Cyber Sleuthing

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This week we were asked to pair up and try find out some online information about our partner! The good, the bad and the ugly! This task is not to embarrass our partner, but it is to help them become more digitally aware. What you post on social media can have an impact on your future and most are not thinking about that in high school or whenever you start your first social media accounts. I know I sure wasn’t! Entering the teaching profession, you might not realize what you posted years before could affect potential employment.

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So, I got to work and went full detective mode!  

My partner is Alexandra Crammond (she prefers Alex). I started with her Twitter account where she goes as mscrammond. On her twitter account, I was able to find her Educational Blog. Her blog is personable and she lets you get a glimpse of who she is, but in a very respectful and professional way. She grew up in a small community and loves being in the outdoors. She comes from a family of 6 and is in her 3rd year of university. She currently is a registered and practicing Primary Care Paramedic (Kuddos to her doing this job, it would be an extremely challenging and mentally exhausting job).

I was able to find her Instagram account from her blog. Although I could not access it, she does have it set on private and I would need to request to have permission to see whatever she posts on Instagram. I think this is clever to do especially in our profession. I am sure students and parents tend to look up the classroom teacher, not in a negative way, but it seems to be human nature and a thing to do if we have access to it.

Alex’s Facebook seems pretty inactive. She does not have many posts and the ones she does are regarding EMS safety or pictures of her in the outdoors – snowboarding or with her significant other. She has limited photos, but what you can see are with family or friends and nothing concerning to the public eye.

I then went and googled Alexandra Crammond and the typical twitter, Instagram, and her blog posts were the first to appear. I wanted to do a little bit more searching so I typed in Alexandra Crammond, Primary Care Paramedic, and I was able to find one news article that includes Alex. It is an article to be proud of and states “Heroes on the medical frontline” and has a photo of her and her paramedic crew based out of whitewood.

All and all, Alex’s social media and digital citizenship presence is not something she has to worry about in my opinion. I would gladly be her friend from what I saw and I would love to be coworkers with her. I think any employer would be lucky to hire her! I like that she has her social media’s set up so the general public can’t view them without her granting permission. Her twitter account is professional and you can tell she’s focusing on building her PLN! I would say Alex is more of an under sharer when it came to what I could see or had access to on Instagram and Facebook, however her Educational Blog and Twitter account she has shared more personal things so I was able to get a sense of who Alex is. Overall, I am impressed with how much she has shared on certain aspects and how little she has shared on social media.

Reflecting

Reflecting on this weeks readings and teachings and the realization that not everything we see on social media is what it seems. I think it is easy for anyone to get caught up in what they think “the perfect life is”… Then we cruise others social media accounts and compare our lives to what we are viewing. This week I read the story of Madison Holleran, and it sank in. This beautiful, talented, and smart young lady was fighting demons that you would not know she had because of her digital identity that she shared with the world! I think her parents are doing great things to raise awareness around suicide and Madison’s story and their message that ” It’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK to show people you’re not OK.”

Social media can be great, but it also can hide reality and I think that it’s important to teach children that not everything they see is sunshine and roses. Looking at my own social media posts on Instagram (which is set to private -so strangers are not looking, but my friends and family are). It would seem that my life is going great and we just purchased a camper, or I was just in Cypress Hills for my birthday! I am not sharing with the world the hardships that have occurred because we don’t blast the negative on social media only the positive! (although, I have been more vocal on my Facebook about struggling with online learning and being at home 24/7 and the toll it can have on a person), but for the most part it is happy-go-lucky posts. My dad calls Facebook -“Brag book” and I think he has a good point with his wording! It is just for people to brag about their lives for others to see, he does not have Facebook and grew up in a time where if he had exciting news about something he would personally have to tell his closest friends or family. I actually remember him saying when I got engaged “I’m sure its already on bragbook and everyone knows” and because of this I waited 2 weeks before I made it “Facebook official.” How silly does that seem!

I just think it is important to make students aware of what they are viewing and to not think the grass is greener because what their friends are posting and to remember that struggles happen to everyone. I just hope that I can give my students the tools they need to seek help and not be worried to ask me if they are struggling. I have already experienced the loss of a student and hope that I never have to do that again because they feel me a safe person in their life. You can read more about that in my “Journey to Becoming an Educator” post!

DONUT Underestimate a Baker!

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This week I tackled DONUTS! I have been enjoying the website Delish for searching up my baking recipe’s. I found this super simple to follow home made donut recipe and took my butter out the night before to prepare for the next day of baking! Let me just start by saying the butter was only one of my issues I had with this adventure in the kitchen.

I got so into the process of making the donuts that I FORGOT to take photos to document the whole process (face palm). The process has been very similar to making the other “dough” creations I have decided to try this semester! Make the dough and let it rise!

Here is the process of making the donut dough

Not only did I forget to take photos to document the whole process, BUT I was done and cleaning up, waiting for the dough to rise. I opened the microwave to heat up some lunch for myself and guess what was sitting in the microwave, waiting for me?

THE BUTTER! Note to self: Double or triple check when you are baking because recipes and following them are IMPORTANT! Reflecting back I should have re-read the recipe when I was making the dough. I am usually prepared with everything sitting measured out and ready to go in front of me! I am going to chalk this up as it just wasn’t my day to be in the kitchen. I did end up adding the butter into the already made dough ball and crossed my fingers, did some google searches and hoped for the best!

Thankfully, the dough did rise! I was able to continue my donut journey and it was not a waste of a baking day. After the dough rose, I got my fiancé to help out and he rolled the dough to 1/2 thick and I cut out the shapes. I let them rise again and started to heat up my oil and make the icing recipe that is also linked with the donut recipe above.

My house still smells like a deep fryer after I fried up the donuts, but they turned out better then I was expecting after I forgot to add the butter to the dough!

Honestly, they were easier then I was expecting and I will most likely make donuts again. I will just take my time and make sure I am not missing any ingredients next time. I am so happy I choose to learn how to bake this semester! It has been a lot of fun and a nice break from staring at a computer screen. I also love how food connects people together and I have been able to shares some of my baking with family and friends!

Final product

Stay Sweet,

Miss Blenkin

Baking tip #8- If you do not have a donut cutter, you can use a drinkware glass to cut out your donut shapes.

Teachable Moments

I have never really thought about how I will incorporate digital citizenship into my “future” classroom. Currently, I am in the Early Elementary program and I would love to teach in a lower grade like Kindergarten or Grade 1.  When I was thinking of the ages of these students, I was thinking that I shouldn’t necessarily have to worry about them posting online, bullying online, or having misuse of the web. However, there is definitely some areas from “Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship” that I can incorporate into my classroom.

The first one that stood out to me for all age students is #6 on the list, Digital Health and Welfare. I think we can all agree that we love having access to our friends, family, social media, random information, knowledgeable information, games, live sporting events, etc. It has definitely become a way of life and if you are not online, people question it! But, we also need to take care of ourselves and our mental and emotional well-being. We can have discussions with our students and their parents about what they are doing online. We can talk about what are appropriate uses of screen time, if students are using it as an educational tool or if they are spending hours on Tik Tok or Minecraft. Here is an article that you could share with the parents of your students to help them have a better understanding of screen time and when to use it and when to set limits. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/screen-time/art-20047952

Faceless girl watching tv on wicker stool at home
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In the Saskatchewan Curriculum for Grade 1 Health, there is an outcome:

USC1.1

Examine healthy behaviours and opportunities and begin to determine how these behaviours and opportunities may affect personal well-being.

This outcome would be great to tie into digital health and welfare. You could teach a lesson on how screen time takes away from physical activity and why it is important to maintain a physical lifestyle. The indicator that could correspond with this is:

(h)Discuss a variety of healthy behaviours over which one has control (e.g., brushing teeth, being active, engaging in quiet time, seeking shade).  

The Digital Rights and Responsibility element from Ribble’s digital citizenship can be another topic of discussion in your classroom. This area is important for students to learn at a young age that internet access is a privilege and that they have to make sure that they are using it appropriately. They have the rights and responsibility to protect themselves online, but also protect others if they see something they shouldn’t see or if they come across something that could be harmful to someone in the real world or online. In the Saskatchewan Curriculum Grade 1 Social Studies their is an outcome:

PA1.2

Analyze the causes of disharmony and ways of returning to harmony.

It is important to teach students that not everything they see online will make them feel good or they will be in agreement with it. But we can teach them strategies to overcome these disharmonies. Indicator:

(a)Identify decision-making approaches which may result in positive outcomes and decision-making approaches which may result in less positive results.

This could be a good time to bring awareness to younger students about the positive aspects of their digital citizenship and the negative affects of digital citizenship. This discussion could be around who students can talk too safely if they are experience any online problems like cyber bullying. We can give students resources to help cope with negative feelings and build relationships in our classroom so the students feel safe.

It is just a good idea to teach students the good and the bad about what can happen online. The sooner we are educating them the sooner they are learning how to become more digitally aware and responsible for their actions online. We as adults have to remember that there is teachable moments even if the moment is in a negative context. We need to remember that they are young, they are learning, and instead of reacting in a harmful way – if there is a teachable moment to be had take that option!

Teach how to be better instead of punishing and not correcting the behavior.

Teach dice ornament on table
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The Big Three O!

On Friday it will be my 30th birthday!!!

happy cake day

What better way to celebrate then to test out some new bakeware and homemade cake recipes! Once again, I took to Pinterest to find two different confetti cake recipes.

The two recipes I choose were similar, but the one by Sally’s Baking Addiction used more eggs and the one by Delish used more sugar and also cornstarch.

The recipes were both easy to follow, ill share which one I will definitely be using again in my review at the end of this post!

I was so excited to use my new “Numbers and Letters Cake Pan” from Pampered Chef . Honestly, everyone needs this pan. It can make any number or letter in one pan!

I choose to do Sally’s recipe first and make the number 3!

Ingredients and the wonderful cake pan
There is actually way more sugar in cakes then I thought.
This cake was pretty dense. It tasted great, but for the amount of eggs/egg whites I thought it would be fluffier.
EEK! I love the cake pan!

Next, quickly wash everything up and time to make the “0”. This recipe was from Delish which actually pops up frequently on my Facebook as an ad. It was the same process as the “3”, but with a few different ingredients.

the “0” cake pan.
This cake was more fluffy!
ops! dropped the sprinkle container in the batter.
I am seriously obsessed with this cake pan. BUT it made two gigantic cakes.

If you are wondering how I collage the photo’s together I use a free app on my phone called “layout” it is an app that connects with Instagram.

I then made a vanilla buttercream icing from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I dyed it a few different colors (blue, purple and green) and got decorating. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of this process. I made the icing look like tie dye (in my opinion) which was super easy to do. You just put little globs of colors all over the cake and smooth into one another with a smoothing knife.

The final products! The cakes were both delicious and a simple process to make. However, the Delish cake was more airy and fluffy and I had my small get together of friends rate the cakes and everyone seemed to like it better! Sally’s cake was still good just very dense. I also read that you can buy sprinkles that don’t leave their color coating throughout the batter. I would consider purchasing different sprinkles for my next confetti cake. I was intimidated to make anything from scratch before this class and I am very much enjoying my time baking in the kitchen.

Baking Tip #7- Get the PAMPERED CHEF pan. YOU NEED IT!

Cheers to 30!

Had a great day ice fishing and enjoying cakes!

Stay Sweet,

Miss Blenkin

Digital Realities can be Scary! Prepare our Students for Success.

Technology change

Thinking back to how technology has enhanced even since I was born in the early 90s’, HAS TRANSFORMED IMMENSLY! From dial up internet that I had to struggle with the annoying sound and hoping, nobody would need the phone in the next hour, or I would get disconnected. My parents also made it seem like it cost a future and I could never be online. (Not sure, if that was true or if that is just what they said).

Woman in white long sleeve shirt holding white ceramic mug
Photo by Max Fischer on Pexels

To now having the fastest internet connections around with everything from streaming live sporting events, gaming, music downloading, apps, many social media interaction accounts and having access to whatever we need at the tips of our fingers!

Wesch, in his youtube video, An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube (Full video) shares the Numa Numa dance that went viral and also how Soulja Boy landed a record deal when they produced and published their own video that went viral. I fully participated in the Soulja Boy dances at many outings throughout my high school years. We discussed in our lecture in EDTC300 of how the Numa Numa video went viral, but in a positive way. Wesch, shares with us how much content YouTube shares everyday and that it is new and original content. He also talks about how having access to this digital world we are able to shares new forms of expression, community and identity.

Realities

Heart and zero neon light signage
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Honestly, thinking about the accessibility that students have to technology and social media accounts makes me fearful for the environment my students will be living in. I know that the experienced educators in our EDTC300 class said they are already dealing with social media (Snapchat was named specifically) as causing problems in the day-to-day interactions of their students. We talked in lecture how platforms were holding back “likes” on peoples accounts (Instagram) because they new how often they checked and were anticipating their friends, family or strangers to “like” their post/content. That simple click of a button to send a “like” can spark a student’s mental and emotional response positively or it could have negative affect on them, if they are not receiving those daily web affirmations.

Growing up, the internet was scary or bad and our parents and teachers made it intimidating. Now we need to teach our students the positives of building an online network, and what is safe and good or what can be harmful to them. The fact is, the internet and technology are not going anywhere, instead it is growing and the participation of all people is increasing, it will be in our classrooms and schools and we need to prepare our students for it. Almost everyone has a digital footprint whether they are aware of it or not. We discussed in our lecture that parents are posting pictures of babies in utero and that is the beginning of their digital footprint.

Let us make good use out of technology!

We are living in a world currently that without technology it would seem the world would stop. Online schooling, face timing to see loved ones, streaming weddings or graduations or major life moments. These are all new realities of technology that we have incorporated for the greater good. I know I downloaded the “house party” app, so we could visit with multiple friends and family and play games. We actually set up virtual date nights with our group of friends so we could still have that human interaction although it was via online.

The challenge I foresee in the classroom will be with students being inappropriate with the use of technology. Technology can be very dangerous to people’s self-worth and wellbeing. Cyber bullying is something that all teachers will have to be aware of and eye on in their classroom, but it also extends outside of the classroom and it seems to always land on the school. We need to show students the positives like the “numa numa” video instead of it being hateful. Digital reality is on the rise and we need to prepare for it!

That is all for now,

Miss Blenkin

Maybe a Food Truck in my Future?!

Orange food truck
Photo by Artem Saranin on Pexels

I have always teased my fiancé that I have wanted to have my own food truck! He would quiz me on what things I would serve out of it. For a long time I figured I would master different lasagna recipes and have a lasagna truck!

Then when we were in Banff last March on a snowboarding trip, we stopped in Canmore at the Rocky Mountain Bagel Co restaurant. We enjoyed some breakfast bagels on our way home. I bought a dozen of their bagel as well. I highly recommend stopping there for a bite to eat if you are ever in the area. With those bagels, I created some interesting combos… butter chicken bagel, pizza bagel, and a favorite in our house, the ultimate breakfast bagel. Sunny side up eggs, bacon, ham, cheese, lettuce and tomato with a secret cream cheese sauce I am not willing to share! (You know, just in case my food truck dream takes off!)

So, for this weeks “baking with Shana” adventure I MADE BAGELS! I spent some time researching recipes on Pinterest for homemade bagels! I came across an account by Sandra, a self taught cook and her blog “Shes not cookin” It is where I found the recipie to use. It honestly had me a little freaked out though it called to BOIL the bagels… As I was laying in bed with Spencer and telling him all about my plan the next day to create these bagels, I told him “I’m so nervous… it wants me to boil them before baking!” I never knew that was a thing to do, when it came to making bagels.

The next morning, I started my day off making my bagel dough! it was easy enough to follow Sandra’s recipe. however, I do wish that she included pictures so I could compare what mine looked like to hers!

adding my yeast to warm water and sugar, then combining all my other ingredients to make the dough.
I then kneaded the dough and placed in a greased bowl to let rise for a few hours. Once the dough was proofed I cut into 12 equal pieces.

The dough was EASY PEASY to make!

Here comes the part that had me a little freaked out! After I rolled my dough into ropes and pinched the ends closed to make my circle with a hole. I let them rest again for 15 minutes. Now, I am boiling 8 cups of water with sugar (the recipe called for 16 cups, but I didn’t have a big enough pot for that). WHY the heck am I boiling these bagel doughs? I needed to know the answer so I took to Google and found this blog post called “Food Crumbles” and learned that when boiling the bagels the starches in the flour of the dough gelatinize. During this process the starch granules absorb water, swell and ultimately break releasing more starch molecules (the same happens when boiling potatoes). This process stiffens the starches and thus the bagel, starting from the outside. By cooking the starch on forehand it won’t loose as much moisture anymore in the oven. As a result bagels won’t get that super crunchy crust that some sourdough breads for instance might get. That tip is also my baking tip #7 for my blog!

Here are my bagels getting ready for a boil bath.
I wanted to make cheese bagel so I shredded some cheese.

I added the shredded cheese to my bagels
Next I egg washed my boiled bagel.

The loaded cream cheese and the finished bagels. I had to try one fresh out of the oven.

Ok, LIKE HOW GOOD DO THEY LOOK? I am so impressed with myself! BUT we cannot have a bagel without cream cheese! I found a recipe on Pinterest that I liked and made it.

These bagels turned out AMAZING! I am so happy with myself and the final product. I was beyond nervous about tackling this adventure, but following the directions and researching when I was unsure made the process so enjoyable. I have come along way in the kitchen. I highly recommend the bagel recipe linked earlier, You can use my pictures for reference since her blog doesn’t include any. I stepped out of my comfort zone and I am so glad I did! This bagel recipe will be a staple in our house hold now! (Or I might tweak it in the future to make it my own:)

The final product!

So yummy!

The bagels were rated 10/10. I do want to let the dough rest longer once I get them formed the next time I make them!

Stay Sweet,

XOXO,

Miss Blenkin

The Struggle is Real!

Last week we were asked to use a new form of technology for our class assignment where we are teaching ourselves something new! I saw a few of my peers use Animoto! Animoto is a video creating platform that says it is connected to the cloud! which is ideal for someone like me who struggles enough with technology to begin with.

what even is the cloud?

My baking project this week was BROWNIE BATTER COOKIE SANDWICHES! and they were so delicious. I got the recipe from the my Jenna Rae Cakes Cookbook I got at Christmas time. I am truly loving this cookbook. I was never a baker and these recipes are easy to follow and delicious.

I started in the kitchen. Taking photos with my phone at every step! The brownie batter cookie sandwiches are not for the faint of heart. it is a 3 step process and you have to “heat treat” the flour, which I have never heard of or done before. Thankfully that part was super easy.

Baking Tip #6- Heat-treating the flour ensures that the bad bacteria are killed, so that the flour can be used in no bake desserts and more.

The next steps were to edited my photos on the Animoto app, I liked the app because you could add transitions, music and text to your photos! you also had access to how long you want each slide to be shown for.

NOW–> this is where I run into my problems!!! When you create an account it asks you if you want to connect with Facebook, or Google etc. I used my Hotmail account. I am unsure if that is the reason why my video is on my phone, but not in my “video library” when I log onto Animoto on my desktop.

No baking video saved on my desktop 🙁

So, here I am trying to figure out how to display my video on my blog, but it is not in my Animoto site. I was able to save the video from the app to my camera roll. I then uploaded the video to my Facebook. Next I saved the video from Facebook on to my desktop, and the final step was to uploaded it to YouTube. You could say I used a lot of technology for this assignment! A lot more then I intended too!

Here is what the app looks like and the options it gives you for templates.

I am relieved that I was able to share my cookie baking video I created. Check it out!

I like that the app had fun music to choose from.

Thanks for following along on my baking journey! stay tuned to see what “Baking with Shana” has in store for you next week!

Stay Sweet,

XOXO,

Miss Blenkin