Network Identity

“In a networked age, identity is not so simply determined. Your identity is actually multivariate, distributed and partly out of your control. Who you know shapes who you are,” says Hoffman. With Zynga, Mark Pincus intended to create a gaming network: games that would become part of how people connect with each other. Those people playing Zynga games don’t think of themselves as gamers, but the games they play nonetheless become part of their identity. ” Helen Walters

“The self as we once knew it has ceased to exist. An abstract digital universe is now a part of our identity.” Abha Dawesar

When you think of  identity what comes to mind and how do you portray the identity on and offline? When I think of my own identity, I attach it to the many hats I wear in my personal and professional life. I express my identity through my actions, words, beliefs. For example, part of my identity is learner.  As a learner I am taking university class and attend professional development of choice and division directed throughout the school year. Tonight we had the privilege of learning from Bonnie Stewart (@bonstewart) discussing network identity.  I was curious to see what would pop up on a Google search of Network Identity and I received information on IP addresses and TCP. This is NOT what Bonnie discussed at all.  On to the next search which was digital identity or on-line identity are the terms most of us are familiar with.  She gave the class a lot to think about and the chat room lit up once again with interesting readings dealing with network identity.  One of the most interesting things in this discussion was to not ask “What do you want to do?” but ask “What do you want to contribute?”  There were many ideas the class wanted to contribute themed around caring, sharing and learning.  We are generally remembered for not what we did in the world but what we contributed to those we are connected with whether it be in person or on-line.

Not only as teachers do we need to teach our students how to be citizens in the “real” world but also in the “digital” world.  There are many stories in the news of bullying, suicide because of cyberbullying and threats because someone didn’t like what you said.

A few of the stories which came across the chat:

The sextortion of Amanda Todd


Troubled at the Koolaid Point

Some still believe the networked identity creates an augmented reality.  Nathan Jurgenson makes some good points in his blog titled “Digital Dualism vs. Augmented Reality”  For me digital dualism does not exist as I use social media to connect with those in my physical life.  My grandma, step mom, and dad have found the social network of Facebook as a way to keep track of family since we are now spread over a large land mass. I have found and kept in touch with high school friends. It is nice to see what they have been up to over the last few years and what they are up to weekly, sometimes it is as if we still live in the same community.  Professionally I am connecting and learning from educators whom I would not even think of connecting with at a conference.

Companies are also using social media to connect with consumers.  Companies are using platforms like Facebook to push products that I might like. For example, if I like share or comment on a friends posting I get four more options below to like, share or comment on. The writing entitled “I Like Everything on Facebook” is a great example of how the news feed changes based on liking everything on Facebook.  It definitely opens your eyes to being aware of what is happening on Facebook.  The other thing is Facebook is constantly changing the “small print” on their site. Settings are important on facebook as some of the settings give the rights to the pictures and videos you share with your network of friends.  Bonnie stated Twitter is looking into something similar.  I’m already trying to figure out how NOT to get advertisements coming through my feed. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Going to School Globally

lego tower As a kid did you ever create cupcakes with play doh, and try to build a tower out of all of your lego or your dream house? We had the privilege last week to listen to Sylvia Martinez and my mind is racing.  One way is to talk less and let the kids discover more. This quote from the discussion really resonated with me as a teacher and a mother.  I talk way to much and kids do not do enough discovering. I definitely need to think about my middle years program and how I can get some of these into my teaching.

1) start small

2) I don’t need a 3-D printer I can use cardboard

3) Squishy circuits is a must in my electricity unit

Check out the video

4) genius hour

5) Have the students use Scratch but unsure of where to go from here with an upper elementary

6) Hour of Code

There are a variety of Ideas and thanks to classmate Tammy Lee find there is a resource for maker movement on a budget. You can checkout her blog.


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Apps, Apps and More Apps

There are many ways I can use Google Apps in the classroom and with staff, so why Google Apps?

Apps on the phone, Apps on the tablet and now apps on the computer.  I used to use a jump/flash drive to place all my work. Now, I use Google drive to store all documents and pictures. And I still require students to have “old” technology of a flash drive, why don’t I use Google Drive with my students?  Using Drive, is as easy as syncing all devices to the same account, then all new photos or videos of my daughter are automatically saved where I have access to them no matter what device or where I am. The best part about using Google Docs is all my work is automatically saved and I will never lose a paper again when the computer or tablet runs out of battery. What a great concept. Must use with students, but how do I get around age restrictions or better yet get my division or school to get on board and load Google apps for education on the school computers? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Two weeks ago we had the privilege of listening to Michael Waker who opened my world even further to Google apps. I am an avid Drive and Doc user. This semester I am using Docs to write papers and collaborate with classmates in another on-line class. Just recently I used the comment capability to help proofread a paper. I have never thought to use drive or docs for student purposes. It would free me up from transferring docs from one students folder to another students folder, while they are working on a project and I can use that time to focus on engaging in conversation with students to enhance their learning.

Michael had my thoughts spinning and I felt overwhelmed, as many of my classmates have stated. In order to get rid of the feeling of being overwhelmed I had to watch the presentation a couple of times. As each week goes by this semester, my excitement for teaching and learning is renewed. I am constantly thinking about how I am going to improve on incorporating technology into my practice. The use of Google Apps for Education will allow a different way for my students to collaborate and a way to assess students for learning and of learning.

What I enjoyed about the information presented was that the students could work on a document at the same time, the chat, and the research and comment capabilities. This would make research, editing, and dialogue easier for the students; however I would need to explicitly teach them how to pull out important information and not just copy and paste everything into the document. After reading Jeremy Black’s post about our guest speaker, I need to start my students with the power of Google Drive and Google Docs when collaborating on a project and then move into other apps or let students explore and see what they come up with.

Google Forms and Drawing is new to me as I do not use them. I see a huge benefit to a school using Google Forms as a way to survey the school community or even students around the world.  Form could be used for any subject, but I would use them in Math, Science, or Social Studies. I am unsure about using sites at this time, but as many of my classmates have said, “One step at a time.” I know from experience if I try to incorporate too much to fast, the lesson concepts are lost and the students just focus on learning the technology to get their assignment complete. Do any of you have this issue when you introduce too much to fast?

If someone is looking for help or wants to explore more in the google apps for education there is a cluster of videos on Youtube but there is more information on the Edtech teams website.

What apps do you use and how do you use them?

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The basics

After watching, a few videos I decided to stick with the video below to learn the basics of crocheting.

First I practised the chaining and the single crochet

Start of Chain

Start of Chain

It took me a few tries to get the slip knot on to the hook to start the chain.  I needed to watch the video a couple of times and then chained.

The ChainI chained about 20 here in the picture and then started adding single crochet or SC for short in pattern reading.

Single Crochet

up next was practising the double crochet of DC for short in pattern reading.


The Double

The double crochet is like making 2 SC on top of one another.

Triple Crochet or TC

The Triple

The Triple

As you can see the stitches get larger.

The Half

The Half 

This last stitch is called the Half Double Crochet or HDC.

The above stitches are the basics to all crocheting.  It is with these stitches you can create patterns and make a variety of products.  Some of the products you can make are:

  • afghans
  • scarves
  • beanie hats
  • headbands
  • baby booties
  • dish clothes

Some of the projects I would like to complete this term are:

  1. Baby Afghan
  2. Beanie hat
  3. Infinity Scarf
  4. Headband
  5. Baby Headband

My challenge is going to be to get the Afghan complete this semester as there is little time in the day to sit and crochet. Keep posted for pictures of ongoing projects.




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Blogging with Students

Last week we had the privilege of listening to @suewaters present the importance of blogging with students. I started blogging with students using a couple of years ago, but felt I didn’t have enough knowledge about using blogs myself to be able to capitalize on the learning through blogging with students.  After listening to @suewaters,  and blogging so far during #eci831, I am becoming more comfortable with my on-line presence and using a blog myself for reflective learning. I’m excited to get back into the classroom and get back into blogging with my students.  The edublogs student blogs help page will give me a great place to start with my students.  I also like the idea of using paper so my students will understand how a blog can help them learn.

Some issues came up in the discussion as well which I will need to address when I return to work.  The first and most important is being a digital citizen and how to conduct themselves responsibly on-line. The other is I need to look into the school divisions technology use policy to see if there are students who are not allowed to have pictures, names, etc. posted on-line.  I may have to start with the blogs being private and let the parents have access to their child’s blog, until the parents are comfortable and can see the benefit to blogging.  Sue discussed the rule of 3.  No more than 3 pieces of identity. The school name, picture, and students first name and last initial.  I will need to take this into consideration when I start my class blog.

My colleagues in the class discussed several ways to get around some of the issues stated above.  A suggestion was to have the students create an avatar.  I just created an avatar for myself and I can see students spending hours creating their on-line person.

Now to figure out how to replace my picture with my avatar.

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Rhizomatic Learning

RhizomesPhoto Credit: Venessa Miemis via Compfight cc

Dave Cormier was the guest speaker last week in class and he lit up the chat on blackboard with the idea of rhizomatic learning.  The conversation was difficult to follow with everyone’s ideas about how classrooms function now versus how they could function with proper use of social media and open education.  On his blog he talks about “the whole idea of rhizomatic learning is to acknowledge that learners come from different contexts, that they need different things, and that presuming you know what those things are is like believing in magic.”

The quote really made me think about the idea of differentiated learning and as a student services teacher/learning resource teacher writing individual program plans.  Would rhizomatic learning for students be an individual program plan (IPP) which the student writes themselves? An IPP is written by a support teacher with the idea the individual student needs different learning outcomes.  Knowing the background information about the student when writing the IPP is acknowledging the learner has different needs. I know it is unreasonable to have an IPP for each student in your class, but a classmate did mention learning contracts.  Are learning contracts IPP’s? Can a student meet the required outcomes of all the curriculums set out by the province through a learning contract? What would the reports to parents look like in a rhizomatic learning environment? Who is accountable? As an adult I am accountable for all of my learning in this class.  In the education system we have today, society blames the schools when the students do not meet standards.  We have a cookie cutter system and everyone must learn ____________ in certain grades and we keep pushing them through the conveyor belt of school or the factory as Dave Cormier referred to the current system.

Justine Stephanson mentioned the Reggio Emilia approach.  The quotes which stood out in her mind reminded me of being a parent and just watching my child as she plays and discovers the world around her.  From the infant stage, children are able to construct their own learning and I as a parent am there to foster and mentor that learning.

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Beginnings of Crocheting


Photo Credit: tehchix0r via Compfight cc

After three weeks of thinking about what I’m going to learn, I have finally decided to learn how to crochet.  I have a bucket full of yarn which was given to me, and the format of this class is giving me a reason to finally get my butt in gear and learn something new using the web.

Where to start?

I’m looking forward to reading about Tara Smith’s journey in crocheting.

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Changes in Technology

I can’t believe another week has gone by and I have not taken the time to sit and journal my reflections from last weeks class.  Here is what I took away from the lesson.

1) Technology has exponentially increased since I graduated from high school

2) My daughter will never know a world where knowledge isn’t at her fingertips.


Some of the technology I grew up with are the speak and spell. We never owned one but the teacher had one in her class as part of “free” time. There were 2 commadore 64’s in the classroom, where we played math or spelling games and then when I moved to high school there was a whole computer lab of IBM’s.  At home we had the Apple II e and my siblings and I played lemonade stand for hours and we had an Atari

game console

Photo Credit: Great Beyond via Compfight cc

 (this was before the original Nintendo entered the house). Our favourite game was Joust. Yes, I learned something new watching Alec Couros video.  First time inserting  a picture into my blog and it wasn’t that hard.  The hardest part was looking for the picture. Video games have definitely come along way in graphics and consoles.

Rick mentioned how the #edtech gurus which we know are all North American’s and questioned how come not scholars from Japan or China as they seem to be the ones who are producing and leading in the tech device world. Has anyone completed a search or tried to find people from the Asian countries.  I  completed a quick Google search and found there are conferences held in Asia; however the speakers/presenters are generally from N. America. Why?

On an interesting note, Televisions did not enter all homes in India until the 90’s and in Northern India the TV’s were black and white.  If it wasn’t for technology my in-laws could not interact with their granddaughter as she grows and changes.  Relationship building with technology at its best.


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Social Media and Family Life Balance

My husband the other day asked me to put down my phone, because according to him I was spending 24/7 on social media. This got me thinking. Am I spending 24/7 on social media? I started reflecting on all the time I spend connected, and asked myself what am I missing out on because I’m connected 24/7 according to my husband. This is what I have discovered, if I do not limit the social media:

1) I can get caught up and overwhelmed by all the great blogs and tweets that I can spend hours reading.

2) I’m missing out on special time with my daughter and husband as I am connected and may miss out on some milestones of my daughters.

3) My daughter is going to think that it is ok to be connected even though there is time for face to face conversation.

I have decided after reading “How to Really Stop Checking Your Email Constantly,” that the article could apply to checking twitter, facebook, and pintrest.  These are all social media which I have been on constantly.  I’m not very productive during my daughter’s nap time as I’m constantly checking social media instead of focusing on the task which I need to do while she is sleeping.  These tasks generally consist of writing papers, reading, house work prep work for supper or baking.  I’m going to specifically set a time in the day where my daughter is napping to conduct the social media checks, then maybe I won’t feel so overwhelmed, my husand won’t feel like I am ignoring him and most importantly I won’t feel like I’m missing out on opportunities with my daughter as she grows.

Here is my plan:

1) spend no more than 30 minutes once a day on twitter and favorite blogs or links for later reading.

2) Facebook 10minutes. I love reading about what my family from across Canada is doing but sometimes it gets overwhelming as they are constantly posting.

3) 20minutes on pintrest and pin things for later read or to share with the class.

4) most importantly shut off notifications so I am not tempted to check.

This should take almost one whole nap time. WIth the time left, I can spend it blogging once or twice a week, learning a new skill (which I still need to decide fast as time is running out), or doing housework.  While my daughter is awake we can bake together, go for walks, read, swim and many other fun things to get my daughter interacting with the world around her.

During the second nap, I can spend more time reading and writing. Wish me luck!

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Blogging and Me

It has been awhile since I have taken the time to blog.  I started blogging when I was a teacher librarian and tried to write summary of books and relate the them to other books students might have read, so students would be interested in taking more books out of the library therefore increasing circulation.  I found this blog hard to keep up as an individual, so I got students to blog about the books they read for other students; again this seemed to not keep my blog updated like I wanted to, so back to the drawing board I went.  For the above blog I used

Blog number 2 was started just a couple of years ago, when I was under supervision in the school and used wordpress.  We got to choose what type of supervision we wanted.  Did I want my principal to come into my classroom or did I want to do a self study?  I chose to do a self study and keep a blog as my learning log; hence an educators learning log was born.  On here you will find my past blogs when I implemented an instructional strategy called power writing.  I enjoy this strategy in grade 5/6 as it gives me a layout to teach writing with reading skills.

I have blogged with grade 5/6’s and want to continue blogging with them, but need more creative ideas to get them to write down their thoughts as blogging will help with their writing skills.  I have tried having them blog about books, current events, internet safety, and things we have been doing in the classroom.  I’m looking forward to learning more about classroom blogs and getting the students to have a positive online presence; as well as teaching them about the power of the internet.


a begin again blogger

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