Creating Connection and Contributing to Others

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Signing up for EDTC300, I did not think I would build so many relationships and connections with people I have never met. This class has greatly expanded my Professional Learning Network because I was taught how to use technologies like Twitter, Slack Community, Blogging, and overall being more digitally aware! This class was a recommendation to me, by my friend Jaelyn, a former EDTC300 alumni! I am happy I took her advice and registered!

Let’s check out how I engaged with others and helped support their learnings! Building relationships is top on my list and I was finding it difficult with online learning to really make genuine connections with others through Zoom, but having the opportunity to be apart of EDTC300 and building my PLN, I know, I have a great group of fellow educators who are willing to share their ideas and help me along my journey.

Twitter

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels

Twitter ended up being my favorite tool from this class. I wish I would of took a screenshot of my followers at the start of January and now! I cannot believe how much my Personal Learning Network has grown from one app. Twitter is great, it really can help you build relationships and share teaching techniques with its easy accessibility to resources, professional development, and everything in-between. My favorite thing about Twitter so far is #Saskedchat, attending that first one was overwhelming, but it gave me access to follow educators not only in Saskatchewan, but across Canada (and maybe further I’d have to look into that more). I joined a few more #Saskedchats this semester and during one of them, it was “open mic night” I asked a questions and had some great responses I will share! I was also able to share resources with my EDTC300 peers and see what resources they thought were meaningful to share with me. Engaging with others on twitter was an awesome use of technology and I can picture myself as an educator using Twitter in my future classroom check out my blog post about it!

I made a Canva presentation for you to check out my Twitter interactions this semester.

Slack Community

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Photo by Gabby K on Pexels

Slack, was a great tool for interaction among our class. You asked a question and within minutes you had an answer. That was amazing! There were some outstanding resources being created and shared on Slack as well. Although, I enjoyed reading what others contributed I feel like I personally “slacked” in this aspect of the course. Not because I wanted to, but because by the time I looked at Slack, people already replied to the questions or I was too late and someone contributed what I would have said. I did get a few chances though. Here they are:

Here is a resource I shared with the group.
Helped a peer find an event on Twitter
Gave advice on a new technology that I had used.
I had a question and had instant replies and suggestions on how to fix my issues.
Slack was also good to get out your Monday blues.
It was a good reminder tool for Thursday night #Saskedchats
Sharing people to follow to build our PLN.
Helping a student by sharing a resource to one of her questions.

Blogging

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Blogging, the hub to our #EDTC300 class. Each week we were tasked with a #learningproject post and sometimes we were challenged to dive deeper and asked to respond to a digital literacy, coding, cyber bullying and a few other topics to enhance our critical thinking and share our ideas with one another. My goal was to respond to 3 or more peers a week and reply to all that commented on my posts. As April and finals have all caught up to me I found I have struggled to keep up with this task at the end of the semester, but I have still tried my best to engage and give commentary where I can. I liked the blogging aspect because we were challenged to use new technologies and I definitely took advantage of this in my own posts with the use of Animoto, Canva, Loom, Zoom and checked out more, but did not end up using like Flipgrid, Quizzes, and Kahoot. Here is how I have contributed to my peers blogs over the semester.

Reflection

Looking back on this semester and creating this post makes me incredibly proud of all the technologies I tried for the first time and will continue using throughout my life and teaching career. Reading my interactions with my peers and seeing their growth through their #learningprojects sums up how amazing this class was. our blogs, Twitter, Slack Community and Wednesday night Zoom’s really built a connection between us. We were not in person, but yet we still were able to form a digital bond. I think that was obvious when we played Katia’s Kahoot and the personal questions that were asked were almost all getting 100% correct.

Thank you, EDTC300, for a great semester of learning and growing. Keep up the Tweets, I will continue to follow your educational journey.

Miss Blenkin

Baking my way to the End!

I cannot believe that my baking journey has ended. I started this journey in January and completed my last project for the class in April. I have definitely grown fond of a few creations and I will continue to bake them at home, but there are some things that I will leave for the professionals, and purchase from a store or local baker!  

During my journey, I realized the art of baking and how much skill is involved. It is a craft! I enjoyed almost all of my projects; I did struggle with some more than others. My goal when I started this learning project was to see if I could make my own cake for my wedding. I can confidently tell you that I will leave the wedding cake for someone else to make! I also was just interested in learning how to BAKE! I was not good at almost everything so I tried to do a wide variety of options to keep me on my toes and keep it interesting.

I used many resources to help me learn how to bake, but I definitely used Pinterest the most! I also spent A LOT of time googling questions: “Why do you boil bagels?” “What happens when you forget to add the butter for your doughnut dough?” “What is heat treated flour?” and I am sure many many more searchers were had. I was also able to try new technologies along the way. I used Animoto, Loom, Zoom, and Laura’s highly recommended Canva.

Lets check out my baking creations week by week!

WEEKLY SUMMARIES

Week 1:

 This week I started by sharing that following recipes and directions are why I am not a good baker. I outlined what I envisioned my process being: starting with something simpler and working my way into the more difficult baking tasks. I also said how I choose baking as my learning project because I thought I could make my own wedding cake at the end of this process.

-I shared a Tik Tok video and created a poll on my blog.

I ended my post with a baking tip that I continued throughout the semester (it added a little personal touch to my blog).

Week 2:

This was my first week in the kitchen baking, I made brown butter cinnamon buns, by a local business that shared their recipe on their blog/website. The Everyday Kitchen! I used pictures to document my experience with an app called “layout” which is created by Instagram. I continued using layout for the remainder of my baking projects this semester.

I liked that I was able to find a local bakery to try make their recipe.

Week 3:

This week I made stuffed pizza buns! I found a recipe on Pinterest that I liked and I also embedded a YouTube video that had baking tips for beginners.

here is an example of what one of my #baking tips looked like.

Week 4:

This was a bonus baking post as I completed it before our class and found out we needed to incorporate a new technology for our next #learningproject post.

I was able to bake Valentines day sugar cookies with one of my best friends and she taught me her tips and tricks. She also brought her stand mixer (I don’t have one and now really want to get one). She shared with me her recipes which you can find on my post. It was a lot of fun baking with her and she taught me about “flood” icing which I don’t think I could have mastered without her! Our Conversation Heart cookies were a success.

Week 4 Part 2:

This week, I used Loom to record myself baking Cotton Candy Cupcakes from the Jenna Rae Cakes Cookbook (highly recommended purchasing this baking cookbook). I actually pre made a batch of cupcakes, so I could record myself doing the whole process. From making the batter to decorating the cupcakes. I enjoyed using Loom and think it is an easy casting tool (I however need to work on my acting skills). I also started including “Pexel” pictures into my blogs at this point.

Week 5:

This week I made chocolate brownie batter stuffed cookie sandwiches. I used a recipe from Jenna Rae Cakes Cookbook, so unfortunately I could not share it. I used a new form of technology called “Animoto” for this learning project post. I enjoyed using this tool to create my video, but struggled uploading it to my desktop. I also included a meme on this blog post.

Week 6:

This week I would say was my favorite week! I made something that has been on my bucket list! BAGELS! I once again used Pinterest for my bagel recipe and this recipe is amazing. I used “Layout” to create my photo collages to post on my blog. I have also started sharing my blog posts to my personal Facebook page and the interaction with my friends and family has been great.

Week 7:

This week I made not one, but two cakes for my 30th birthday! They were both the same kind of cake, but different recipes. both recipe were from Pinterest and we taste tested to see which one we liked better. I also finally figured out how to add my Bitmoji character to my blog posts and added it as a Chrome Extension.

Week 8:

DONUTS! this week I made donuts and they turned out pretty dang awesome. I used a new website for my recipe called Delish. I actually follow Delish on my Facebook account. This is one of the weeks that I forgot to take the butter out of the microwave and didn’t add it into my dough. A few quick Google searches and I was back in business. On my post throughout the semester I also signed off with “Stay Sweet – Miss Blenkin.” I thought it was a nice personal touch to my blogging.

Week 9:

This week I took to Twitter and Facebook and asked people what they wanted to see me bake next. A ton of people suggested something with pastry since I never made anything like that yet. I decide I would try make a pie. It honestly was the most challenging learning project of the semester my pastry crust just wasn’t working out for me. I also used Canva to create my presentation and really loved it. The simplicity of it and it is just like PowerPoint, but on steroids’. Click here to see my Canva presentation.

Week 10

My last baking project. Hands down the most fun! I signed up for a Zoom class, put on by my favorite Jenna Rae, the owner of the cook book I have and used a few times this semester. I made an Easter cake. It was 6 inches tall and turned out better than I expected. #howtocakeit was the website. You can sign up for different classes through them. It was an hour and a bit zoom class through a private Facebook group made, I will have access to the “workbook” and zoom video forever! This is the project that I also realized I will not be making my won wedding cake. It would be way to stressful during an already stressful week!

REFLECTION

I really enjoyed the baking aspect of my #learningproject, but I also loved that I tried different technologies that I normally would have never used! Loom was one of my favorites, if I ever decided to try my own baking or cooking I would use Loom to capture it. It was a great tool and I liked that you can interact with the video when you are watching it with “thumb ups” or “hearts” <3. I also thought Canva was amazing. It will be a resource I will use in my future classroom. I liked that you could share the presentation so more then one person can be working on it at a time. (I am new to Gmail and all the cool features google has, so tools like this are so far advanced from Microsoft). I do wish I included more video’s whether it would have been Tik Tok’s or You Tube videos. Looking back That is something I will add if i keep this baking blog moving forward.

Baking was very enjoyable and I will definitely be making more bagels in my future. (I have made them 3 times since my first try). The cake turned out really well, but it was so much work and patience. I think I would make them again, but for a close friends or families special occasion nothing too serious. I am glad I choose baking because my skills were not good before class and now my baking is edible. I will be attending more online baking classes, but can’t wait to take an in person class as well.

I also went to mention that I just learned about Snipping Tool from our Slack group. If you can or cannot tell I really like it. I used to use “Alt and PrtSc” to take my screen shots, but I much prefer snipping tool.

This class was amazing and I would highly recommend it to more Ed students. Thank you to my classmates for interacting and making my learning project more enjoyable with your kind words!

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One last time, (maybe – I do plan to continue posting my baking journey)

STAY SWEET,

Miss Blenkin.

GRAND FINALE

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WOW, I cannot believe that this is my last baking experiment, for this class anyways! Our #learningproject’s are coming to an end and I am kind of sad about it, but happy to not have so much tempting sweets and goodies around and get back into a healthier nutrition and workout schedule.

This week was FUN! I decided that if I was actually thinking of trying to make my own wedding cake like I talked about in my first #learningproject blog post then I better take a cake class! As you all know, I am obsessed with my Jenna Rae Cakes Cookbook and when I got an email saying Jenna will be hosting an online Easter cake/decorating class I was all in. I signed up for the class and was invited to a private Facebook page where we were given our class workbook and instructions to prep before the “Live” Zoom class that would happen. ( I missed the live zoom, but could catch it later and will have it forever which is pretty cool.)

Steps to do before the live Zoom class:

I went out and bought my ingredients I needed and baked my first cake on Monday. I am not sure if I did something wrong because the recipe said it would make two 6 inch by 3 inch cakes. I could only get one cake from the recipe that was given to us. So I ended up baking the second cake on Wednesday after our class. After I baked the cakes I wrapped them in saran warp and placed them in the freezer.

The cake will be a 4 layer vanilla cake with chocolate mini egg buttercream filling and vanilla buttercream on the outside.

I had everything measured out, so I wouldn’t forget any ingredients.
The baking process! the bottom two pictures are the start to the chocolate buttercream.

Saturday was caking decorating day. I got both my vanilla butter cream and chocolate buttercream ready. I watched the zoom video on Friday, so I had a better idea of what would be happening on Saturday. I am really happy that I watched the video before I got started. I felt more confident and ready to tackle this decorating masterpiece.

I was smarter and used my blender to crush up the mini eggs for in the chocolate buttercream. Way easier then using a knife.
This is my vanilla buttercream dyed teal (robins egg blue)
I had my counter space organized and ready to watch the zoom video.

During the zoom, I did have to pause it and go back to re watch something, but I enjoyed having that options. (I didn’t make this cake during the live zoom). During the live zoom if you had any questions you could ask them and Jenna would answer them while her cakes were cooling.

Honestly, I surprised myself with how this cake turned out. It looked so much better then I imagined. I learned throughout this experience that decorating is not my favorite thing to do! The cake taste component was not my favorite, but I am very proud of what my cake ended up looking like. I will be searching for a good vanilla or chocolate cake recipe if I do decide to get this fancy again.

You could say this was not a “Pinterest fail”

I keep saying “I don’t know if I would make a cake like this again” but now that I have the tools and skills I think the second go would be easier and they would continue getting easier each cake I try. I give credit to all the bakers out their that do this for a living or a hobby. I would definitely do another online zoom baking or cooking experience. I would actually love to go to an in person learn how to “smoke” class. We have a smoker and I want to master it!

Reflecting on this project I will not be making my own wedding cake, it would be way to stressful to incorporate that into a busy wedding week!

I encourage you to try an online cooking or baking class. I am sure there are many of You Tube that you do not even have to pay for.

Stay Sweet,

Miss Blenkin

Baking tip #11- “A cold cake is happy cake” (Jenna Rae Cakes). When you are decorating a cake it is best to make sure that your cake always stays cold during the process.

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
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels

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.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

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

Twitter is Growing on ME!

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I am not “techy” when it comes to Twitter, I also never really understood what twitter was about or the hype for it. I have other social media’s, I use Facebook and Instagram often, but for personal use or sharing my love of something! Twitter, I have found is a resource and community building tool! I do believe that I will continue using it to learn from others and build resources to benefit me as an educator.

I am slowly finding people and resources to follow, learning to re-tweet, sharing what I have found and enjoying posts from peers! I think one way I could include twitter in my classroom is sharing people like Garrick Schmidt and his land based education approach in my classroom to show my students the way he teaches and what he is doing for his school and community. I also think I could use twitter as a resource for parent/teacher communication or questions. I could tweet out the students assignments instead of handing out notes and the parents could receive them and be able to ask questions back instead of waiting to write a note to me the next day. I think it would be beneficial to share resources for parents and students to read about educational resources and strategies!

Here are some great examples of how to use twitter in your classroom!

https://elearningindustry.com/15-ways-twitter-in-education-students-teachers

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Saskedchat was a very neat and stressful experience for the first time. I enjoyed it, but felt a little overwhelmed! I know, the next time I join a Saskedchat I will be less nervous and be able to go with the flow of engaging and responding to the questions. This type of professional development experience was different. When I think professional development, I think of conferences and presenters. I like that this type of professional development can be done anywhere and that it was free to attend. I also liked that I could engage how I wanted. I could either engage with others and their thoughts or I could include my own thoughts as well.

I will definitely be attending more saskedchats in the future! It was nice seeing some familiar names and learning from new teachers and experienced teachers. A wide range of knowledge and sharing their wealth of knowledge of tried and true tricks and resources that have worked for them in their classrooms.

Miss Blenkin

“Rising” up to the challenge

Here is a quick video to learn some tips about baking and the importance of ingredients.

Today is the day!

I made BUNS for the first time EVER! Initially, I wanted to stick to local and small business recipes, but turns out they protect their recipes like GOLD and I do not blame them! Baking is not easy, everything is precise and takes time. Some would say years to master a perfect recipe.

So, I took my search to Pinterest and found a recipe by Valentina’s Corner. I won’t lie, I choose this recipe by looking at the ingredient list and I had everything at home already to make it, so it was an easy pick.

When I started the process of making these pizza buns, I noticed that the directions were not as clear, especially for a first timer! I am really happy I made cinnamon buns last week and remembered details like lightly grease the pan you are cooking the buns in, sprinkle flour on the counter before putting the dough down – I did forget to lightly grease the bowl the dough was rising in though! The recipe also didn’t tell you how much pizza sauce, cheese, or meat to put into each bun. I wish there was more visuals on her blog as well, that would have been more helpful for the first time baker.

Now, with all that being said and with the tricks I used from the cinnamon bun recipe, these pizza buns turned out pretty darn good! My taste testers both rated them a 7 out of 10. (they quickly went back for seconds though, so I don’t believe their rating scale).

The process:

The ingredients for the dough and after the dough has risen
Making the filling for the pizza buns, and letting them rise again.
making the top to put on before baking
The pizza buns
They were light and airy, and so tasty!

XOXO,

Stay Sweet,

Miss Blenkin

Baking tip #3 – Remember to remove your jewelry before you start mixing together dough with your hands! (I did not remember this tip and spent some time digging dough out of my ring)