Monthly Archives: December 2017

Final Coding Adventure

Well, I did it.


I finished my calculator! I am so proud. It actually works and actually calculates what I asked it to.

This is a link to all of my videos I posted along my journey, or you can check out the list through my blog. (I’ve learned all kinds of ways to collect my information into one accessible place!)

If you don’t get a chance to watch all the videos (it’s ok, honest.), essentially what I’m trying to say is:

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In the playlist is a quick overview of some of the social media I used when learning to code:

I just barely scratch (ha! Scratch Jr!) the surface of the amount of information that exists about coding on social media platforms. I didn’t even look at Reddit or explore any forums on the video.

But, speaking of Reddit, this is what I found when I searched “python”:  search results   python.png

The top Python community has existed on Reddit for nine years! That’s ancient in terms of the internet!

Coding is everywhere. It’s hard to escape and seems to find me if I try and hide. As I mention in the above video, even the Google Doodle is trying to get me to code more often.

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Source (I made this gif!)

I cover a lot of my struggles in my Summary of Learning. It was really challenging because coding is so overwhelming. In the Social Media and Coding (brief) Overview, I called up over 4 BILLION results from looking up simply “how to code”. There are SO many resources out there about how to code and what the best language is for coding and what the best product is and how many jobs there are.

I’ve developed a whole new appreciation for the effort that goes into coding an app such as Instagram. Making a simple, barely there code calculator like I did was a monumental effort on my part. To code something which boasts 800 million users is frankly a wee bit mind-boggling.

Coding to me is like one of my favourite analogies: ducks on ponds:

Sure they look really cute and calm from the top. Dive below the surface and you’ll see their little feet just paddling like crazy to stay afloat.

This is how I feel about coding: it seems all pretty and calm on top, but underneath there’s a mess of code and programmers just trying to stay on top of their syntax errors.


That sounds an awful lot like teaching, too. Hm. Maybe I have more in common with a programmer than I originally thought…

Till next time, keep on paddling!

Digital Project Summary

Wow! I can’t believe how fast the time has went by! I’ve learned so much in the last few months and have definitely utilized social media in the classroom more than ever before.

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My original project was implementing a classroom Twitter account and involve students in sharing their learning. However my project quickly began to evolve after I realized how little my class knew about digital citizenship and responsible online use – and yet nearly every student was using social media platforms, whether it be Snap-chat or Facebook, in some way or another. I was shocked and knew that before I just hop into using Twitter, we needed to have some important discussions and lesson around responsible internet use. What seemed to work well was using Twitter in authentic moments, while having regular lessons each week that evolved around …

  • Twitter etiquette – The language, the hashtags and all that jazz
  • The use of private and personal information
  • The power of words online
  • Keywords to give you the best search results
  • Plagiarism, it’s consequences, and when it’ acceptable to use people’s work – including citations

This wasn’t the initial direction of my project, but I quickly learned teaching about digital citizenship was going to be essential and almost more important than simply using social media in the classroom. Having conversations around appropriate internet use is going to be where most of the learning takes place this semester for my students. How could I expect them to jump in and know how to use social media without preparing them with background on responsible internet use.

As I look at our use of Twitter in the classroom I was happy about the growth I made and the lessons learned. I do believe this will become a staple within my classroom as it is a quick, easy way to share what we are doing in the classroom and connect with others in our community and around the world. There was a learning curve associated with transitioning the Twitter account from me onto the students and some difficulties associated with not having a classroom iPad. Instead students used my phone for the photo and then we drafted the tweets together from my computer projected onto the whiteboard.

Drafting Tweets:
Students learned Twitter etiquette though modelling and practice on our “Twitter Board” which involved students writing their Tweets, editing mistakes, and creating hashtags before they actually tweet it out online. This also helped us to THINK before we TWEET – something we discussed many times this year.


Here is how I see our progression of learning based on our Twitter history. At the start of this project, I set up our Twitter account, it was very little used and I was doing most of the Tweets. I was using Twitter to share our learning to parents and the community but not really giving students any ownership until my project really got started.

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Slowly but surely students began taking ownership of the Tweets, at other times it was a combined class Tweet. We talked and decided as a class to use “Quotation Marks” to capture what the student said about their picture and “signed” the Tweet using first names only. I think this process of taking baby steps and working together to compile tweets, in unison of the digital citizenship curriculum made an impression on students and hopefully how they will use social media independently moving forward.

I’ve really enjoyed the flexibility within this course to learn about something I’ve always wanted to do, but have never had time to explore and try. I’m confident that this project has helped me lay the foundation for making Twitter a staple in my classroom for future years.

Check out my summary of learning here!


Thanks for an rewarding and enjoyable learning experience!

EC&I 831 Wrap Up: Social Media and Open Education

Something I’ve most enjoyed through the duration of this course is being able to walk away with what seems like an endless list of resources I have no yet tried in my classroom. My list of resources began to grow starting from Day 1’s Padlet exercise (Check out 30 Creative Ways to Use Padlet in the Classroom here!) right through to the end of the course and that has been a huge gain for me to “up” my teacher game.  Trying out some new tools like Ted Ed, Explain Everything, Open Learn will be sure to keep me learning long after this course has officially ended.
*If you’re interested in learning more about Explain Everything, check out my review post here!

Let’s talk about the Power of Blogging! I can say I really appreciated having a creative outlet to share my learning as opposed to sharing my thoughts, ideas and responses in isolation with the professor, as most classes are designed. Blogging myself and seeing the power behind commenting and receiving feedback from classmates has opened my eyes towards how easy this can be to do with my own students using tools like Google classroom. Not to mention blogging has really helped me to “up my game” knowing with the click of the “publish button” my assignment would instantly have a much larger audience then I had been used to.

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Although I came into this course aware of my own digital footprint this course encouraged me to think about my role in educating my students about their digital identities. I quickly learned after a few conversations with my class  how many of my grade 4/5 students were using social media, at times facing conflicts with others online or representing themselves in ways they may regret later on in life. “Context and audience matters” and educating students on the impact of their own positive or negative digital identities is so important. As Katia says in her post “Digital Identity in a World That No Longer Forgets” “The internet has a mind of an elephant”. We need to “think before we post” a theme I’ve carried into my own personal project.

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Using Twitter in the classroom was something I had wanted to do for awhile now. I know I needed to branch out from the “typical teacher network in an effort to become a “networked teacher”. When I switched to teaching in a community school, my classroom blog was receiving little viewership by parents and I knew I needed a new format that was simple, to the point and reached a larger audience. I quickly learned a few key things:

#1- Networking is everything. It’s not enough to simple tweet and re-tweet but actually interacting with others online is rewarding experience – although difficult for me at first I’m slowly putting my online fears behind me and sending my questions out in the open! Following key educators on Twitter and expanding my social network early on was an important part of my project. Check out how I went about who to follow and why in my post Information Overload and Project Progress

#2- Making tweets authentic and purposeful is more important than having a classroom tweet every day for the sake of tweeting!

We wanted to focus on sharing when we really wanted something to be seen

Image result for twitter logoas opposed to Tweeting everything we do. Although we didn’t Tweet everyday, we did Tweet what mattered to us and posted more personal learning videos in our Class Dojo apps where only parents can view. Combining content with Twitter and using it as a teaching tool to reach out for help, as I shown in the blog post Connecting With Other Via Twitter was a rewarding experience for both my students and I.

#3 – Transferring ownership to students is crucial for 


engagement. As a type A teacher, it was difficult to gradually release the responsibility to my students – however you can see on my feed a shift in language as gradually moved towards Tweeting out my class, to leaving it up to the students to create their own captions and hashtags.
Last but not least – #4 Learning to use social media can not be taught in isolation of digital citizenship. These two things go hand in hand and quickly my project began to transform into the need to teach a thorough digital citizenship curriculum (Thank you – a resource I highly recommend for lessons and resources by the way!) Check out my blog post titled Digital Citizens or Just Citizens and How to Show Respect for Others Workto learn more about this!



learn teach apply picIf we expect our students to be able to navigate the tech- savy world we live in today, we are doing a great injustice if we resist teaching about the complexities of social media and let students learn to navigate this on their own. Bringing twitter, blogging and other social media tools into the classroom can help model proper use and prevent many perhaps devastating or unsafe situations for our students in the future. Technology has changed the way students learn and I’ve hung tightly to the notion that we need to “Teach the application of knowledge, rather than knowledge itself.”

It is my responsibility to integrate technology in a way that prepares students to make wise decisions in relation to how they use the internet in positive ways. There will always be advantages and disadvantages to learning “in the open”, however having students explore these complexities within the classroom could better prepare them

blog pic 4to use technology successfully. Embracing technology and making students aware of the advantages and disadvantages has the potential to promote the positive use of social media and open the door more positive learning opportunities and interactions, especially when students begin to use these tools on their own outside of the classroom walls.

At times I catch myself feeling a little sad my grad studies journey ends with the completion of this course but as explored the Open Education Resources available (Read My Post on Open Ed here), I found myself getting excited about all of potential ways to continue to learn – for free! This leads me to my next takeaway -the importance of sharing. Our ideas are worth sharing. The benefit of open education, creative commons, and open collaboration means current info and free access. The open access movement works to make publicly funded academics open to the general public which offers many positive outcomes where locked down academic journals don’t. As discussed in my previous blog post, Sharing for Growth, this class has encouraged me to promote a culture of collaboration in my own school. We teachers we need to share our secrets, collaborate with others and not be afraid to expand our networks.

To view a more interactive version of my summary – check out my Summary of Learning video here!