Posted in Learning Project

Learning Project Wrap Up

What I learned over the course of this semester and learning project is a reflection of  just how little I knew about healthy eating, but how important it is.
Going into this, my learning project was not just about myself, it was also something I needed to learn to be able to take care of a loved one, who at times was not well enough to take care of them-self.

The salt-free step was a big one for us, because we come from a family that puts seasoning salt on eeeeeevvverything, but also are a bunch of fancy eaters. We love our food. And we love it seasoned, and we especially don’t like to mess with tried and true recipes. But the lemon for salt replacement in soup was actually genius. I would have never thought that could work, but thanks to the internet, and this learning project, I think I may have been converted? Going to keep sneaking in sub’s like this and seeing if my family notices. It’s like feeding kids….don’t tell them what it was until after they’ve eaten it right? (aaaand that’s also the story behind how I ate squid for the first time).

Coming from a family who has cupboards full of Company’s Coming cookbooks, using the internet for recipe ideas is not something I would typically do in my first attempt to find a recipe. I got my first Kids Can Cook book when I was about five. We had fiddle-diddles alllll the time, my blood is 1% cocoa, I’m telling ya! What most impressed me about the sites and apps I found though was the ability to tell it what ingredients I had on hand, and it would spit a recipe back at me. Imagine doing that with a cookbook?!

Another really cool thing I figured out was the Mrs. Dash secret! I’m a tried and true Back Eddy fan, so it truly was a matter of health necessity to convert me away from that, but it happened. Now when I go to the grocery store and down the spice aisle I find myself looking at the Mrs. Dash section looking for any blends I don’t already have, and at home my regular seasonings have been pushed back in the cupboard. From the post I made, I know there is a world of Mrs.Dash I have yet to acquire, so I’ve made it my mission!

Finally, the low-carb diabetic friendly cookies recipe I found and tweaked is a life saver  (quite literally) for both of us. I’m quite sure my sweet tooth is inherited from Spare Parts (aka my mom) because pre-transplant it wasn’t uncommon to find her in bed with pieces of pie and cake and sweets, and don’t even get me started on how we’d fight over Turtles chocolates at Christmas time (eventually everyone got their own box in their stocking). So learning how to seek out recipes that don’t mess with blood sugar was a really beneficial thing for both of us.

Before this project started, I was kind of floundering at the idea of how I was going to figure out how to feed my mom. I considered joining one of those meal delivery programs but dang it if I’m not an impoverished student. Taking on this project forced me to figure this out, but also to document how I have genuinely learned things during this process. I also became hyper aware of just how bad processed foods are for you! I’m actually feeling really glad that 1) we had this assignment, 2) that I chose this topic for my project and 3) that I really did learn stuff instead of muddle through it (and possibly make risky mistakes) with blood sugar and sodium readings.

Cheers to a healthier year!

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Posted in EDTC300

Networked Learning

My network of learning for EDTC has been slowly but surely coming along, with evidence of progress in various aspects. Consider this a wrap up post for the semester of what I have learned in EDTC300.
I really enjoyed the opportunities to help out my fellow classmates, like when we were all panicking  brainstorming ideas for our learning projects:spanish.png

I used Twitter quite a bit to engage with my classmates, like when Lisa Coolidge decided her learning project was going to be about coding, she asked the Twitterverse for their suggestions:

 

question
Enter a caption

Last year I took a short classroom technology course in one of the schools in Whitehorse, held by the Department of Education, so I knew a little bit about what types of resources are being used in schools to teach students introductory coding. Here’s my response to Lisa on Twitter:

reply

I seemed to have a lot of questions in this course, and I was pretty vocal in the Zoom chats, but never brave enough to turn the camera and microphone on myself.
Another place that I liked to scan for answers and tips was the Google+ community, and I joined that community by introducing myself:

goog.png

It was interesting to be able to read everyone else’s introductions as well, and nice to know that there were fellow Yukoner’s in the class as well! I was a little worried I might feel like the odd man out being a Yukon student (may as well be another planet) in a classroom of Saskatchewan students, but having Dianna there really made me feel more comfortable. D.png

Google+ also turned into a great forum where we could post our questions and get help from each other without feeling like total “newbies” to the blogging world. Full disclosure: I totally am a newb.

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It’s great that my classmates are so supportive to getting through this together, and even though at times it felt like the blind leading the blind, there are some amazing blogs that came out of this class project. Not to single anyone out or exclude anyone, but some of the ones I was really impressed with were:

Hayley Hodson (really cool learning project!)

Sarah Reimer (love the bright cheerfulness of  her site!)

and

Hailie Logan (her quote speaks to me)

I also enjoyed that it was suggested that we turn off comment moderation to enable us to comment freely on each other’s blogs. Dianna had a really cool learning project posts, which I found really entertaining to read, because she is a really engaging writer. I connected something I had learned outside of the classroom, but still relevant to teachers, to her learning project, which was on learning Yoga: comment.png

 I now have over fifty followers (slow clap) on my Twitter, so I’m just waiting for that day when I finally go viral, which should be any day now with an audience like that 😉

In all seriousness though, I think that my personal learning network has expanded, and will continue to expand as I get over my fears of privacy and identity on the internet, and in particular I REALLY enjoy the #EDchats on Twitter as a way to connect with others in the profession. There are so many things I learned in this course that I can use as an educator in the future, and I will have to keep this site open so that I can keep building and developing as I progress.

Thanks EDTC !

Posted in Learning Project

La Dolce Vita in a low carb world

So recently we’ve started taking a new direction with the adventures in specialized diets! Low carb!

So because Spare Parts usually spends five days a week in the hospital gym doing physio, I was quickly running out of excuses not to be working out either. So here I am, three days a week, sweating like a pig in July in my university’s gym. Yep, I’m going three days a week and she’s rocking a full five. Keep in mind this is my mother, who, not 6 months ago underwent a double lung transplant, with leukemia, AND diabetes, and she’s in better shape than I am currently…..wild right?!

Anyway, part of my “regimen” now involves a low carb diet. Keto, Atkins, Weight Watchers, etc, pick your poison. I just call it “dont eat sugar or grains” diet, but the science is there” carb-reduced diets will help you cut weight, and when they are managed properly they are safe. They can also be beneficial to diabetics because they regulate blood sugar.

Mealtime for both of us is a little more harmonious now, and it’s going well, except that I without a doubt, cannot ever give up chocolate. I just cant. Ever. My blood is probably 1% cocoa.  So I found this peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie recipe that is SO easy, healthyish (hey man it’s still got gobs of peanut butter), and most importantly, SO delicious.

4 ingredients:

-1 cup of peanut butter
-1 egg
-1 teaspoon (or 5-6 packets) of stevia powdered sweetner
-a handful of Lily’s Stevia sweetened chocolate chips

mix the first 3 ingredients together.
roll
press
bake for 12 minutes on 350.
drizzle melted chocolate chips on top.

so easy a baking inept person like myself could make them easy peasy pudding pie!

I prefer to eat my chocolate frozen like some kind of weirdo (the crunch), so I popped these in my freezer and now I eat one or two or ten a day (just kidding, 4 has been my binge max so far).
You’d never believe that these are flourless and sugarless! Here’s a pic of mine.

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And here’s recipe they’re derived from. (Note that I did the sugar to stevia conversion myself using google) Enjoy!

 

Posted in EDTC300

Digital Identity

For me, the ideal of digital identity is something that I care a lot about, and at times I almost feel overwhelmed with it. The Digital Dossier video really put it into perspective for me: from the time before we are even born, our digital footprints begin (i.e. starting with a sonogram picture that you, and the Dr have a copy of, which you may post to social media, etc).

Take me for example: I currently have no less than seven email accounts associated with my name. Two personal (one I made in the year 2000 that I refuse to relinquish), four for the three different institutions I take classes in, and one for work. That’s seven unique id’s and up to seven unique passwords. Now consider all of the other things I am or could be registered to: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Buzzfeed, Online banking, Skype, Venmo, Amazon, Ebay, Shopping rewards accounts, Retail accounts, gaming sites, music subscriptions….all who want your name, your date of birth, and email address, if not more!

I mean, Right?!

Facebook has been in the news lately because of the data sharing scandal that they are involved in, and it made me think about the security  of my information, my personal data,  the vulnerability of my computer, and how my private conversations are shared or stored. I’m very suspicious of Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook FYI) in particular. Here’s a story about Instagram that explains why:

I was recently having a conversation in Instagram’s private messaging  feature with a friend who does not drink, but he mentioned that he saw the new Heineken ad for non-alcoholic beer on TV and that it looked good. Now I’m not a drinker of Heineken or non-alcoholic beer at all, but the very next day in my feed I saw a sponsored ad for the Heineken we discussed….what the heck, right?! Is Instagram reading my private conversations and then selling the information to advertisers?  Who are they selling it to, and how much are they sharing?!

For me, it is empowering to be able to control my online identity and how much of my information is shared or sold, which is why you’ll see me making a conscious effort to keep my digital footprint to a minimum (I don’t actually have snapchat, or facebook, or venmo…or many of those other sites/apps I mentioned earlier). Like my credit, I am constantly auditing how many “accounts” I have. It’s so easy for us, even as adults, to just click “agree” to the terms and conditions to gain access to something, that are we even really aware of what we are agreeing to? Are we just blindly assuming good intentions and the protection of our privacy from these companies whose products we use? The latter, right?

Professionally, digital identity is being aware and vigilant of what I represent on the internet, but as a teacher it is very important that my students also learn about the consequences of creating accounts, agreeing to terms and conditions, and granting access to your personal information such as your photo albums, your geo-location, name, birthday and so on, especially in this digital age we live in with the ever-growing risks of hacking, cyber-stalking, and identity theft. Ironically, even Mark Zuckerberg would agree (See how his webcam and computer microphone have tape over them?)

mz

Posted in EDTC300

EDTC Summary of Learning

By George, I’ve done it! I managed to produce my summary of learning video without shedding any tears in frustration! (I did have to take a stress nap though)

I cannot believe how quickly this semester went by; It’s like we were just getting started exploring all technology available! I feel like it would be impossible to every be fully up to speed though, which is why as educators it is important to commit ourselves to a lifetime of learning, so that we can teach others.

Even though I am too shy to video myself, I actually really got into making this and I feel like there is a ton more I could keep talking about, but that six minutes flew by. In this video, I touched on:

Check out my video below, don’t forget to follow my this blog, and leave me some constructive feedback! It’s been a slice EDTC peeps, check back here in the future for new content and to watch me grow as an educator and human being 🙂

 

Posted in EDTC300

Digital Citizenship

When I think about the idea of digital citizenship and how I would incorporate the 9 elements of it into my class, the teacher brain in me immediately starts unit planning around it. I find how the elements are broken down really easy to follow, even for me. I’ll be the first to admit, and I already have, that I’m not the most adept with technology, but these principles are a great example of effective teaching: breaking a big idea down into manageable pieces. Taking this big idea and applying it to my theoretical classroom, this is how I would do it:

  1. Access: for myself as a teacher, remember that my students come from all walks of life, and all different economic classes. I need to be careful how I apply and assign classroom work to consider those who don’t always have access to what I require. One way that I could accommodate this is by allowing class time/resources to complete online assignments and activities, or by creating options for students such as working in pairs, working in class or the library, or simply by allowing students to choose between paper or processor.
  2. Commerce: My students need to know about buying and selling online, the signs of scams, junk and spam emails asking for money or claiming inheritances, and control over spending. One thing I would definitely include that is very relatable is using your family members credit cards. I cannot even count to amount of times I’ve had someone lament to me about a child using their phone/tablet/gaming device, etc and racking up an absurd amount of data or charges on them. It’s really important for kids to understand the consequences of clicking on that “buy now” button.
  3. Communication: My students need to know about good decisions online, and the importance of strangers and friends. The internet brings the “stranger danger” discussion to a whole new level.
  4. Literacy: It’s ironic that someone that doesn’t consider them-self technologically adept could teach this, but as an educator I need to be vigilant to what kind of teaching and learning technology is out there, and on my part that takes commitment to being a part of that learning community.  What I could do is to teach my students how to teach themselves to be technologically literate: i.e. exploring app stores, being able to read ratings and reviews, and how to search for learning and technology tools.
  5. Etiquette: This is about teaching my students manners. It might feel like common sense to me, but there is a saying out there that “common sense is not so common” so even when it feels redundant, it is still important to cover the basics of online behaviour. One of the the most effective tools for teaching this would be the THINK concept: Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?
  6. Digital Law: This includes teaching my students about local and international laws such as piracy and copyright.
  7. Digital Rights: My students have digital rights, such as the right to privacy, and the right to freedom of speech. They also need to understand the other side of the coin though that every other person has this right that we need to honor and respect.
  8. Digital Health: Is it okay to come home from school and play video games until bedtime? These kinds of questions we would discuss, as well as things like the importance of talking to and doing things outside the world of technology. In a society where using our devices 24 hours a day, in every setting has become increasingly acceptable, this ties in nicely with etiquette. For example: please don’t take selfies at a funeral (why do I even need to say this?!  Oh right.) When age appropriate we could also discuss the health impacts of the digital age: poor posture, repetitive strain injury, blue light impact, etc.
  9. Digital Security: Teaching my students about the importance of protecting themselves and their families, their homes, their identity, and their right to privacy.
Posted in Learning Project

Spice Cupboard Overhaul

Sooooo…..I am a self-professed hot sauce and seasoning salt junkie. When i was a kid I would eat salt and vinegar chips until my tongue hurt (okay maybe I still do that), I regularly put hot sauce in my soup, an if you’ve ever tasted or seen Back Eddy’s Seasoning Salt you’d know (and know why) that it is a staple in every kitchen in the Northwest Territories. Seriously, you can buy it by the bucket!
                                           (photo credit http://www.backeddys.com/ )

Back Eddy’s is a seasoning salt invented and sold in the NWT, and highly revered around the north, Canada, and apparently worldwide from the testimonials on the site. I have a friend in the Yukon I make sure I keep supplied with after every trip home because he raves about how good it is. Seriously, I don’t work for the company…it’s just thaaaaat good. But alas, my beloved Back Eddy’s is loaded with sodium, so it’s been “shelved” for the time being for Spare Part’s sake (truthfully: I still sneak it into my eggs after I’ve cooked them.)

Seasoning salt heartbreak aside, cooking and flavouring is a whole new ballgame now. Every trip to the grocery store is a new opportunity to find “healthier” options and substitutes.

Enter: Mrs. Dash. What is Mrs. Dash anyway, you ask? Just kidding you probably don’t care but I’m going to tell you anyway. In their words: “Mrs. Dash® is the salt free alternative for spicing up your favorite meals. Each blend, seasoning packet or marinade contains a multitude of spices allowing your palate to enjoy the flavor without the salt.”

Here’s my “stash” of “Mrs. Dash” (see what I did there?):

dash

I have what I would consider the essentials, and between whats in my cupboard as far as spices and herbs I could probably throw together any sort of blend a recipe called for, but its always nice having it ready-made and on hand. I made steaks with the Mrs. Dash last week for the first time and they were better than any other steak I’ve made in recent memory! Win!!
I keep feeling like I’m giving away free advertising for these companies but truly I’m just a fan and I love food and love sharing food, so when I find something I like that works I like to talk about it. According to their website, they have over fifteen spice blends, 4 marinades….and some other stuff.

Sketchdash

I’m interested to try the marinades once I find out how to get my foreman grill out of the locked cabinet no one has a key to! Also, my birthday is coming up if anyone want’s to complete my stash 🙂

So in summary  (seriously these companies need to pay me) Mrs. Dash has overtaken salt and Back Eddy’s as the seasoning we use so often we hardly bother to even put them back in the cupboard. Spare Parts has been giving them her seal of approval so far, so we’re all winners here!……for now.

Posted in EDTC300

Twitter Chats!

I am feeling so:

yas

For the first time, I participated in two Twitter chats on Sunday: #IAedchat, and #BlogChat. #IAedchat is an Iowa education chat, centered on teaching and education related topics. #BlogChat is a chat where hobby and professional bloggers share their tips, experiences, and secret of successful blogging, obviously something I can stand to learn from!

I caught the blogs on special days: for #IAedchat, there was a special guest, Jennifer Gonzalez, who is the creator and author of the renowned Cult of Pedagogy. Cult of Pedagogy is a very popular blog, one I’ve been exposed to in my teacher program in the past, so I was excited to participate in a chat with the creator of it. The “chat” consisted of a live YouTube session between Gonzalez and two moderators. She was asked a series of questions and discussed her blog content: Pineapple charts, 5 Practices to Kick, Letter  to an Overachiever, and Teachers Guide to Technology, and others. While we did not have the traditional model of “Q1” and “A1” question and response type chats, there was a section of the chat where they took a few questions from the Twitter participants, but mostly the focus of the chat was centered on the discussion questions presented by the moderators.

For #BlogChat, it was also exceptional in that the chat did not follow the typical Q1 and A1 format, rather it was an Open Mic night type of event. Users were free to ask any and all blogging related questions. So, I had the opportunity to ask some burning blog questions like: “what other open source imagine sites are available besides Compfight?”. My new chat buddies hooked me up with some new resources like Unsplash, Pixabay, and Creative Commons. Very helpful for an amateur blogger like myself! There were also questions and answers on making your blog more visible, more searchable, and more shareable, there were tips from pro’s on getting started, what platforms to use, and what sites to use as help, and what to expect to be able to accomplish and aim for as a beginner.

For both chats, I found that the resources and information provided were really valuable, and particularly relevant for me as a pre-service teacher trying to increase my professional digital presence. 10 out of 10 would participate again, and I’ve saved the hashtags onto my Tweetdeck, and set a reminder to myself for Sunday evenings. This collaborative “tool” will for sure be one that gets well used. Cheers to chats!

 

Posted in EDTC300

Reflecting on the Culture of Participation

Michael Wesch presented an interesting and humorous delivery of his information about the culture of participation on the internet. Personally, it is interesting for me to reflect on just how far the internet has come in my lifetime, and wonder about the possibilities that I will see in my time, and what the generations after me will be able to be a part of.
In his video, Wesch talks about how the webcam has revolutionized how users connect with each other. Think about it: in the past, if I wanted someone to watch my “home-video,” I first had to take it out of my camcorder, put it in a special VHS tape, actually physically TALK to someone to invite them over to my house, to sit down on my couch and to watch my video. From there I could gauge their reaction and discuss it with them.
With a webcam, you can essentially invite 6 billion people into your bedroom. And they will have the ability to remember and replay what you have done FOR EVER. And the feedback they give you? Anonymous, unfiltered, and very easily lost in translation.  I don’t want to focus on the negative possibilities, so I will applaud that technology has greatly transformed out ability to reach out and connect with others across time and space. This ability is not just mutually exclusive to the webcam, though I will say that is one of the “pioneers” to how we connected on a more personal level with others. Pen pals vs. web cam conversations, which would you choose? Consider your audience: your best friend, your grandmother 3 provinces away, your celebrity crush? Currently, I love that my best friend, who is 3000 kilometers away, can appear in the palm of my hand at any given moment with her two kids to talk to me. That is just awesome. Hands down for celebrity crush I would choose pen pal, because web cam I’d be too tongue tied for sure. Celebrity crush is Jason Statham in case you needed to know.
*hyperventilates*
……okay, where was I going with that?
Oh yes: evolution of technology and connecting users in new ways.
Check out this cool video on how social media has evolved how users connect over the years:

Social Evolution from matt banner on Vimeo.

 

Sidenote: I think it’s kind of cool how users in the North and Yukon were down with Facebook waaaaaay before the rest of Canada, in general! (Assuming the blue represents usage density.)
Also, I had to laugh at the stats on Pinterest: “85% of Pinterest users are female (2016)” – come on boys, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Another thing I found interesting about this video is that it was posted in 2008. So it’s been ten years of technological evolution since Wesch talked about the wild innovations in digital participation. If you sit back and use your long angle lens, we have come so far since 2008: YouTube< Bebo < Facebook < Twitter  < Instagram < Snapchat. What great platform is next to change how we connect?

I see ads all the time for new apps that claim to combine and replace various types of social media. Can we keep up with this pace though? My primary social media platform was Facebook, but I’ve been told that the “younger” generation does not use it because “it’s for older people” (funny cause that’s what I thought about AOL). My niece’s lack of activity on Facebook corroborates that, meanwhile you can’t ground her from Snapchat often enough because of her data usage on it. Likewise, I don’t use Snapchat because I thought it was just a “trend” that the kids were into, like Vine, and we all know what happened to thaaaaaat.

As educators, we need to, to a certain degree, stay on top of and be informed of the different types of technology connecting users. Students are far less likely to be engaged in learning if the technology is antiquated to what they’re using outside of school.

I really like the idea of using classroom webpages, where students can create and share their ideas with the world. At the same time though, I am concerned about privacy, and protecting intellectual property. This is where the ideas of intranet vs internet, come into play. Call me overprotective, but my ideal participatory community would be one where I could control the audience to ensure my students privacy is respected and protected, and that they do not run the risk of becoming a viral sensation. Better safe than sorry?

“We have this sort of false self we portray over the internet. It’s a facade of highlights we believe our peers will deem noteworthy.”
― Chris Matakas#Human: Learning To Live In Modern Times

Posted in EDTC300

Steep Learning Curves

Something I am going to have to be honest about is that I am struggling with this whole Blogging concept. I try to be a private person and I’ve actually taken steps to decrease my digital footprint over the past few years, so the idea of publishing myself so often is very nerve-racking for me. Every week there is new information about how screen time affects people individually and as a culture, so I guess for me, this class is about learning how to use the internet in a more productive way.
I’m also struggling to build my WordPress site. It is, at times, a frustratingly slow process because I am a traditional pen and paper learner. But, through class participation, YouTube, and Google I am slowly but surely coming along. I finally figured out how to create menu links and I’ve added an about me section, so my reading week has not been completely unproductive. I would like to be proficient enough in this so that I am able to show someone else (possibly my classroom) how to create web pages too. I’ll keep plugging away until I get there. It might take me longer than someone more adept, but I’ll get there eventually.

Teach thy tongue to say, “I do not know,” and thous shalt progress. –Maimonides