Monthly Archives: September 2018

Escaping the Digital Ghosts in the Classroom

For this assignment, I chose to read Ashley Hinck’s article “Digital Ghosts in the Modern Classroom.” This article discusses how students these days have an assumption as to what digital media and digital media making is. It often consists of simple step-by-step instructions that lead to a pretty outcome with very little struggle. I am sure that most of us, at one point or another, have held this belief (I certainly can’t be the only one who used to copy pages of coding for cool MySpace backgrounds when I was younger!).

To summarize Hinck’s article, I chose to explore the Piktochart platform. I found it slightly ironic that I was reading about expanding horizons in digital media making, and I was using the exact same drag-and-drop solutions Hinck suggests we move away from. I think that Hinck does have some very good points, and steering students away from the standard templates, and drag-and-drop mechanics could, potentially, be very beneficial. I do think that many students are afraid of failure; however, I also think that many students expect instant gratification. Students are used to working on something and having an instant payoff, so I think the greater struggle would be convincing them that if they work a bit more the results will be more rewarding. If teachers were to slowly implement changes, from drag-and-drop content to maybe creating blog posts, like we are doing for this page, that would be a strong start. From there, harder digital media making methods could be introduced, like coding for a website, or using Photoshop and/or Audacity.

Hinck is definitely pointing teachers and future teachers in the right direction, I just do not think that jumping in with both feet is the most correct method. Let students explore with digital media similar to what they already use, then gradually implement changes that lead them to design and post blogs, code a simple website design, and edit photos. Once they feel comfortable with simple, slightly more challenging digital media, they may develop an interest in more difficult media and make the decision to tackle it on their own.

Here is my Piktochart that I created to summarize Ashley Hinck’s article:

(also here’s the link if what I’m trying doesn’t work: 32808563-digital-media-ghosts)

-Courtney M.

Digital Ghosts are Haunting our Classrooms!

The below video is of a Canva I created with an audio voiceover, summarizing the key points from “Digital Ghosts in the Modern Classroom” written by Ashley Hinck, published on March 29, 2018,

Hinck criticizes the current digital pedagogy represented in schools, how teachers only use the basic programs that lack creativity. I agree with this, as in my educational experience teachers always promoted websites that were extremely user friendly with easy cut and paste methods. Looking back now, I see this lacked creativity, however in the moment I found these programs very useful.  I did not mind a rigid marking scheme with specific instructions to get the grade. People like myself like to stick with what they know, it is hard to venture into more complicated software, even if the simple programs lack control over the final product. However, it is important to me to learn more complex software in order to incorporate these aspects into my own classroom so my students do not miss out like I did in the digital technology educational process. My current mindset is though, that I will struggle incorporating these more complex software’s into my teachable subject of the social sciences. Thinking of different ways to integrate technology in general is a challenging process but integrating more complicated programs will be even more so difficult. Social sciences is extremely broad, made up of multiple different theories, majority of the class is understanding these theoretical perspectives. I think that using technology to teach these theories is going to be complicated, and I would be very interested in my collogues thoughts on this.

In regards to the media I used, Canva, it took me an hour or so to get myself accustomed to the program. Once I figured out how the task bar on the left hand side worked it became much easier to navigate the site and create my summary of Hinck’s article. I enjoyed working with Canva and am happy with my finished product, I know it could be better and if I ever have the opportunity I will explore Canva’s functions more in depth in order to use it for a range of future assignments and even use it in my own future classroom. I realize how it is ironic that I am using Canva while Hinck directly opposes these types of platforms. However I strongly believe that starting with programs like these and gaining some basic knowledge is not a bad thing, and can be a stepping stone to the more complex programs that Hinck wants students to look at. A limitation to Canva that I found was that it lacked the ability to download and incorporate gifs. I was looking forward to using gifs on my presentation. In addition to using Canva, I also used a program to screen record my presentation with audio, called Debut Screen and Video recorder. I used this Debut Screen and Video recorder because Canva did not have the capability to screen record, which is another limitation I came across. I have never screen recorded before so this was a struggle for me, however I was extremely happy to be introduced to it because of doing this assignment. In conclusion, my finished product was a video that incorporated my Canva graphic design as well as audio. Overall, it was a positive learning experience.

Dani Dimu

Casper the friendly DIGITAL GHOST!!!! BOO!!!!

The article I chose to review and summarize by using Piktochart was Digital Ghosts in the Modern Classroom. The article explains how students think that creating a digital media piece is a simple task that just involves drag & drop, simple steps, and a final product that is perfectly made. This is not the case! Standardized education has been ingrained in many students and much of students learning has resembled by the way students view digital media platforms. There is a lack of knowledge of how to use digital media efficiently and effectively in the classroom and tools need to be given to students in order to know how to use digital media in a positive way to promote learning.

The platform I used was Piktochart. I thought it was a simple way to visually explain some significant points from the article. I mostly had a positive experience with the platform, but I thought it was difficult to manoeuvre through the platform. I think I had a difficult time because there are so many tools and devices to use to assist you in the developing process. So, having all the options can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. I feel like this would be a great resource to present to a class and introduce them to how to use digital media platforms and to illustrate how making digital media might be difficult, but worth it to go through the learning process and use digital media platforms to create pieces in any subject.

Personally, as a learner, there are still many things that I want to learn and I am learning about creating and using digital media. Using the digital media platform has opened my eyes to the possibilities that are out there when it comes to utilizing digital media platforms to create work. I think to have digital media platforms that are simple to use and straightforward are user-friendly and as a beginner think they would benefit the learner in order to learn the basics. Simplistic platforms that have generic layouts and features I think as a student would benefit the learner because it is easy to access and promotes confidence in the user. So, using it in a K-12 school learner would only promote a growth mindset attitude for the students. As a teacher, introducing students at a young age the basics of digital media platforms would only benefit students and the teacher; together the teacher and the student can learn together. With digital media platforms, the learning process is trial and error and so allowing room for failure will allow students to learn from their mistakes and become more technically sound when it comes to digital media platforms. The experience of creating my artifact connected to the text I was reflecting on because in the article Digital Ghosts in the Modern Classroom, the author was trying to explain how students need to move from users of shortcut/template platforms to makers, creators, and speakers, and the digital media platform directly went against what the article was suggesting. Piktochart was the exact opposite of what the article was trying to promote. Piktochart involved drag and drop/ copy and paste with a simple layout and was easy to use. I did have to create my own visual with words and important text from the article, but I think the article is trying to say that students need to be able to create their own platforms from scratch in order to learn, which I totally disagree with. Like I said before, these digital media platforms set the foundation and you can build on them.


Shortcuts/templates aren’t that great!

I chose to read Ashley Hinck’s article ‘Digital Ghost in the Modern Classroom‘. This article talks about how teachers have been incorporating more and more technology into their classroom. According to Hinck, classrooms have yet to leap from the standardized education. Teachers are simply replacing the paper and pencils with a digital templates. The article explores how shortcuts and template websites and platforms influence students while in the classroom and in their everyday lives. When the students are given a platform with shortcuts and templates allows students to complete their work as long as it’s in the predetermined spaces within their selected template.


I chose to summarize this article using a canva template. I chose this because I wanted to attempt to stay within the the predetermined template. Through this process, I realized that it was difficult to formulate what I wanted to say about the article. I believe that to truly integrate digital technologies into the classroom where they can truly benefit students, we (as teachers) need to provide them with the opportunity to explore and create. When gearing away from template based platforms will most likely result in failure but it is important to understand that failure is necessary in the process of learning. Shifting from template based learning to active exploration will help shift from standardized to authentic education.


HEY is that a ghost in your classroom?!

I really enjoyed reading Ashley Hinck’s article “Digital Ghosts in the Modern Classroom” and it taught me a lot about the affordances of adding a technological aspect to your teaching style. Hinck explains how shortcut and template platforms are easy for students to use, however they remove the need for creativity, openness and trial and error, turning students into robots who create products simply to impress their teacher. Even after you remove these platforms, their “ghost” remains, as students have now acquired a “one correct answer” type of thinking and have trouble creating a finished product without a template or exact instructions. I have used platforms like these as a student and now I understand that although they were user friendly, they did not allow me to be fully creative and to have control over my final product. I feel that their “ghost” did linger in the classroom because throughout grade school and high school I remember being intimidated when I was not provided with detailed instructions for an assignment. I especially realized this while working on my artifact, as at first I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of creative control allowed for this assignment. Although Powtoon was a platform with many predetermined preferences, I feel I was still able to implement many of my own ideas, just in a more organized way. This article changed the way I view the use of technology in the classroom and will definitely have an influence on my pedagogical decisions during my practicum and once I become a teacher.

Although it was challenging at first, I really enjoyed using Powtoon and actually had a lot of fun working on this video. The only barrier I came across was that to use themes from the “pro version” for free, the video must be under 3 minutes. I had to cut back some information from my reflection, however I am still happy with the final product. I will definitely use Powtoon again in the future and would recommend giving it a try!

I hope you enjoy my video!

-Olivia Kireta


Digital Ghosts In Modern Classroom

Ashley Hick’s article on digital Ghosts in the modern Classroom is a perfect study of what has become of today’s learners. Children love creativity no doubt and has become so used to the traditional platforms that are readily available and easy to use;the drag and drop,well laid out linear and standard steps and several working products that are easily used.The students create the products that the teacher wanted using templates as worksheet and other forms that accommodate multiple choice projects.Ashley was right when she asserted that most of these short cut templates hardly leaves the students even when they try their hands on open end working soft wares and platforms.
When you give a project to students especially in the intermediate grade their first search is to hook up with all these short cuts platforms and when they are absent it affects learning and they become restless from my own class observation.Ashley was of the view, we should help the students move from from users of shortcut/template platforms to makers,creators with very in-depth understanding of a complex system with open ends.
She was also right about her submission that When we look at the shortcut/template websites and platforms that makes digital image production very easy,it has removed the need for any technical know how because it is copy and paste in most cases.Ashley position is that students has become a garbage container from teachers who take in all that is released because they operate with a rigid platform /application with very little open space for students work and a narrowed predetermine correct answer.

Finding a solution ,we can help our students create their own application signature as makers rather than continue to depend on platforms and templates with close ends that does not encourage creativity.I really love it when Ashley wrote “We might help our students redefine good learning apart from the the dustbin dump concept by giving them explicit permission to try and fail and start again”Thinker trial and error approach methodology in classroom”.

As a teacher for several years in a different environment,i observed that students capacity and attitude to learning is always different.As illustrated in my blog,life is like a ladder,some people use the quick way and get to the top,others take the rough and lengthy route to achieve a desire .In our society ,majority always want to conform with established standard,they lack the fire power to seek and acquire more knowledge,to discover new platforms and hold patent .The comfort zone is always peak on their life radder and surprisingly most of them end up being very successful.

Ashley Hick’s article is good enough knowing that ultimate desires of students and why the interest in digital class was mainly to learn how to make GIFs,YouTube videos, and HTML/CSS websites.They want to make funny photo shopped pictures of their friends and several other social purposes which the world has conformed to.

Ashley also agree that the internet has created several platforms for make and remove,drag and drop and has made things so easy for any student to think of going the path of troubleshooting and creating platforms with open end.What they have is good and convenient for their primary purpose.

We also see why the ghosts worksheet,templates and shortcuts will for ever remain in classroom and i absolutely agree.I love to work with open end platforms as suggested by Ashley like; Raspberry Pi,Scratch,and HTML and CSS ,as Skallerup Bessette calls us to do,but why do i need to go to such level of uncertainty and possible failure when am comfortable with already established platforms that can meet my demand ?These are the questions “Ghost” that will be going on in the mind of these students for a while. Agreed open end platform is good when you know it gives advantage because the programs and computer language give the user much more control over the final product than the template/shortcut websites and platforms, but where there is no will there will be no power.In any situation the ghost of worksheet is always there.

Drop the drag’n’drop

Drop the drag’n’drop

The idea of the drag-and-drop type of assessments (full poster linked above) is still very prevalent in the classroom.  This is where students determine what the teacher wants, uses already existing technology platforms to “select from a list” of options for their design, and generally answers the teachers question in a right answer/wrong answer scenario.  The article contends that this type of assessment, although using new age technology, is still a form of non-authentic, standardized education.

As I completed this very assignment, I found myself doing the exact thing that this article describes.  Using pre-existing design technology to create something that isn’t creative at its heart.  However, in the early stages of this class, using the platform that I did (Canva), it was still a learning experience for me (not having a web page design  background)… Therefore, although the method I used wasn’t at the peak of creative allowances, I still feel as though I was able to “dabble” with something new that allowed me to (restrictively) create something that has a visual message.

Digital Dancing

For this assignment, I decided to read the article called ‘Digital Ghosts in the Modern Classroom’ by Ashley Hinck. She makes some good points about the way students are choosing to express themselves on digital platforms—ultimately, because it’s the only way they know how to do it. I certainly agree with the author that the education system needs to catch up with the times and help students improve their digital literacy. The fact that students are having trouble to express themselves on a computer means that they are not tapping into their full potential.

Once a more expressive program is mastered, ideas can be portrayed with more accuracy and clarity—but how will be teach students how to create these programs? Not all, but most students would rather do their math homework than learn how to code. I can understand that they would be disinterested in programming since it is such a monotonous process but coding and using a program are two separate fields. I believe that students become more intrigued once a program is already developed and they have the freedom to digitally express themselves. The trouble is getting students familiarized with a program that strives for transparency of emotion. Perhaps there should be a class in the school curriculum dedicated to acquiring this skill. Essentially, schools should be adapting to the digital climate and helping students to improve their digital literacy.

With that being said, I decided to paint a picture for this assignment using Microsoft Paint. I have used this program when I was younger and have always had a lot of fun playing around on it. There is some kind of novelty about old technology that I love—probably why I still play the Nintendo 64. My idea was to start with a simple program like this and then move onto more involved programs for future assignments. I learned some more about the tools in this program which gave me more respect for it, considering its age. For instance, when a brush tool is selected, the edges of each stroke are a lighter colour to make the painting look more realistic. I found this to be very helpful when I attempted to shade my picture; the brush tool helped the final product look more detailed than I had imagined. Also, the magnifying glass made painting much easier. I was able to zoom in and add some extra detail which would not have been possible without zooming in.

Down one path, schools ignore the potential that the digital world has to offer, and leave kids to learn it for themselves. Naturally, they will commit themselves to the programs that are the easiest to use, and their digital expression will suffer. If we take the other route, and help students to acquire the skills needed to use more sophisticated programs, a more transparent form of expression will emerge.

Please don’t laugh at my drawing:

Too Long ; Did Reimagine: The Meme-Note Version of Ashley Hinck’s “Digital Ghosts in the Modern Classroom” (NOW WITH MORE IRONY!)

Greetings and hello fellow bloggers,

For this week’s assignment I decided to work to highlight the important pieces of the article within problematically-template-crafted and mildly informative memes.

I tried to hit the most important points including:

The Evaluation of Template Software:

A "Matrix Morpheus" Meme describing that the use of template softwares is not true digital media creation

Only when we are truly lost can we be found.


The deconstruction of the “open-ended” project:

A "Success Kid" Meme discussing the dangers of guided open ended projects

A project that appears to have the breadth of an ocean, but in actuality covers the area of a swimming pool is still, for all intents and purposes, a worksheet.


The Problematic Traditional Teaching Mindset

A "Patrick Placement" Meme discussing the Traditional Model of Education.

“Traditional school culture and the banking model of education…views students as containers to be filled with correct answers by teachers.” Ashley Hinck

How Students Choose to Operate:

An "alternate girlfriend" meme focused on students choosing template softwares over their own digital creation.

Students are looking to finish work in the easiest and most stress free manner. They are not doing your 5% assignment to feel fulfilled.


How Students Feel When Their Usual Tools Are Removed

An "Is this a bird?" Meme focusing on the fact that students will feel uneasy when the "training wheels" have been removed, perceiving natural progress as failure.

“When students assume there are linear, standard steps to follow, students perceive their hesitancy and trial-and-error as a failure, rather than an unavoidable and important part of the digital making process.” Ashley Hinck


And Finally, the Solution:

An "Expanding Brain" Meme highlighting the dangers of simply removing drag and drop programs from a project while still expecting the same level of work.

It is not enough to simply remove the training wheels. We must also give them an environment where they are free to practice judgement free.


To create these memes I used a site called that allowed me to pick my template from the archive of the internet and form fill my memes to be exactly what I wanted.

A screenshot showing the easy to use interface of

Easy as top-text, bottom-text, laughter


While I am a proud meme-dad to all present here, “The Solution” is by far my favorite son/daughter/digital-entity because it discusses the problem of just analyzing this situation at face value. If as a teacher you notice your students rarely branch from their “comfort-zone apps” and your way of getting them out of that comfort-zone is just to remove them from use, you are going about this completely wrong. Creation is scary, especially for those who have never done so unassisted and on their own before. ADDING THE PRESSURE OF A GRADE DOESN’T CHANGE THAT! Thus, we must create new projects that revel more in trying out a program and experimenting with its strengths and weaknesses rather than continuing to grade a finished project.

Tagged , , ,

Ghosts of Progression

Looking at “Digital Ghosts in the Modern Classroom“, the author dives into the effects that using template and drag-and-drop style of instruction with many technological platforms can often limit our students creativity and it teaches them the uniform, standardized approach to education we have used in our classrooms for ages.

This can become a bit of a bore in the classroom…



The template/shortcut options can relay back to having a narrow or a singular right answer after following rigid, structured guidelines. Thus, “ghosting” progression in the students ability to show a sense of discovery or exploration when approaching activities or assignments.



Moving forward, we must adopt a more authentic experience for students in the classroom… Get students out of their comfort zones and give it a try!



We, as educators must move towards a less standardized approach when it comes to giving out activity guidelines or restrictions. I believe introducing students to software programs and computer languages in order to avoid restricting their choices, creating a much more diverse finished product among all students, and letting their creativity and problem solving skills reflect through their learning.

In my own personal experience, I had the chance to work with students using the Piktochart and Mindmap platforms to develop their own inforgraphics regarding health-related topics. This was an excellent opportunity for me to see which students would take the opportunity to show me their creativity and really make the assignment their own. The end result? many students opted to choose comfortable layouts and familiar icons or styles based on the templates the programs provided. When I urged several students to think outside of the box and try different features that were available to them, many struggled with the lack of strict, easy to follow guidelines and it was evident many of them were lacking the problem-solving skills required to do what I was asking. By taking away the template, drag-and-drop approach at an earlier age, and showing students more advanced computational mathematics coding platforms, I believe we will afford students with the opportunities to develop their creative sides rendering them much more proficient in technology and digital media in the future. Working with the younger students who had already been practicing with different open-ended coding platforms, you could already see an increase in the comfort level of working on something with little restriction or guidelines, this is what we need for our students!