a little headway so I consider that an accomplishment. Here are the pre-vote results:


I was on the agreement side of this debate and I highly recommend watching my video to what/listen what I had to say (and because Powtoon’s are difficult to make and therefore took a lot of effort). But if you don’t have 5 minutes extra, I’ll just summarize what I had to say in the video and in the debate.

  • Technology is leading to injuries
  • Technology is affecting our memorization
    • We are simply not remembering things such as a birthday because we can search it up on our phones
  • Technology is causing us to lose skills
    • Ask yourself: When was the last time I used a physical map when on vacation? Or how often do I use a calculator just to “double check” work? 
  • Technology is not actually the best for students
    • Studies have found handwriting notes is actually BETTER for students than typing. 
  • Technology has us missing life’s moments
    • Studies have found 4 in 10 people have missed important moments including their child’s first steps. Why? Simply because they were looking at their cellphones
  • Development
    • While technology is affecting human development in positive ways such as letting us communicate with people across the world, it is also affecting our brain development. According to Ryan Thomas’ Ted Talk, children who spend time looking at screens are having less developed pre-frontal cortex’s which is our brains main supporter for skills such as problem-solving. 
Can you read a map?
Photo Credit: Cryptonaut Flickr via Compfight cc

With this debate, I also provided many articles but I will discuss the two I thought were the most intriguing to me. The first article is not an article, but instead a video. Partik Wincent’s TED Talk entitled “What you are missing while being a digital zombie” is actually quite frightening to watch. The video opens up with Wincent ordering the audience to give their cellphone to the person next to them, for the ENTIRE TALK. Letting a stranger hold your phone? Who would be comfortable with that? Not me that’s for sure. Wincent talked about using video games as a babysitter for his son, and continually talked about missing moments in his son’s life. One comment made was “there is no app for a lap”. I think this is true. Children need interaction with their parents, they crave it and parents cannot give a child an iPhone to cuddle. We are becoming too dependent on technology as the talk mentions we go on our phones because they are pleasurable to us, in the same way a cigarette is. 

The second article I found interesting was 26 Once-Common Survival Skills We’ve Lost to Technology.While this article did not exactly relate to skills such as writing or navigation as I mentioned in my video, it discussed other skills. Skills such as knot tying, baking and I don’t mean adding water and a couple of ingredients to a box package, math (think of how many times you’ve typed something simple such as 1+1 to find out it still equals 2 but you had to just make sure), and writing a check – who has a cheque book? Or even carries cash with them? After reading the 29 points mentioned in this list, I can surely say I can do 14 of these things on the list but that may be due to the fact my parents were very strict of us knowing skills such as writing shorthand and all those fun skills. 


Kiera, well, she won. She had strong arguments. While I tried to contradict the arguments, I did not get far. But that may also be partially because this class is literally about technology and in the 21stcentury where most people like cellphones and the internet and would not appreciate returning to the “good old days”. On the disagreement side, Kiera and the class debate brought up some very good points such as:

Technology allows us to connect

With technology, we are able to connect and collaborate with people from across the globe

Global movements such as the #buypens movement helped many Syrian refugees 

Technology creates power and opportunity

New jobs are as technology is constantly evolving 

Technology is efficient

Our phones are the niftiest little things in the world

We are able to check bank statements, pay bills and so much more just on our phones 

Kiera also shared some fabulous resources. One of my favourites was the TED Talk “How to get your ideas to spread” by Seth Godin. This talk starts by talking about the creation of sliced bread and how the creation many people buy, the idea was almost a failure. But things have changed. Social media and those pesky ads popping up on Facebook or a news article, is allowing for more ideas to thrive. Social media is literally an ad campaign. Just go on your Instagram, chances are you’ll find an ad. The talk goes in depth about the money companies pour into ads. Flashy objects attract us. Therefore, we click on the ad. The talk talks about other advertising strategies companies such as Silk milk use. I highly recommended this video. 

Social Media + Cellphones = Great advertising and product exploitation
Photo Credit: Simply Home Tips Flickr via Compfight cc

WAIT! WHAT! ANOTHER TED TALK? YAAASSSS, GREAT RESOURCES SHARED BY KIERA. advocator Nancy Lublin’s “Texting that save lives” explains her organization. Youth can send texts to this organization where they can send messages for help on a medium they are used to. Police are using text message for crime report. Texting is being used to help others. 

For more great reads and maybe the odd funny video – check out these links 

The Verdict.

Well, I lost the debate. But I would vote for Kiera’s side. I can’t go a day without my cellphone, let alone go back to the days before smartphones, the internet and all those other fancy schmancy stuff. But I do agree we need to cut down our reliance on it. As the common theme in many of our debates, BALANCE is the winner. Students should be taught short-hand notetaking skills as well as typing skills. BALANCE. We should be able to use GPS for navigation but have a map of the unfamiliar area in the vehicle if we ever need one. BALANCE. Overall, I had so much fun prepping for this debate and am open to any comments or questions you all have with this topic. 

Thanks for reading, 

  • Miss. Lang