Learning Project Post 7: Final Post and Summary

With the semester coming to an end, it is time for my final entry into my learning project. The learning project assignment in EDTC 300 was an amazing and unique experience for me, and gave me the chance to learn about a skill I didn’t realize I would enjoy so much and look forward to pursuing in the future, this being cooking. Being enrolled in the field of secondary education allows me to study a wide variety of topics and key themes, although cooking was one I did not believe I would be able to learn so much. Utilizing a series of online tools and platforms helped me out greatly and always left me wondering about different perspectives of others which could help me in my journey. Many of these online platforms I will use to assist family and friends while they are cooking and guide me through new dishes. Despite times where I struggled to find a source that could assist me, there were a series of highlights including finding new and unique online sources and articles, familiarizing myself with platforms such as Feedly, Tik-Tok , and the Youtube editor. Doing this has helped me become more comfortable with creating and being involved in different videos. As well, each week had a new step with new tools to work with.

Week 1: There Has to Be a Better Way to Eat!

When presented with the ability to select any topic that related to my interest and could be developed online, I must say that I was stuck thinking of what to select. Due to the growing presence of the internet, there are many different choices. I selected upon cooking as I was in a difficult spot when it came to making my own meals and it was something I had a bit of experience within High School. I established a baseline through a family recipe and the meal “Shepherd’s Pie!”

  • In this week I came across my first challenge and I was able to resolve it through the use of Twitter
  • I refreshed my experience with the Edusites platform. Before this it was based on my ECS 100 experiences and field placements.
  • Another reason why I selected this topic was to assist others who could be in a similar position as me.
  • COVID-19 has affected certain aspects of meal time, including the ability to eat with family and friends.

Week 2: There has to be a better way to eat: Making Progress

In the second entry, I knew cooking was going to be the focus on this assignment and selected Shepherd’s Pie, a dish that is a favorite in my family. After this, the next step was to make sure the proper ingredients were selected and get ready to go shopping. The first major online resource was introduced in the form of Googling different sources related to my project, for example the Canadian Food Guide.

  • In this week’s post I took the opportunity to look at other examples of this meal, varying from different restaurants as well as other recipes that were common for others.
  • By highlighting the different ingredients it would provide more context into the following week’s posts.

Week 3: The First step of Creating on YouTube: Knowing the Ingredients

The focus of this week allowed me to select the YouTube editor as a tool to assist in documenting progress in my learning project. I selected this platform as I found it easy to use and it allowed for different changes to be made to my video. There are 5 sections clearly broken down that guide the content creator in enhancing their video. I was able to edit, trim, and adjust my Youtube video to make sure the audio flowed smoothly. For this week I also headed out to the store to get what I needed to physically make my meal and take a series of photos.

  • I uploaded my first official YouTube video.
  • Applied the YouTube editor to the SAMR model in relation to the modification category as it allows for changing the core structure of different assignments to be video based.

Week 4: Understanding Different Perspectives

In this entry, I highlighted the process of taking my ingredients and then started cooking certain parts ahead of time, for example my potatoes, various spices, vegetables, and meat for the next step. The highlights for me in this entry included familiarizing myself with Youtube from a viewer perspective and watching a video guide on how to make Shepherd’s Pie. As well as I had the chance to log into a Tik Tok account and see how others on the platform were making their meals, and if any different perspectives were being offered. I was able to find a great Tik Tok source which explained how to make a Mexican inspired dish.

  • I checked other Youtube videos for different perspectives and methods of different kitchen based tasks, for example loading the dishwasher.
  • Confirming some of the different tools I would need.

Week 5: Cooking Time

For this entry I really focused on expanding my series of YouTube videos in order to continually highlight my progress in making my Shepherd’s Pie. I decided to continue to work with the YouTube editor as the process of taking photos and videos from the desktop. I found dragging items into the upload section was becoming easier and fluid. As well for this week I was able to adjust more settings in my Youtube videos as for both video 1 and Video 2. I was able to release it in high definition. In this week I was able to apply different points mentioned in class about believing different sources and how it impacts our ability to obtain and recognize the information. This could be seen through how pop culture could display a different form of Shepherd’s Pie and how history leads to one perspective becoming dominant over others.

  • In this week I also continued to expand my experiences with Tik Tok by finding different examples of how to effectively clean up and organize different kitchen items.
  • My Shepherd’s Pies were fully assembled and then after getting them properly prepared I was able to place them in the freezer for later use.

Week 6: Bon appétit!!

Moving into my final week of the learning project, my meal was finished and all prepared to be served for dinner. I wanted to expand the importance of social interaction during a meal and how spending time with others allows us to make more memories and enjoy ourselves.

  • I had the chance to utilize Feedly as a resource to help me find a dessert that I could have with my supper and keep in mind for later use. Upon research, Feedly had a number of food based articles with easy to follow recipes.
  • Using online research platforms such as Microsoft Edge I was able to find a number of articles that highlight the importance of eating as a family and the benefits it can have for both children and parents. The prominent benefits that I believe come from eating with others is the social interaction.

Where do I feel my Cooking skills are at?

Before the start of this semester and EDTC300 I didn’t have much experience in the field of cooking, but enough where I could prepare different items to get me through different assignments or term papers. It was unfortunate as I spent time cooking throughout High School and enjoyed my time when doing different tasks in the kitchen. By having the chance to work with different online tools and resources, such as articles and videos I see that the opportunity to learn more about this topic is easier now than before. I look to apply many of the news skills I taught during this in future semesters and believe that I will become more familiarized with different platforms such as YouTube and Tik Tok. This assignment was unique and really enjoyable as it gave me the chance to pursue a concept I never pictured returning to.

The key resources and support tools

  1. The first tool that I found to be useful and enjoyable to use for my learning project was Tik Tok. Before the start of this class I was aware of Tik Tok as a social media platform although I never had an account or watched any content. After my third entry for this assignment, this changed as I was able to see different ways to make Shepherd’s Pie, properly organize different tools around my house and compare how others would do different tasks. This inspired me to keep Tik Tok in mind as a future educational resource.
  2. YouTube is a growing platform which many of us have experience on and use often. I found it a great tool for easily creating personalized content and then sharing it with others. As an educator, YouTube can be used to watch videos that relate to our lessons or for students to share content.
  3. Feedly is a great resource for anyone who could be invested into cooking as upon a simple search there are hundreds of different recipes and choices to follow. I look forward to seeing what options I can use from Feedly in the Future.

Bon Appetit!!

For my sixth entry into my learning project I found myself with some possibilities. I am finished making my Shepherd’s Pie and I managed to get 4 for freezing and I kept one for supper tonight. I can eat the other ones from frozen at a later period and when baking these I can add the canned corn that was initially part of this meal.

Now that everything was ready and prepared, I wanted to focus on the most important aspect of making and engaging in a meal, and this would be enjoying it with others. Eating with those close to you, such as family can be a nice change in pacing and allow for a different experience. We all set the table and had an interesting conversation about one of the items from the 6:00 pm news. A few laughs and some lively discussion while we were eating made for an enjoyable meal.  This made me realize that what they say about food brings people together is true.

 For this meal, I also wanted to establish a dessert and selected some frozen blueberries with ice cream for dessert. Using the online resource Feedly inspired me to select this option through reading articles in the Healing Family Eats article channel where I found a fruit and Ice Cream based dish. By eating with others and getting the chance to have that element of social interaction can serve as a way to create memories from favorite meals. Along with special people and occasions, allowing us to connect to a culture or people. As well as insight further exploration into new types of food. As well as we are able to share a sense of accomplishment after completing our tasks and providing for those around us.

Although, in recent times we have found that spending time with others has been impacted and changed resulting in many of us, myself included upholding the notion that we can cook to the best of our abilities as often as possible yet at times we don’t. A useful online article highlights that despite these challenges there are still benefits from cooking from home and others, including the notion that to cook, as a home cook, isn’t just to cook, it’s to plan, to shop, to store, to prep, to combine, and to heat and serve. Outside of making the meal, it can be seen that the concept of eating as a family or with larger groups brings with it benefits outside of social interaction. For children, eating with their family can assist in approaching and understanding the child’s self-esteem, weight struggles, the ability to reflect on social events, and enhance communication skills. As well it can serve as a way to property rules and guidelines for all members of the family.

Using online tools such as Tik-Tok also highlight key tips and benefits of eating as a family. I noted an account which explained that one reason why they emphasize eating as a family is to teach their children about reward adaptive behavior. Doing this involves leaving the food that people don’t put on the table, while others move on to different enjoyable items. The principle is that over time we will learn to eat what is made available to us. Expanding our understanding of online learning platforms, as well as different tools can allow us to learn new and different perspectives. By using the wider variety of Youtube, Tik Tok, Feedly, editing tools, and online websites and articles have helped me greatly in moving from a recipe into a meal with my family.

Cooking Time

For my fifth learning project post, I will be moving forward in my final goal with all the preparation done, it is time for me to start cooking. With everything laid out and ready to go it should take me about 1 hour including my clean-up.

In my last learning project post, I highlighted that my potatoes are pre-cooked and mashed with a bit of butter, milk, and salt, and pepper. I took them out of the fridge to get to room temperature earlier. This makes them easier to work with this way.

Figure 1 shows the mashed potatoes prepared to be added into the final product

I cooked the veggies in a large frying pan on low heat.  I wanted them to sauté to release the juices and flavours.  I do not want them to brown so I stir continually.  When this is done I set them aside to cool.  Using fresh vegetables I have beautifully bright colours in the pan.  It’s so good, you forget it is vegetables.

I put both types of meat into a large frying pan on low heat to cook through.  I did not drain off the fat or the broth from cooking.  I want that to be part of the gravy.  A little fat is needed anyway for both moisture and for flavour. Once the meat is cooked – no more pink bits, I can add the seasoning.  I do not want to be tasting for flavour if the meat is not done, I need to be safe. I added all of the seasonings and I like the flavour.  Different from how my Mom makes it, but that is OK.  I am in charge of the kitchen today as seen in my first Youtube video.

As the meat and veggies cool and the potatoes warm up, I get on with marking the containers for freezing.  I need to make the contents – Shepherd’s Pie, the date prepared – 05 June 2021 and the cooking instructions – 350 degrees for 1 hour from frozen or 30 minutes if thawed. It is easier to mark the lids before they go on the pies.

It is ready to assemble at last, as seen in my second Youtube video.  Do not overfill the container; remember the gravy will boil up as it cooks.  Leave room in the container for this or else you will be cleaning the oven after you cook it.

I put a layer of meat – 1/3 of the container deep.  This is followed by a layer of veggies – 1/3 of the container deep.  Then I added the potatoes.  Not quite 1/3 as I need room for the gravy and the cheese on the top.  This of course can be changed up if you like potatoes more than veggies or meat.  That is the great thing about this dish – you can make it yours so easily. Just make sure that you stick to the basics so that you get a shepherd’s pie.  Going too far off the recipe can mean disaster.

A theme we have discussed in class that I found very interesting is how people rely on all different forms of media to learn new information. This could be through social media and discussing with others through internet communication, although before the period of social media, television influenced many different people. Looking at the popular sitcom “ Friends” we see there debates and scenes in which different culinary items are discussed, an example of this is would be the shepherd’s pie parody discussed in the Thanksgiving episode. This article can now be found on the internet and highlights the shift in focus from the mainstream to the internet. Although there is a typical way of making Shepards Pie composing the use of veggies, meat, and potatoes and based on British history. My personal version that I have decided on making is based upon a family recipe and thus follows a more traditional route with the ingredients. The shredded cheese is sprinkled over the top.  I used orange and white cheese this time because that is what we had on hand.  The type and the amount of cheese of course can be changed up as well.

Finally, Pop the lids on the finished product and seal tightly.  Get it into the freezer as soon as possible. Of course, I kept one for supper tonight.  I will just have to warm it up while I tackle the dishes and clean up.  Need to get the kitchen back to the state it was when I started. 

Figure 2 shows the final product

With the meal underway, my next task is to ensure that the cleaning process is applied and done efficiently. In this context, I included using the dishwasher and the freezer. The dish can be initially cleaned and washed by hand and then following this, you would be able to load the items in the dishwasher. Keeping in mind that many handfuls of online resources have videos of posts containing information in different fields, including dishwashing, I decided to see what I could find on Youtube. I was able to find a helpful video that provided some key points for me to keep in mind. Although, the most part of this for me was the fact the video had been viewed millions of times. After having the chance to read fellow classmates’ blog posts and spend time with the platform, I thought Tik-Tok would have some useful tips or tricks for me to keep in mind during the clean-up process. After looking into the different hashtags features, I was able to find different short pieces of information to keep in mind. By investing the time into online resources to look for a particular set of information, you most likely would be able to find something that can be of assistance. The field of cooking is prominent throughout the world, and each day more and more online resources are being shared on different platforms to make the task easier.

Understanding Different Perspectives

Following my third post and moving to the fourth outlining and describing what is necessary for my shepherd’s pie, I am excited to move closer towards cooking my meal. I want to take the time to look at different perspectives and cooking methods of this meal using different online resources. Everyone has a certain way they prefer a dish and they make it differently so I have gathered a few different spices together so I can add flavor along the way.  I have hot sauce, garlic, herbs and spices, some Maggi flavoring to add-in.

My potatoes are pre-cooked and mashed so I just need to get them out of the fridge. I oven roasted them with skins on as this gives a nice flavor and keeps the nutrients from boiling away.

Figure 1

Following this I proceeded to move onto my vegetables which were washed and cut and then cooked with the meat. This is when I applied the garlic and other spices stated above to the meal. I then proceed to place all of the different items in a tin foil container then let the baking process start. Despite having all the different food based items established, I need to ensure that the cooking environment receives the same amount of attention. I will need a large frying pan, a cutting board, a series of shaper knives for chopping veggies, a wooden spoon and a scooping spoon. Each of the different utilenses and pots should be properly washed or cleaned. This can be done by hand or through the use of a dishwasher and then placed in a safe area. The other key component of preparing the kitchen includes washing the counter top, this is particularly important for me to keep in mind as part of my meal involves raw beef and pork. This is a simpler process which ensures that cooking will go smoother and contribute to the safety of all parties involved.

Figure 2

I wanted to take the time and look online to see what I could find so that I could benefit from different resources, both in the field of cooking and the cleaning process. I have used Youtube before to both create and watch different videos but I also wanted to expand into newer platforms to gain newer perspectives, an example of this would be Tik Tok.

Using the Youtube guide to provide some helpful tips that I can learn from, I noted that each item was clearly distinguished and described in detail, including the core functions of the item. Other key points from the video that I was able to take away from included a cheaper and more efficient way to clean my kitchen counter with a water and vinegar mixture. I need to keep in mind the health of other kitchen items including the oven. Using the Youtube tutorial reminded me to check the filters as well as the oven racks to ensure proper food safety. The one key point I wanted to note that was not mentioned in the YouTube guide is that each dish should be washed either by hand or through the use of a dishwasher.

After having the chance to learn in class about the wide variety of online sources available that can teach people different skills and hobbies, I wanted to look more into Youtube and Tik Tok to see how others made their Shepards Pie. Within a matter of minutes, I was able to find guides for making this dish as well as other unique perspectives with a unique twist. The Youtube I selected, “ How to  Make an Easy and Traditional Shepherds Pie” is broken down into an easy to watch 5-minute video that shares many of the common ingredients and cooking processes, yet adds certain items such as Lamb for the meat, sour cream for the potatoes, and rosemary as an additional spice. My meal and the one that was cooked in this video falls into the more traditional bracket but highlights that they are subtle differences.

Tik Tok is a source that I have not had much experience with but EDTC 300 has discussed some really useful points and working with Twitter and discussing with classmates I now understand that you can find really useful information on the platform, both in the fields of cooking and education. I decided to hop on the platform and see what information I could find in regards to Shepards Pie and at first, I was overwhelmed. There were hundreds of videos highlighting the different aspects including ingredients and cooking processes that can be used. I found one example that really caught my attention involves making a Mexican-inspired dish with ingredients such as taco seasoning, 2 cans of Mexicorn, and mild cheddar cheese.

The first step of Creating on YouTube: Knowing the Ingredients

With progress in the Learning Project taking place and my healthy meal alternatives being assembled I realized I needed to use a technological tool to document and enhance my progress. At first, this was a challenge simply due to the large presence of different tools available. After some thought, I decided to go with the YouTube editor to help me make different videos for my project. YouTube as an online platform and video sharing service is something I spend lots of free time on from the position of a viewer. Although, after spending much time with this platform I realized that process of editing videos is manageable with practice.

For this blog post, I would like to take the time to provide an app review of YouTube Editor and highlight where it can be placed in the SAMR model. To start with the overview of this program it can be seen that it serves as an on-board editing system for different Youtube videos that the independent user publishes. It is composed of five primary branches. The first is “ Editing Your Video” where you have the opportunity to choose a wide variety of possible options including Blurring and Trimming your videos and more complex changes including audio changes and additions for audio and music videos, as well as removing and adjusting possible copyright claims and protected content. The second section looks at “Editing your video sections” which involves adjusting the distribution and accessibility of your published videos for others. The third section looks at “ Engaging the Viewers” with the addition of different components to your videos, including thumbnails, end screens, cards, and merch or purchasable items. The fourth is “Managing Your Videos” where content creators can make bulk changes or delete their videos. Finally, there is “Managing made for kids videos” In this, you determine if content is based for children.

Figure 1 shows the overview of the Youtube Editor

My review of this program is positive as after using the overview I knew what my next step would be. After the Youtube video was published I went to the studio portion of the platform and found a dedicated section which focuses on editing.

Figure 2 shows the main menu for Youtube Studio

In this, I was able to trim the different errors in the initial video and make sure it flowed more smoothly. I also really enjoyed how you had the opportunity to watch the video while editing it and then replaying it in order to ensure that changes were successfully changed.

Figure 3 shows the slider that allows for trimming of different YouTube Videos

My review also looked at how well organized the process of uploading the video went. To do so I recorded the video on my phone then proceeded to drag and drop the file into YouTube. The instructions of the Youtube editor to some may be very easy, while for others it may take time to adjust but using the five step overview and following the instructions of finding the dedicated editing section you can polish your videos and upload it to your channel. The main tip I would mention is that this program is free for educators that want to upload personalized content or have students submit video based presentations. When applying this to the SAMR I would say that it falls under the Modification category, allowing for significant task redesign. This would assist in completing tasks online and changing the core structure of the assignment.

This tool directly connects to my learning project post for the week as I checked the flyers in my mailbox and decided on what stores offer the best deals. With this in mind I started to assemble my shepards pie.

It is important to get the best quality of ingredients that I can get as it is said that fresh is best. This is true for two different reasons. The first is the flavor and the second is that I am going to freeze my assembled project. You risk getting food poisoning if you attempt to thaw and then refreeze Meat. To avoid this I purchased fresh lean ground pork and beef so that I would not run into this problem.

Figure 4 is me selceting the pork and meat for my Shepards Pie

I purchased a series of items with convenience in mind, including frozen peas which can be refrozen and to some taste better than canned peas. Canned corn was selected as this was much more convenient than cooking a cob of corn and taking the niblets off of it. When purchasing the fresh products I kept in mind appearance and texture.

Figure 5 is me obtaining the vegetables

The total cost of all the different items purchased in the store added up to $34.11, although this did not include certain items such as shredded cheese and onions. Considering the wide variety of ingredients present and each with their own unique characteristics I have decided to provide a video on my YouTube channel breaking down the nutrient facts and costs for some of the items, for those who are interested in making the same meal. I expect that I will be able to get 6-7inch containers of pies from this shopping list. I will let you know what the final product will be.

Figure 6 is processing all the items through the checkout in the store

The next step in my process will be clearing some time to complete the project, I will block off a series of hours for this. I will need to gather the cooking tools that I need and the containers for freezing.  I decided to use tin foil containers for the final product.  I was able to purchase two sets of three for $1.25 each at the dollar store. I will get a couple of smaller oven-proof containers to keep on hand in case I have more than the 6 foil containers. In this phase, I will ensure that my kitchen is cleaned and properly prepared in order to meet the proper health guidelines.

Learning Project: There has to be a Better Way to Eat: Making Progress

Welcome to the second entry of my learning project and in this post I would like to focus on healthy choices. Now that I have decided to maker healthy choices throughout the rest of the term, I need to find something that does not take long to prepare, is healthy, tasty, and easy to serve.

Since time always appears to be running short, I do not want to spend hours preparing the meal either on the cooking side and with the preparations. To fit into this category there are a few favorites that I love but might not fit into my criteria for the prep. Although, let’s take a look at the Canadian Food Guide. There are tons of resources here to point me in the right direction.

This visual of the perfect plate will help me to find something that has something from each food group. What about Shepherds Pie? My Grandma used to make it as well as other family members from time to time. It’s not too hard to make. You can make it how you enjoy it once it is cooked and add different spices and flavours.

This dish contains protein in the meat, some carbs in the potatoes and veggies of course are needed. I like peas and carrots, onions and celery. Corn can also be added and cheese contributes to the diary requirements. If I made several I can freeze them. If I need food while studying or writing assignments I could take one and reheat it. I just have to add a salad on the side to add in those green veggies and while as other forms of healthy food including frozen fruit like blueberries or strawberries can be microwaved for a few seconds to thaw.

I will need to make my shopping list and set aside an hour or two to do the preparation.  By using fresh ingredients, I will get a tasty dish.  Fresh is always best as you know what is going into the dish.  Fat and salt can be controlled when you cook it yourself.  I want to make at least 4 pies and freeze them.  I will also need to ensure that I have the proper containers on hand for freezing them.  Foil will work in the oven but not the microwave.  Looks like I will have to check my cupboards as well as the fridge.

Here is my list for the grocery store.  I will check my calendar now and block off 30 mins for shopping and 90 mins for cooking. I hope mine looks as good as this one.


Learning Project: There has to be a Better Way to Eat!

For the first blog in my learning project I will be giving everyone a baseline and where I currently stand when it comes to cooking. Starting with a setup and progressing throughout the term, I will highlight and display my learning of cooking.

Things have been busy in our house for the last 4 months, crazy busy as they say. As a result my family is on my case and addressing the case about eating well and healthy. I need to find a better way to eat. When I was younger and throughout my youth my family would attend dinner together at the table about 5 times a week for a meal. Guests would come for supper every couple months. Meal times were relaxing and very nutritious, as well they served as the opportunity for each of the members of my family to explain different parts of their days and discuss possible situations and events that might shape the future. This served as an inspiration for me as when I was in my early teens I planned to become a chef. I took a couple of cooking courses when in High School so that I would know my way around my kitchen when I moved out or spent more time on my own. I must confess that I have not used the skills I acquired that much, and as such I have resulted in eating a more easier diet. The first photo that highlights this can be found on my Twitter page.

Things this last year have changed. I have had family members become sick and have to move to a retirement home and this means that my parents are packing and moving different items and helping with medical appointments. Because my mom has two jobs she does not have much time in the house and with me taking different courses through the University of Regina and working part time, I find that I am often out of time when it comes to making meals. To further accent concerns, the presence of COVD restrictions has placed family gatherings on hold, meaning most meals are not very healthy and not with others.

My blog will be about my journey to solve the problem of healthy fast meals. The internet has a lot of information on how to cook, recipes that can be prepared quickly, and how to get organized. There is so much information you could spend hours looking at this topic. I will start with family favorite recipes that can be premade and then frozen into convenient portions for a quick meal. I know that there are others out there that have the same concern so perhaps we can learn how to solve this problem together. The next step of this plan can be seen on my Twitter page.