Summary of Learning Podcast

Here’s the link to our podcast:Geeky Gurus: Janeen and Laura’s Edu-Tech Extravaganza!”



Abe, P., & Jordan, N. A. (2013). Integrating social media into the classroom curriculum. About Campus:
Enriching the Student Learning Experience
, 18(1), 16–20.

Berk, R. A. (2009). Teaching strategies for the net generation. Transformative Dialogues: Teaching and Learning Journal3(2).

Browning, L., Gerlich, R. N., & Westermann, L. (2011). The new HD Classroom: a “Hyper Diverse”  approach to engaging with students. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, 5.

Elavsky C. M. Mislan C, & Elavsky S. (2011). When talking less is more: Exploring outcomes of Twitter usage in the large-lecture hall. Learning, Media and Technology, 36, 215–233.

Levine, A. (2023, June 12). Open Education. [EC&I 831 Zoom Meeting].

Open education. Hewlett Foundation. (2023, March 7). .

BREAD WEEK #6 – Last but not yeast….

Embarking on this journey of learning to bake bread using online resources has been, actually, quite great.  There were tears, laughter, frustrations, some swearing, but also some joy. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I’m impressed with how much I’ve grown in just 5 short weeks. I don’t know why I was surprised about the wealth of information available: recipes, techniques, tutorials, tips, videos, apps, and history lessons from the seasoned vets, professionals, and then just the regular people, like Larry. From regular ol’ white bread, to artisan loaves, to soft and fluffy buns, and from herb-infused focaccia to flavorful bread knots, the online baking community offers a wealth of knowledge and creativity.

Independent, online learning is no joke. It was actually quite overwhelming to see the amount of resources, suggestions, recipes, tutorials, and videos.

Tone It Down Too Much GIF by Hairspray Live!

I think it’s really important to read reviews and feedback from those who have made the recipes. This was a crucial step in choosing the right recipe to follow. As much as I was looking for tastiness, I was also looking for recipes that didn’t take hours upon hours, and recipes that were easy for a beginner.  That said, I’ve realized that the online baking community is very passionate and often shares tips on achieving the perfect texture, consistent results, and experimenting with various fillings and toppings to elevate bread making skills. Bread is not something that can be mastered after one bake.  It takes patience and time….kind’ve like waiting for the dough to rise….it’s all about the journey.

fox tv find your grit GIF by American Grit

Here are some of my key learnings from the past 5 weeks:

  • Quick rise yeast is the MVP.
  • Before beginning, read the whole recipe and watch the whole video.
  • “Kneady” is a super cool app that I’m legit going to keep on my phone and use
  • Kitchen Aid Stand Mixers suck at kneading dough – USE YOUR HANDS.
  • Breadmaking is a time investment – there’s not quick way about it
    ***pssssssst: you could also just buy frozen dough from the grocery store – I won’t judge you.***
  • Although Jaime Oliver is a superstar, he’s relatable and easy to follow. I will 100p be using his recipes in the future.
  • Coat your herbs in some olive oil or they will have no flavor.
  • Larry is deadly at making homemade bread.
  • Focaccia is the best and easiest bread to make. DO IT.
  • Mamma Val is the best, and she gave me a solid base of cooking knowledge to start this project. Thank you for all the years of teaching me how to cook and bake. Love you.

In the end, I did enjoy the learning process and felt a lot of satisfaction creating my own homemade bread from scratch. My house smelled incredible over the past 5 weeks. It was a delightful adventure, and although I’m no expert, there may be a little bit of a bread enthusiast inside my bones.

Bread Oprah GIF

Thanks for following along with me. If you’re ever thinking of trying out basic bread, buns, or focaccia, I encourage you to embrace the opportunity to let the internet (and the “Kneady” app)  be your guide as you experiment, adapt recipes to your preferences, and share your creations with those you love.  Overall, I give this learning project 5 doughballs/5.

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Over It Reality Tv GIF by Braxton Family Values

Open Education: some thoughts

I had no idea what open education was , and Alan Levine opened my eyes to its potential. I was really enlightened to hear about this philosophy. In its simplest form, I now understand that open education advocates for everybody to have access to high-quality materials for free.

Sharing is caring. Isn’t that we are all taught?

Dog Puppy GIF by Originals

In their advocacy for open education resources, the Hewlett Foundation argues “that well-designed, customizable, openly licensed materials can engage students and energize educators in ways that enable more responsive teaching and better learning”.




Celebrity gif. Lizzo wears a shiny sleeveless gown, shakes her head emphatically, and pumps an award statuette in the air while shouting, "Let's go!"

This resonates with me and aligns well with Alan Levine when he mentioned that making content available for many people to have access to is just going to make the resources better. The more people use it, the more eyes on it, the more adaptations can be made, and the better it gets. I see this as the ultimate form of collaboration, and that is where the magic happens.

I had some questions pop into my head about open education.

  1. Who benefits from this?
    • Literally everyone.
  2. Who is most directly affected?
    • Educators and their learners.
  3. What are the weaknesses?
    • Intellectual property/copyright concerns.
    • Difficulty accessing technology.
    • Potential for low quality resources.
  4. What are the strengths?
    • Eliminates barriers and expands access to resources.
    • Promotes equity and equitable opportunities.
    • Removes high-cost materials, making them affordable to literally everyone.
    • Promotes collaboration.
    • Takes the business out of education.
    • Opportunity to save money, removing the stress of loans/debt.

I think it’s clear that capitalism plays an important role in this.  If education opens all the doors, there needs to be a shift in thinking.  I just ordered 40 “new edition” textbooks for a colleague’s class, and that ended up costing our division over $1800.00. That may not seem like a lot of money, but if every course has to do this (and they do), think about how much that adds up.  Also, in order to offset some of that cost, students have to pay a fee to take that course.  This is just in high school.  If these textbooks were to be openly sourced, everybody would fare that much better.  Divisions would save money, which then allows them to put more funds into other areas of need like support workers, nutrition workers, or even, perhaps, pay for a license for teachers to access materials for free.

Some open education resources available right now by these respected institutions (source: Blink Tower’s “Why Open Education Matters”)

If education is supposed to be for all and we are here to support everybody having the best possible education available, the culture of sharing educational resources needs to shift. I think it’s time to move from philosophy into practice.

Craig T Nelson Yes GIF by CBS


BREAD WEEK #5: Whatever the focaccia want it to be…

I am on a savoury kick, and I thought I would end this learning project with a bread I absolutely love but literally have zero idea how to make: FOCACCIA.

Literally no idea.

do not know schitts creek GIF by CBC

After all of the Great British Bake Off seasons I’ve crushed, I’m not sure I’ve seen a lot of focaccia made. I know Mamma Val has never made it (at least that I remember). But, I was determined to kill it.

Time to channel my inner Paul Hollywood because he’s the GOAT of bread.

Paul Hollywood's white bread recipe - BBC Food

The GOAT of bread (credit:

I spent this week reading articles like this one and this one, and watching videos like this one about how to make this glorious bread. I learned that there are many different types of focaccia with many different toppings, and depending on the region you visit in Italy, focaccia will likely not look or taste the same. For example,  there’s  “Foccacia ligure or genovese is about 2 cm thick and is soft inside, sprinkled with salt and brushed with olive oil.  Recco focaccia (also from Liguria) consists of two thin layers and soft fresh cheese in between.  Sardenaira originates in Sanremo, and it is focaccia with anchovies or sardines” (“What is Italian Focaccia and their regional differences?“).

My favourite video was this one with Jamie Oliver and his pal, Genarro.  They’re both so cool.  Honestly, I was really hoping Larry would have made a video about focaccia, but he did not. If you’re not sure who Larry is, head back to my week one bread post. Larry is the bomb. While reading and listening to all the tips and tricks about focaccia, there were a couple of repeat suggestions like keeping the dough hydrated with olive oil and to get artistic by following your heart’s desires for toppings. Ohhhhhh, that’s right up my alley (Mamma Val’s, too). I made notes on that and dialed in.

I felt ready and made the decision to follow Jaime Oliver’s YouTube video recipe. He had great comments about how easy it was to follow and how tasty the bread was.  So off I went. Here’s some pics of the process:


Flava Flav.

The rising action.

Welcome to flavortown.


Here’s my review of Jaime Oliver’s recipe.  It was so easy to follow.  Nothing was overcomplicated.  I had to pause and rewind it a couple times just to make sure I heard properly and saw it correctly.  This didn’t add any extra *thyme* (see what I did there?) at all.

I loved Jaime’s suggestions for letting the dough rise: simply flip the bowl upside down over the dough to create some humidity for a proper rise. Simple. No need to put anywhere warm. Just leave it alone. I’m curious if this little trick will work for all types of dough?

I love that he offered different options for toppings, but, ultimately, it was whatever I felt would go together. Thanks to Mamma Val’s teachings on cooking growing up, I am fairly confident in my ability to pair flavors.  Rosemary, thyme, and garlic? PERFECTION. Jaime’s tip to put some oil on the herbs before adding it to the top was a solid tip.  He says that if you put herbs on dry, they will taste of nothing. This was such a great tip and will carry this on in the future whenever I use herbs. I can only imagine the flavors I could add for toppings when I make this in the near future. I’m really feeling a basil, tomato, and kalamata vibe.

I also really liked the reminder to “feed the focaccia” with a good oil after it comes out of the oven. Beautiful. Glorious. *Chef’s Kiss*.

The bread was light, fluffy, flavorful, and overall INCREDIBLE.  I would go so far as to think this would get a handshake from the GOAT: Paul Hollywood. I’m that confident.

great british baking show GIF by PBS

Not me getting a handshake from Paul Hollywood.

Also, please note, even my kids, who seem to have an aversion to green toppings, gobbled it up. I was shocked.

This bread was THAT GOOD. 

Honestly, I feel like I saved the best for last. Of all the recipes I’ve followed, Jaime was the best in not only showing how to do things, but the why behind it. I found it helpful and really appreciated that. I found the both of them fun and engaging mainly because they didn’t take their baking too seriously. I wasn’t even annoyed that I have to let it rise for 40 minutes. That’s how much fun I had baking this bread.

In the end, I would give this an astounding 6 doughballs/5. Ya ya ya. I can do that. It’s my rating scale. It was so good that it deserves an extra one. I said what I said.

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Here’s the video. Go make it. Now.

BREAD WEEK #4: Feeling Knotty

Throughout the week, I continued searching for places that would have easy bread/dough recipes. I came across Caroline’s website: “Caroline’s Easy Baking Lessons” , and I spent some time rummaging through her recipes. She has lessons divvied up into Savoury, Sweet, Fondant (@MrsBruce4th – this may be great for your cake decorating venture), and a few other options. Her lessons are structured so that you start with the simplest and easy for beginners, and then you build on these skills in the subsequent recipes. I wonder if she’s a teacher? She clearly knows how scaffolding works. 😊.  I learned a lot from Caroline, but I decided not to use any of her recipes. Nothing was really speaking to me. I did, however, bookmark her website for the future. I think this is the most informative, useful website I’ve come across thus far.

I kept on my way.

I wanted to venture into flavours and savoury breads/buns. I was really feeling garlic bread or buns of some sort. I went onto Instagram and searched for #homemadebuns #quickgarlicbuns.  I came across some videos, but they weren’t really tutorials and were far too quick for me to follow along. I liked this one , and I saved it for later to try. I went onto TikTok and found this one, but again, it was way too quick AND it required store-bought pizza dough instead of homemade. I bookmarked it as well to try at a later date because  I really like the idea of store-bought pizza dough. What a timesaver!

Amy Schumer Oscars GIF by The Academy Awards

I went to Pinterest and here’s where I found this one. I was going to try it mainly because it had “30-minutes” in the recipe. BUT, I wanted to really challenge myself with a different way to shape dough. I decided to save that one as well because it does look incredible.

Onward I went, and here is my winner winner chicken dinner: Sam’s recipe for Homemade Garlic Knots.

“These homemade Garlic Knots are made completely from scratch in just over an hour! My recipe is easy (no mixer needed) and makes perfectly chewy, buttery, and garlicky knots. Includes a how-to video!”

I think I’ve officially realized the importance of reading the entire recipe from start to finish; plus, I watched the video a couple of times to get myself started.  Sam’s recipe was super easy to follow all the way through. I like that she added garlic powder to the actual dough. Truth be told: I doubled what she had in the recipe. It just felt right.  I know I should have stuck exactly to the recipe, but this is the cooker vs baker in me. Mamma Val rarely measures when cooking, so I felt her voice telling me to add a bit more.  This is a savoury dough, so we’re basically cooking, right?!

Here’s a some pics of the process:

18 Inches ready to get knotty.

The final rise before the oven.

Golden Knots

Perfectly golden.

Comments from my judges:

“These are your best ones.”

“Can I have all of these in a bowl?”

“Holy cow these are unreal!”

“Mom. I love these.”

***IMPORTANT: the recipe calls for a brushing of garlic butter and basil. Due to my children’s adverse reaction to anything green sprinkled on top, I omitted the green stuff.***

Explore the Best Greenthings Art | DeviantArt

My kids hate green spices.


This is the best recipe I have found online.  Sam is right when she says, “Today’s recipe is super simple”.

TV gif. Martha Stewart on Comedy Central Roasts nods with a smile, her fingers to her mouth. She looks at someone off screen and raises her eyebrows slightly in a knowing nod and grin, and then turns her gaze the other direction.

The Queen agrees.

Her timeline was right on par. FYI: I started this recipe at 8:30am and was completely finished by 9:45am.  (Oh, and they were devoured and all gone by 10:15 am). Nothing like a good ol’ garlic knot for second breakfast. Her ingredients were simple. Recipe was easy to follow. No kitchen aid needed. Video was awesome.  She also mentions how to make this dough in advance or freeze it. But honestly, this recipe came together so quickly that I don’t think I would need to unless I had a lot of time on my hands and wanted to freeze batches for busy times. Summertime sounds like a great time to do that!

These would be great dipped in some marinara sauce. I also feel confident enough to add a few things to the dough if I wanted to make more interesting. Bacon? Cheese? Chives? Parm? Ham? Cracked black better and feta? The options are endless.  I will be talking to Mamma Val about options for this recipe to make it our own.  Also, this recipe is kid-friendly. My two younger ones really like to help me in the kitchen, and this is so simple and easy to follow that next time I make these I will enlist their help. This leads me to my last point: next time I make these, I will double the recipe. These were gobbled up so fast that more is always the answer.

Love It Ro GIF by Rosanna Pansino


Maybe this recipe felt easiest because I’m getting more confident working with yeast and dough. I guess this learning project is doing its intended purpose.

Well played, Katia.

Overall, this recipe gets 5 doughballs/5.

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Digital Citizenship and Online Activism

This week’s topic really had my brain buzzing. Because I do not have much of an online personal or professional presence, I haven’t given that much thought into the importance of social media activism. Before I got into dissecting that, I needed to get my head into what I thought about digital citizenship and the role I play.  I read Dr. Katia Hildebrandt’s blog posts What Kind of (Digital) Citizen? and In Online Spaces, Silence Speaks Louder than Words, and a few things stood out to me. First, I agree with her in that, even in 2023, we emphasize face to face active citizenship over digital citizenship (Hildebrandt, 2017).  I wonder why has it been this way for so long?  When can we expect this to change? I also agree that it seems the focus is on fear-mongering children about their online presence, and “instead of scaring kids offline or telling them what not to do, we should support them in doing good, productive, and meaningful things online” (Hildebrandt, 2017).  Teaching students how to be safe and protect themselves online is important, but it is only one piece of digital citizenship. There is a larger context to consider, and I think educators do hold a responsibility to help students learn about and recognize this online context. However, this also requires educators to understand it as well, and I’m not so sure we all do. Is it for lack of wanting? Is it for lack of caring? It is for lack of knowledge? Fear? I’m not so sure there’s one right answer.  Personally, I don’t have one direct answer.

Are educators using digital spaces effectively? I wonder: if educators are using social media solely for resources, does it create the perception that teaching is not about building community or connecting with others around our common humanity? Does it create the perception that teaching is about avoiding controversy, and staying out of things that are going on in local or global communities? Teachers and teacher-leaders, who are in a position of power and privilege, have a considerable responsibility to be continually learn about and understand the multiplicity of voices, experiences, intersectionalities, and inequities that exist in the classroom and the larger global context. Therefore, intentional, authentic conversations about social justice issues online is worthwhile because it demonstrates allyship, which I think is incredibly important as educators.

Megan Carnegie’s article states that “A 2020 study from the UK Safer Internet Centre showed 34% of 8-to-17-year-olds say the internet has inspired them to take action about a cause and 43% say it makes them feel their voices matter”. This is incredible.  If digital spaces are allowing students to feel empowered, imagine what could happen if educators aligned with them in doing just the same. So, yes, if the above statistic is the reality, online social media activism is clearly meaningful and worthwhile, and it is entirely possible to have productive conversations about social justice online as long as it is intentional and authentic.

Stan Mitchell states the following: “If you claim to be someone’s ally, but aren’t getting hit by the stones thrown at them, you aren’t standing close enough.”

Perhaps educators (me) need to lean into the discomfort of becoming an active online citizen, challenge the status quo, and start becoming allies with our students in digital spaces.

BREAD WEEK #3: I’m So Kneady

I’ve officially graduated from loaves to buns.  I don’t remember Mama Val making dinner rolls, but I do remember her making Ukrainian loves like Pascha and Babka, along with some braided bread recipes. These were typically sweet loaves, but I imagine they followed more of a bun recipe than a basic bread loaf recipe. Since I didn’t have many memories on basic bun recipes to channel from Mamma Val,  I started this week reading some articles about buns. My favourite one is “A baker’s secret for better dinner rolls”.  I actually learned a lot, and my favourite tip is hacking the dough recipe as a make ahead and letting it sit overnight. This will save me time in the future. I need time to be on my side. As a beginner, I found these articles extremely helpful and suggest you read them if you’re interested in making some homemade buns.

To be frank, I really wanted to do the 30-minute dinner rolls recipe from the “Spend with Pennies”.  Not only is it rated 4.86 from 1203 votes, it had me at, hello, 30 minutes.  But, I decided to up my game and step really outside the box.  I started searching for apps. Who knew there are apps dedicated to bread? Not me. Lo and behold, I came across a website called Bread Scheduler that states the following:

Bread-baking is a great hobby. But it’s a pain to plan around our busy schedules. We grew frustrated trying to plan bakes over two or three days without any good tools. We started using Google Docs and recipe websites, double-checking ingredients, and trying to calculate the right time for each step. But we wanted a tool to handle this for us. That’s why we made Bread Scheduler. And it worked! All the photos here are from our actual bakes.”

Ohhhhh was I excited. As soon as I read how it’s a pain to plan baking bread, I felt that in my soul.

Winner! Excited smiling girl sitting on floor with laptop, raising one hand in the air is she wins, isolated on yellow background

Not me. But she’s capturing my excitement.

It has start times for bread and how long it would take. This is my jam.  In case you haven’t picked up on my subtleties, I’m here for all the quick breads. But, soft! (there’s a little Shakespeare for all my ELA pals….)


Facepalm statue - disbelief, sadness, depression

Get it together, Gaboury.

This website is strictly for sourdough, and ain’t nobody got time for that (except if you do, I strongly encourage you to use Bread Scheduler for timing all the things).

And so, after searching for hours, I found an app called Kneady, and let me tell you – it’s great.

Kneady: Bread & Baking Recipes

Dedicated to all things bread, this user-friendly, easy-to-navigate app is fantastic. It has a “Discover” tab, featuring challenging recipes, trending recipes, impressive showstoppers, loaves, rolls, and the list goes on. If that tab doesn’t tickle your fancy, using the search tab, you can search via recipe category (like savoury or sweet), recipe type (like bagels, banana, flatbreads, scones, or pretzels), recipe difficulty (easy, medium or challenging), type of flour (rye, Khorasan, all purpose), or dietary requirement (dairy-free, gluten-free, or vegan).

Searching on Kneady

The categories include hundreds of different options to choose from, but WARNING: naturally, there’s a “PRO” option available for purchase to “Unlock all of Kneady” as not all recipes can be accessed for free. I don’t blame them – app developers have to make money, too.  FYI – it’s only $34.00 for the year. If you’re SUPER DUPER into bread and baking, this app is for you.

It’s quite impressive.

My only criticism of the search app is that I would like to be able to actually type in a search instead of having to scroll through the options. That said, there’s nothing wrong with scrolling through and getting inspired. There’s also a “cookbook” tab where you can save your favourite recipe for easy access. I think that’s great but WARNING: you do have to sign up for an account in order to access the cookbook and join the “passionate community”. I’m not quite there yet, so I will hold off for now.

After reading all the things about how to make the best buns and exploring the Kneady app, I chose a recipe under the “Rolls” category. I picked “Super Soft White Rolls” by Amanda Hollington. With an average rating of 4.92 over 1200 ratings, Amanda, you had better impress me. It says it’s easy. PERFECT.

TOTAL TIME: 3h 5m for 12 rolls.

Ugh. Okay. I can do this.

There’s a “baking mode” option where you can just swipe left for the next steps instead of reading the recipe vertically, so I chose that. Bonus: the screen stays on the whole time. I found this very helpful.  It must be stated that my Kitchen Aid dough mixer attachment really struggles for kneading.  I was hoping this would save me time, but, just like last week, I ended up having to knead it with my hands for quite some time. Also, I couldn’t get over how sticky the dough was – probably user error, but it was super frustrating.  The recipe did not mention this as a possibility.

Sticky icky icky.

I forgot to take pictures after the sticky dough incident. I was too frustrated. So, here’s the finished product.

I’ve got big buns.

I mean, for 12 buns, 3 hours is a bit excessive.

Here’s my honest review:

The app is great. It’s very user friendly in that they have the step-by-step baking mode, or you can just follow the “traditional vertical style” of a recipe.  My only complaint is that you have to pay for the upgrade to PRO to access all the recipes, but, as mentioned, I understand why they do it. As of now, I will NOT be paying. I will stick with the basic, easy, and free recipes. Of the past three weeks, this app made the recipe the easiest to follow, and I recommend.

Recommendation Thumbs Up GIF by We Hate Movies

But they weren’t very tasty. Or soft.

Overall, because of the ease of the app and “baking mode” option, I would have given this 4.5 doughballs/5. Unfortunately, they didn’t taste very good, so I took off ½ a doughball for a total of 4/5.

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I feel like a #twitteridiot. I don’t know why, but I cannot get into it.  Perhaps it’s because I don’t have a strong social media presence, nor do I feel the need to. I don’t want to include my commentary for all the world to see, and I’m not so sure the world needs to read it. Since I have never participated in a Twitter chat, I have no comments about that. It intrigues me, but it also seems like a person must spend time attached to their device in order to engage, and that does not entice me.  That said, I do recognize that it can be extremely beneficial as a professional development tool for educators to use as resource sharing or gain insight about workshops and PD opportunities. For example, my peer, Christine, shared a really great document  with hashtags for educators to use.

Educational Twitter Hashtags

I think I will use those as a place to start searching for resources to use in both my ELA and Law classroom. I have found some very useful articles to use for current events in my Law 30 class, and that saves me some time instead of searching Google News. There has been a lot of information about the usage and implications of ChatGPT in the classroom, and that has been very useful. If I do continue to use Twitter, I think this is where it will be the most beneficial: professional development and resources.

Regarding what it might look like in my classroom in the future, I read a few great articles that piqued my interest like this one. However, I really liked this one as it’s short and to the point.  I don’t think I’m quite ready to venture into the “live” tweeting, but I do think the connecting with other classrooms is pretty cool. I also really like the idea of editing others’ tweets.  Students can always use practice in this area, so I think it’s a nice alternative to the proofreading I offer in my classes.

At the end of the day, I don’t think Twitter is for me in the sense of making my commentary known. I think I will stick to it as solely an educational tool for PD and resources.

How have you used twitter in the classroom? Did you find students were engaged with your activities?


To be quite transparent, I did not want to create an account on a new social media tool. If you read my first post, you’ll know that I only have one social media account, and I’m perfectly happy with that. I do not want my name attached to any other type of social media like Snapchat and certainly do not really feel comfortable leaving a digital footprint or compelled to do so just to see what’s up.  That’s just how I roll. I  do recognize that a social media tool doesn’t always have to just be the aforementioned apps. So, I thought I’d do some digging into YouTube.  Surely it’s a social media tool; plus, my kids are really fascinated by it (actually obsessed), and I’m not so sure it’s appropriate for them as all three are under 10 years old.  Enter my research. I read some really great articles, especially this one .

Here are my thoughts:

  • Playlist function is great –
    • As an educator I can save the videos I need for the multiple subjects I teach
    • Saving videos is also a great option
  • Excellent for educators to access movies/clips for the classroom without having to purchase anything
    • there is an option to purchase entire movies for a cheaper price that can often be paid for by one’s department
  • Live streaming
    • Pro: access to events if cannot attend
    • Con: can be used incredibly inappropriately, potentially causing harm for viewers
  • Free music streaming
    • ad-free for purchase
  • Content sharing of all kinds – literally everything an everything can be shared
  • Closed captions are always a bonus
    • transcripts are also available – it’s not perfect, but I think it’s a great option if needed.
  • Great to learn skills like breadmaking (shoutout to Larry)
  • Tutorials for pretty much anything
    • I think “YouTube It” has become proper verbage
  • Offers problem solving videos and great visuals for understanding complicated terms like the polyvagal perspective for trauma or intersectionality. 
  • Pretty much any subject being taught has information and tools to help people understand like “Dad, How do I?”
  • Don’t need an account to use it or share it.
  • Kids:
    • access to all the things (nudity, sex, violence, profanity, and general inappropriate videos and ads) for curious kids
    • Predators are there lurking and ready to take advantage of naiive children.
    • Microphone option for kids to search for things instead of typing
      • This can be used as both an advantage and disadvantage
    • Millions of videos uploaded every day, so are they really screening all things perfectly and monitoring content appropriately?
    • Option to control access to content for kids…for the most part
    • Youtube kids is an option for younger kids
    • Nothing is 100% safe. This is a great article that helps explain how to keep things safe on YouTube.

At the end of the day, I think YouTube is an awesome tool to help educators, parents, and all of society, but, as always, we need to be aware of the risks and continue to have the conversations about how to be responsible with it. Recently, I became aware that my 9 year old was searching for videos on inappropriate topics for his age.  Kids (all humans, actually) are curious, and, frankly, I wasn’t doing my due diligence in assuring he was being monitored.  For now, because one of my jobs is to protect my children, I’ve blocked YouTube until I feel like they are able to be responsible with it. I’m not naiive in that he can access it with friends and other places, but for now, while he’s at home or on his tablet, YouTube is not an option for any of them. There will  be continued discussions and frequent monitoring, but I’m okay with that. My oldest is 9, and I think that’s still a little too little to have free reign with the second most visited website in the world (Gonzales, 2023, “Which are the most visited websites in the world”).

I think it’s clear how amazing YouTube is for access to learning on so many different avenues, but I’m not convinced it’s appropriate for younger kids unless there are parental controls applied and frequent monitoring occurs.


BREAD WEEK #2: One Hour Bread – spoiler alert….this is a lie

I spent the week reading some articles about bread baking, and I ended up going down a rabbit hole of bread…. Bread 101, the science behind baking bread, bread history, no-knead bread, breading on food, milk-bread, soda bread….and this list goes on . I guess I am ignorant to the passion surrounding bread. Maybe I, too, will become passionate about bread after this project is over.  Eventually, I settled on trying a blogger’s recipe. What caught my eye was this: “Easy fast bread recipe that bakes up soft, fluffy and golden brown in only 60 minutes.” ONE HOUR. Come on folks.  If you read last week, I spent 4 HOURS baking 2 loves.

I repeat: ONE HOUR.

Let’s do this.

I quickly realized that the reason this recipe only takes one hour is because of this magical ingredient: quick rising yeast.  I am 99% sure Mamma Val used this back in the day. There’s no way she would spend 4 hours on her bread with 3 kids all up “in her kitchen”.  Huge shoutout to Mamma Val again. Naturally, she had an entire jar of quick rise yeast she gifted me. She is the best.

After taking my middle child to soccer one evening, I came home and promptly gathered my ingredients, excited to have fresh bread in one-hour as the recipe claims.  It was 8:00pm, and I was hopeful to be crushing a fresh slice of bread and butter at 9:15pm.  I’m so sorry to report: SugarGeek Recipes:

To begin, I had to warm the milk to a very precise temperature: 110 degrees. I was very worried I was going to scald it, so I took this part slowly, warming up the milk 30 seconds at a time.  Well, it turns out, I went one 30s too long that it ended up WAY over the recommended temperature. So then, I had to let it cool.  Not off to a very good start of the one-hour track.  This recipe calls for the use of a stand mixer with a dough-hook, and since I have a Kitchen Aid one, I was pumped to use it, thinking it would make up for the time spent on not scalding the milk. I threw all the ingredients in the bowl and let the mixer do the work.  I guess I wouldn’t be getting in my muscle work by kneading like last week.  Pffffffffff.


I followed the instructions to the letter, and I kept testing it to get the little see through window without tearing as stated.


Uggggh. So, I went back to what I know best: kneading it by hand for another 15 minutes to get that darn stretchy window.  I finally achieved that, and this dough was ready to rise. (TIME STAMP: almost 25 minutes into the recipe).

Just like I remember Mamma Val doing, it told me to put it in an oiled bowl with a towel over top, and leave it somewhere warm. It happened to be 29 degrees out, so the air conditioning was on.  I had nowhere warm, so I thought I’d try their suggestion of turning the oven on to the lowest setting and setting the covered bowl in.  PERFECT.


I didn’t read the suggestion correctly, and put the bowl literally in the oven and closed the door.  WRONG. I wasn’t supposed to shut the door because it gets too hot and could kill the yeast. Oh well, 25 minutes into the rising, and it looked pretty good to me. I guess I’ll never know if I killed the yeast or not (TIME STAMP: well over 60mins into the recipe).

I cut the dough in half and shaped it.  I like that I could just shape it onto a parchment lined baking sheet. I am no artist, but there’s definitely some French bread vibes here. Then, I had to put an egg wash on it.  Egg wash. Pfffffffffffff. What a waste of an egg.  I guess I should I have read all the notes at the end that it could have been milk. Or water. Or something else.  I guess I also should have read that an egg wash is egg and water, not just an egg.


Then I had to score the top with four diagonal cuts “at a 30º angle in the top of the loaf, about ¼” deep”. What? I have no idea what that looks like, so I just went for it. Pretty sure I went too deep. And after a solid 90 minutes into this “One-hour bread recipe”, into the oven for 25 minutes.

For sure cut it way too deep.

I mean – the house smells incredible again, so maybe it is worth it?

Okay. FINALLY. After one hour and 55 minutes into the recipe, the bread is done. It actually looks fantastic.  I loved the suggestion to take the temp in the middle of the bread, and if it’s between 190-200 degrees, it’s done.  This is a solid tip I will use for the forthcoming weeks.  They were perfectly golden – I guess the egg wash did it’s job.

Looks gooood…with some deep cuts.

I wanted to let it cool longer, but PLEASE NOTE: it’s 10:00pm at this point and way past my breadtime (see what I did there…). I have lost my mojo.

Alas, to quote Larry, “let’s butter a slice and giv’er a taste!”.

Unreal. Light. Fluffy. Tasty. A success.

So, my friends, this is definitely not a one-hour bread recipe for beginners.  This is more like a one-hour bread recipe for seasoned bakers.  In fairness, I should have read all the way to the end before starting. It would have saved me a lot of “pffffsssss” and “ugggghhhhssss”.  I should have clicked on “jumped to video” instead of “jumping to recipe”.  The video was super helpful and made me recognize my mistakes in hindsight.  Also, the mixer she uses looks super cool – I’ve never seen anything like that in all my Food Network watching.  Probs the most important fact of all time: the quick rise yeast saved me 2 hours – I think it’s the real MVP here.

The real MVP

Or, maybe it’s my husband who is getting fresh bread once a week.

Crushing it

One happy hubby.

Overall, this recipe is good, but I still don’t buy that it’s a one-hour recipe, especially if your standmixer doesn’t do its job. I take full responsibility for not watching the video or reading the recipe notes at the end, but let’s be honest, shouldn’t those notes be put within the instructions, not as a sidebar? I feel like there should be, in big bold letters, READ THE NOTES AT THE END BEFORE YOU START.  I do think this bread tasted better, was lighter and fluffier, and much quicker than Larry’s recipe, but I think at this point, I would use Larry’s instead.  I can’t fault the recipe for my user errors, so I’d still give it 4 doughballs out of 5.

fresh raw doughfresh raw doughfresh raw doughfresh raw dough

Stay tuned for next week when I try buns for the first time. I’m quite certain it will be quite bun-ny.

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