Monthly Archives: October 2018

Shaping Education to a New Digital World

It is interesting how the internet came to life in 1989. Not to date myself but that was before I was born. I am not bringing up my age to date people and their age, but to acknowledge how the internet is such a new concept in today’s society.My memory of the internet was playing online video games and watching youtube. Internet and technology really came into my life when I was diagnosed with a learning disability. The programs that I was introduced to and the tech used to help my learning really expanded my knowledge on what the internet really can do.We are quick to forget that the internet is full of information and data that we did not have access to before the internet. Now if we are not sure on something, I quote “let me google that.” The sheer presence of the internet has shaped the world we live in now, what does that say about our education system? With the internet giving us information we did not have access to, it is giving educators more recourses to use and co – workers to communicate with. However, the term ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ is still important for us to remember.  Beside the fact that I only quote Spiderman, the internet is often misused and not portrayed effectively in the classroom setting. When you listen to Henry Jenkins talk about his view on educational culture, he brings up how university level professors should incorporate the internet in their teaching to further help their students education. This runs very close to me as a student, but also as an educator. Being a math major with a minor in business, there are times when I walk out of a class and confused on a topic discussed. From there I have 3 options, see the prof for help, ask a friend, or google it. Sometimes you cannot see the prof due to their weird office hours or the fact that their way of communication is not clear to you. That’s when you would then go to your friend to learn or google it. How much you wanna bet that your friend googled that point as well? Knowledge is becoming so vast, Jenkins mentioned how profs should use the internet to get content out to students to help them learn as well. The idea of the internet being such an innovative tool, but is not being used to t’s full potential makes me nervous about the growth of our student. Dr. Michele Jacobsen posted about the importance of the digital world and how important it is to use technology provided to use in the society we live in. What the internet has done for this generation is create discussions and questions. We look back at the time before the internet and see that discussion was only in a classroom environment and questions were to be solved through selected books or talking to your peers in your hometown. But now, you can create conversations with people on the other side of the world and can asked the internet any question you want. Teaching is evolving with the advancement of technology, we cannot forget the importance of using it for our students.


Teaching using the Internet



New Device Update: Cloak of Invisibility Edition

For my Multimedia Response #2, I decided to read Digital Redlining, Access, and Privacy by Chris Gilliard and listen to the Ed 322 Oct 12 class conversation involving him. I decided to do a Twitter Essay even though originally I was intrigued by the prospect of using a sketch note because as soon as I read this article, I really connected with it and had several ideas swirling in my head about what imagery I could use. But alas, due to my inability to access (wink wink) pencil crayons, I had to abandon that idea. The runner-up was doing a Twitter Essay since I really enjoyed tweeting during our open hashtag chat last week. At first, I wasn’t really sure what a twitter essay was but when I did some research (clicked on the links provided by Bonnie), I saw this was something doable for my skill level (not very). I was also really excited because it looked more straightforward than the Piktochart I did last time (after the Powtoon debacle). But little did I know, it would take me three times as long as the last response took. Who would’ve thought!?

Now, a little about me. I’m chatty. Basically run my mouth a little too much chatty. Also, I like seeing my thoughts together on one paper so I can see them right there. With Twitter, after I was done with one tweet, there was scrolling and checking and multiple pieces involved….it just broke up the flow for me. Also parsing my thoughts down into 140 characters and then doing that about 21 times was…. horrendous. I struggled. Not to say it wasn’t a learning process. It was. I learned a lot.

I think I started out strong. (Check out my essay by clicking the image below!)

A question that asks the audience to interact with the tweet and maybe pulls them in so they feel inspired to read the rest. But I think about halfway through the 21 tweets, I lost my way. It was really hard to keep my thinking linear so that each subsequent tweet followed the ideas of the one that came before. And yet, I don’t normally struggle with this process when writing an essay on a normal paper.

I think overall, I learned a lot about my quirks as a writer and my own thinking process. And definitely how involved tweeting is. I have a new respect for people who do this every day to raise awareness about various issues. My favourite thing I would have to say was using Gifs, polls and making my own images. I feel like that made it much more interactive for both the reader and for me than a simple paper and pen essay would have been.

Would I do it again? I don’t know. In any case, this is a skill that I will need to work on some more to formulate my final opinion of whether it is for me or not.

Now, on to the actual article and class chat. The premise of both was the concept of redlining and how it is evident nowadays in the digital world. Access to the internet and web resources is not a given for everyone. First, there are those students that for whatever reason, don’t have access to the internet. And then there are those students that have limited access. The limits are placed on them by “Acceptable Use Policies” that are enforced by all educational institutions to some degree (some more than others). According to Chris Gilliard, colleges enforce them to the degree where students are unable to access a lot of information whereas if students at a university tried to look up the same resources, they would be able to access them. This applies to peer-to-peer communication tools (blogs etc) and participatory learning tools (phone, Ipads etc) as well. This limit is obviously detrimental to those students because it means they become less competitive when they get to the workforce.

It was eye-opening to read this article. To be honest I had never even thought about how the privilege of going to a research-based institution affected my ability to get my hands on all sorts of research. I don’t think I’ve ever come across any “blockages” that stopped me from gaining access to anything I needed in all of my university career. I guess this was a situation of “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

I definitely agreed with Chris on the reasons why he thinks that this “digital redlining is not recognized as a post-secondary problem.” I relate to reasons 1 and 2 most strongly because they say that universities usually have an open environment towards learning and the socio-economic status in universities is such that, most students have outside access to web resources than just what is provided by the school (ex. phones etc)

To that end, now that I know about the issues, I will be much more critical about the policies put in place by the schools and boards that I work for. And try my best to make sure all my students have equal opportunities for accessing the information they want or need. This could be through providing them with printed resources (although this could introduce my own bias) and making sure they have time in the school library after school or at lunch to research for projects.

Overall, I agreed with the ideas presented in both the article and the class chat. They have both given me some food for thought and I hope to apply everything I have learned here to my own teaching practice.

Thanks for reading! (sorry it’s a lot)



Caught in the Crossfire

Happy Halloween everyone ?

For my Multimedia Response #2, I read the article titled “Teaching in a Participatory Digital World” by Dr. Michele Jacobsen and watched the YouTube video titled “The Influence of Participatory Culture on Education” by Dr. Henry Jenkins. I decided to do a Twitter essay, which evidently turned out to be a lot more challenging than anticipated (my Twitter handle is @missmadisonbeth, please click the link to find the full essay). I am a very visual person, so I actually had to make my own sketch note after reading/watching the content to organize my thoughts and ideas. The most challenging part about using Twitter was the character limit. I had SO much I wanted to say, but creatively…Twitter was too limiting for me. Organizing my thoughts into the small character limit took a lot longer than I wanted and I ended up getting very frustrated. For my Multimedia Response #1, I designed a sketch note where I had complete freedom in what I incorporated. For a couple of my tweets in the essay, I drew words on pictures to help reflect what I was thinking, as seen on tweet #2:

My favourite component about Twitter was the ability to add a poll in the tweet itself. I thought this was a great, engaging way to get a discussion going on a topic. Another great component on Twitter is the ability to use emojis and gifs to help others understand the tone of the post. Twitter allows collaboration with peers and the ability to incorporate other resources to your thoughts to give further evidence (like adding a website link or a screen shot of research data).

Before reading the Jacobsen article and taking this Digital Tech & Social Media course, I never imagined that social media platforms could be used in a learning environment. During my high school experience, cell phones and personal social media was kept personal and would never have been thought to be integrated into the class lessons. I believe students today are caught in the crossfire between the way they have learned to communicate (i.e. they have grown up networking and collaborating via podcasts, social media, blogs, gaming, etc.) and the ways in which learning in the education system is taught (i.e. working individually, having standardized tests, collaboration is seen as cheating, etc.). Our education system appears to be frozen in time in the 20th century and is too stubborn to evolve with the rest of the world. I believe the uses of digital technology in the classroom should not be feared as it can provide teachers and students great value to the learning process. I agree with Dr. Michele Jacobsen in her article when she explains that digital technologies and platforms allow students to be creative and to actively participate with one another. Statistics show that the workforce is changing as the job opportunities in Canada are transitioning towards tertiary sector jobs (jobs that provide a service rather than extracting raw materials, like the primary jobs, or manufacturing goods, like the secondary jobs). Students should learn the proper skills to be critical thinkers, innovators, and collaborators in order to contribute to this changing society. Jacobsen argues that implementing open source platforms with technology in the classroom will provide opportunities for students to learn these required skills.

Jacobsen brought up the idea, that in order to unleash the power of using open source platforms, such as Twitter, in a classroom setting, the firewalls and filters would need to be obliterated. This information completely changed how I previously thought about the safety provided on the school networks. In order for the education system to evolve in the 21st century with the rest of the world, students need to be able to understand how to navigate and collaborate effectively and safely. As I posted in my Twitter essay, I believe internet safety and ethics need to be taught to students at an early age as individuals are beginning to use technology earlier and earlier. This article was truly inspiring and I believe that educators have the power to truly make a difference in individuals’ lives, as Jacobsen said, “engaged teachers and engaged students go hand in hand.” I am inspired to provide challenging, inquiry based tasks that have true value beyond the classroom for my future students. I want to provide a learning environment that encourages passion-based learning, as I learned from the Jacobsen article.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post!



Tagged ,

BREAKING NEWS: There has been a collision between the 20th and 21st Centuries.

For my second multimedia reflection I read “Teaching in a Participatory Digital World” by Dr. Michele Jacobsen and watched the supplementary video by Henry Jenkins entitled: “The Influence of Participatory Culture on Education”.

I decided to try my hand at a twitter essay this time as I had become more familiar with the platform after the #unboundeq open hashtag chat. Before then I was never really a fan and had not been exposed to it much, but I really came to appreciate Twitter’s ability to allow constructive conversations. One thing I thought I would struggle with was the character limit but,  I found breaking up my thoughts into smaller chunks really helped with my understanding of these two pieces. As if navigating this new (to me) website wasn’t enough I also decided that I wanted to design and draw some image to go with said tweets. I am in no way a visual artist, in fact I actually really struggle to translate my ideas into something visual. However, I was up for that challenge and a challenge it was! I used an app on my iPad called Procreate which is essentially Photoshop, another program I have never used, and had no idea where to start. There are so many brush options, textures and hues to choose from I felt like a deer in headlights. After watching a couple YouTube videos I figured out which brush I wanted and how to change its size and colour, a great starting point. Unfortunately, the YouTube videos do not teach you how to take your thoughts and design them. After many trial and error attempts I found my groove and was able to produce some images I was really happy with. I think this is a skill I am going to continue to develop after this class as I would love to be able to make better images someday. Please click the tweet below to access my essay:

Now on to the actual article and video themselves. Overall, I agreed completely with what both authors were saying.  There are a lot of educators that still teach for the 20th Century, a time where memorizing and standardize testing was the basis of a “good education”. But times they are a changing.  With the introduction of personal mobiles devices our students are being exposed to world of new literacies and social complexities that encourage them to collaborate online through conversations with peers and even strangers. These students are digital natives and were born with these accesses at their fingertips. Instead of fearing and fighting this shift we, as educator, should be embracing it with open arms. We live in a Web 2.0 world filled with sites like: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Google, YouTube and many more. However, I am aware that this sounds like a daunting task to some if their knowledge of these sources are cloudy but as both Jacobsen and Jenkins make very clear, that is why we have colleagues and collaboration. It is not the duty of one teacher to know everything, but it is the duty of that teacher to know where to access the knowledge from, be open minded and willing to learn.

This new participatory digital world is “…blurring the line between producers and consumers of content and shifting attention from access to information to access to other people, and online experiences and virtual communities”. When used effectively in the classroom this can allow for active and self-directed learning. Barbara Means’ research showed that students perform better with digital collaboration then in face-to-face interaction. I found the results of her study to be fascinating and counter-intuitive to me, I would have assumed that face-to-face was more effective inside of the classroom.  But with some reflection, considering how active most students are within these digital communities, it would make sense that they would lie in a comfortable space within digital collaboration as even with their friends they mostly communicate through their phones. Moreover,  I agree with Jacobsen that this access lends itself beautifully to a constructivist teaching philosophy. However, some schools have firewalls up to “protect” students from certain sites and places online. Like Jacobson, I too do not think that this is effective in any way. Our students need to learn the competencies that come with 21st century technology, we need to teach them how to “ethically and critically” locate networks that will benefit them in their learning and avoid the ones which are less than favourable. Firewalls take this learning away from the student and therefore they leave school unprepared, they are lacking a skill that is necessary in today’s society.

Lastly, Jacobsen harps on one thing that stuck with me the most, that an engaged teacher; one who is keen, curious and always learning,  goes hand in hand with an engaged student. This made me think back to all of my favourite teachers throughout my education and honestly they were all actively engaged in the learning. They were trying new things, inviting ideas and opinions into their class from students all while reflecting and tweaking with each lesson. I believe this approach is summed up by Jenkins’ when he said “Don’t build YouTube, just use YouTube”.

In conclusion, I have very little negative to say about either of the pieces. This is the first time I have encountered the term participatory culture, but am glad that I now have the words to express the concept. The ideas really resonated with me and they are all things I am going to think about, consider and use in my own teaching.

– Olivia Paty

Kaleigh’s First-Ever, Amazing Twitter Essay ;)

For my second multimedia reflection I chose to reflect on “Teaching in a Participatory World” by Michele Jacobsen and the video “Henry Jenkins: The influence of participatory culture on education” with  Henry Jenkins sharing his ideas.  I did this in the form of a Twitter essay. Please visit my multimedia reflection Twitter essay on my public account @KaleighJoy3.  I hope you like it, and maybe you can follow me since I have no followers. LOL


The essay starts with the frantic kitty and is easier to read when viewed on Twitter and by selecting “Show this thread” under any of the Tweets.

After reading the Jacobsen article and watching the Jenkins video, I absolutely agree that teachers in this day and age should be integrating social media and technology into their classrooms and embrace the meaningful contributions that these new age platforms make for learning opportunities.  As Jenkins mentioned, teachers these days tend to shy away from social media,  because they are afraid of the potential misuses students might engage in or inappropriate content they may view online when using their devices.  However, I absolutely agree with Jenkins’ point that, because these students will be using social media on their own anyways, it is quite foolish that teachers would let them learn about the proper applications on their own.  Because, if students are obsessed with their own social media accounts, as many teachers and I have observed, what makes people think that they will ever know how to properly use social media and technology in a positive, meaningful way, if they are never shown how by someone who is experienced in the field of educational social media applications?  For example, if teachers notice that their students are obsessed with Snapchat, and in response, they ban using Snapchat from the classroom, this pushes students further away from what they will encounter in the future.  By banning Snapchat or any social media site, the teacher is missing a great learning opportunity for where they could explain that although Snapchat and other sites are great, there is a time and a place.  So, depending on the students’ response, the teacher could potentially allow them to use Snapchat while they are working if the students feel the great desire to do that.  And yes, many students could be distracted by their apps and sites, but I think that is another opportunity for the teacher to demonstrate that at a high school level, maybe just grades elevens and twelves, if the students want to be distracted by their phones, that that is their choice and their grades will be reflected accordingly.  If all they do is play on their devices, while given time to work and ask questions, then they are missing out significantly.  It also serves to remind students that in post-secondary education or during their careers (depending on the career), they can spend tons of time updating their statuses and scrolling through pictures, but when their grades start dropping, or their boss is asking where their work is when its the deadline, it was their conscious decision to choose social media over their commitments and priorities.

In addition to knowing the right time and place, teachers could choose to use the same or similar social media applications to the ones their students like to use, and in a controlled learning environment, that can be a way of having students contribute their ideas and opinions in a platform that they enjoy using in their everyday life.  To stick with the Snapchat example and a science class as the content area , perhaps the teacher could have each student pose a question on their story (these accounts would be school, classroom accounts only and not the students’ personal accounts), and then each student has to answer ten different classmates’ questions.  In order to ensure that students are responding the teacher could ask students to keep a log of who they answered and what their answer was, and then if the teacher is really Snapchat savvy, they could go on each of the students’ account and ensure that their snap scores are increasing accordingly.  This idea would have the potential to be misused by the students, so the teacher would have to determine if their class would benefit from this type of activity.  If they believe their class is responsible enough to participate in this, then I believe it would be a great way for students to use something they use everyday for fun in a meaningful, learning context.  There are so many platforms that could work and better engage students in digital participatory learning, and some will suit certain classes over others.

I found this to be a very enjoyable creation process, even being somebody who never uses Twitter.  It made me feel quite creative the way I took my points and had to strategically arrange them so that they were short enough to not exceed the character count- short and tweet (see what I did there, ahhh lol).  I also had a lot of fun selecting the GIFs, as I just find them very funny.  Overall, I would recommend writing a Twitter essay to anybody who wants to try something new, and essentially write an essay in a very popular social media platform.

The idea of participatory learning was quite new to me before these past two weeks and I don’t have any true participatory experience that I can think of before taking this course. I have had to complete the odd discussion here and there in some of the online classes I have taken before.  But, all of those discussions pretty much involved someone posting their opinion, and then somebody would comment that they agree, just to say that they did it and get the marks for it. Just last week, however, while tweeting in Twitter chat #unboundeq, I found that to be a collaborative educational experience, where me and a few other students in this class built on ideas from what each other was saying.  I found that people’s additions to my ideas were very useful and allowed me to consider others’ perspectives.  The #unboundeq made me very interested in participatory learning, and that is why I ultimately chose to watch the Jenkins video and read the Jacobsen article.

Be sure to read the article and watch the video if you haven’t had the chance, as both Jacobsen and Jenkins bring up great points with respect to what participatory culture is, and why teachers should integrate it into their classroom.


The Future of Educating In the Digital World

Hi Everyone! For this multimedia reflection, I have decided to base it on the article “Teaching in a Participatory Digital World” by Michele Jacobsen. The article discusses educators having the duty to incorporate technology within their classrooms, which I think is a big change from traditional education. Teachers are so used to the “pen and paper” teaching method that some are afraid of branching out and learning more about the technological world.  Jacobsen’s article mentions that teachers are often hesitant to branch out and learn technology as it can seem intimidating as there is so much out there to learn, though because of the variety, the possibilities are endless. Once educators are comfortable with navigating through the digital world, they will be able to see the benefits that simply the pen and paper method cannot provide. It is important that teachers gain the knowledge and confidence to incorporate technology into the classroom so that students are able to build upon this. Though technology is definitely an asset to teaching and learning, it must be done effectively to become useful.

Students generally learn their knowledge from their teachers, so the more professional learning and engagement that teachers make to enhance their skills in the digital world, the more the students will benefit. When discovering new methods and tools to make learning of technology less confusing and stressful, teachers should always remember that their job is to guide the students to utilize technology in a beneficial way, rather then for the sake of including it. Both the educator and teacher should be responsible for helping each other out in gathering new knowledge and applying it to real-world applications. This process takes time, but the results are defining.

When reading Jacobsen’s article, I strongly agreed when the point regarding how participatory learning is interactive and requires the support from administration. I do think that this is a valid point as the use of technology only goes as far as the help and resources are available. Personally, I found that in my grade school, technology was almost non-existent. My school was equipped with the technology, but as most of my teachers were afraid to try out something new, or that it would “ruin” a way of teaching they were so used to for years, this lead to the students not being able to have the experiences handing technology in the classroom. Many teachers also found that they did not want to ask for help because it made them feel embarrassed that they were nowhere near experts at handling technology. When Jacobsen mentions administration support, I do think that this is where the participatory learning stems from. The more tools and resources that teachers are provided with, the smaller the learning curve is for them. The support for teachers to be encouraged to educate themselves and use technology in the classroom will only help students greatly in the future.

I found that as I got into high school, the reverse effect occurred. There was a lot of teachers who were digital literate and seemed to be very confident in learning more about how to integrate technology into the classroom, and they were able to openly help other teachers who were still experiencing a learning curve. This reminds me of the article stating that there needs to be a push in school administration to encourage the teachers to access resources and tools, though looking back at my high school experiences, it was the teachers themselves who used the resources and tools to enhance their skills for the classroom and they were very aware that there was a gap between teachers that were digital literate and those who were still learning. I think this aspect really allowed the teachers to benefit from feeding ideas and skills off of each other, therefore creating an environment where the majority of the school was on the same page in terms of technology integration.

Before engaging in the article, I did not ever think to look back about what my experiences were like in grade school or high school in regards to the integration of technology in the classroom. now that I have been able to reflect upon this, I think I have a better understanding of how important it is to have a strong foundation from the school administration and the availability of resources and tools for teachers to use. My high school environment I would say is an ideal environment to describe how technology should be integrated. The teachers are very motivated and willing to learn, and as the article mentions that this aspect does not occur overnight, the results are overall positive in the end. On the other hand, I can understand why some of the teachers in my past have chosen not to integrate technology, either because they were not used to it, were afraid of learning it, etc. but it does not have to be this way. Now that we are aware of the technologies available, we as educators can help each other out.

After reading the article, I feel that I now have a better understanding of how much it means for a school’s feedback and encouragement makes for teachers in general. The more emphasis that the school and administrators give on technology integrating is what allows teachers to become more educated about what they are getting themselves into, and being able to play around and see what they like most and what aspects they still would like help in. I think that teachers would value more days where they are introduced with all the available technology and have opportunities to explore them with their colleagues. It would be a nice idea to allow teachers to try things out and hear feedback from each other on ways they can see themselves integrating something into their classroom.

For this multimedia reflection, I have decided to use Piktochart to create my infographic. I found that it was easier for me to use a blank sheet rather than choosing an existing template as those did not offer much leeway in terms of altering the layout. I had in mind a school style setting to display my thoughts. Using the chalkboards, I decided to put the key points of the article which I found were most important inside these chalkboards. As the article discusses digital technology in the 21st century, I found that including a question in the “search bar” would represent how teachers are curious of the ways in which they can learn about technology and integrate it into their classroom. Often times, teachers may turn to the Internet as resources if the school’s administration lacks this component. Due to this, I decided to create a chain link to display how the school’s jurisdiction is related to the students. If one of the key components (either school jurisdiction, principals, or teachers) are lacking, this will break the chain and students will not have the full potential of technology learning in the classroom. I also think that it is important for teachers themselves to have some guidance in learning how to integrate technology, starting off slow by getting used to having technology in the classroom is an easy start, but having ample resources and tools readily available all around will make this transition easier. The bus and globe represent a change in the education. As the content of education may not be changing, the ways in which they are presented will. As educators, we must not “fall behind” on the bus because others around us will be getting ahead with integration of technology which is changing as we speak. In terms of the digital world’s needs today, I made an acronym to easily remember the key aspects that are involved: SALT (school, assessment, learning, teaching).

Overall, I enjoyed creating the Piktochart and thought that it gave me some hands on experience with using a different technological medium that I have never been exposed to before. From this, I think I am now more comfortable and open to trying other mediums in the future. The only thing that I found hard to use about this program was resizing. I found that the program is not very user-friendly when trying to resize a text box or graphic as it would change to the desired size, and then revert to the original.

SPOOKY! The Unseen Disadvantages in Digital Learning

Hello all, and Happy Halloween!

I decided to do this multimedia reflection on the Chris Gilliard/Hugh Culik article, “Digital Redlining, Access, and Privacy (link found below).  I found the article very informative in both a modern and a historical sense.  I learned about redlining in the United States in the past and how the concept of redlining can still be observed today in other forms.  These forms include the inability of students at community colleges to access certain information when using their school’s network.  Furthermore, these students also have little to no privacy as the school will be able to block searches it may deem to be inappropriate, even if they my not actually be so.  Also, the school may be sending usage diagnostics to third parties for research purposes, thus lessening the privacy to an even greater extent.  I was unaware of the presence of redlining today and I worry about the effects it will have in the future.  I also am concerned about redlining at the schools in my own community, including those at an elementary of high-school level.  I believe access should be the same across all institutions so, it is scary to think that access to information may be blocked to some students who are just trying to learn!

The causes of the redlining can be the funding of community colleges, the neglect of the institution to openness in all areas, the lack of questioning by the tech companies implementing the privacy programming, and the lack of awareness of the issue at large.  This issue is important as all students should be able to have access to important and up to date journals in research fields, or other websites if they are educational while at school.  The fact that students with private, personal WIFI have an advantage over those who only have access to school internet is not just.  In a lot of cases, it seems that the community colleges throughout the United States had lesser online access than that available at the higher-level institutions.  This is digital redlining as it stops groups from access based on socio-economic status and institutions need to take steps to limit the occurrence of this through questioning their current policies.

In terms of my own experience with redlining, I feel that I do not know if I have experienced it.  I am fortunate to attend a facility where research is regarded highly and I feel that I have had access to the things I’ve needed while on campus.  Also, I do have access to WIFI other than that provided by the school which I attend so at least I have options where some others may not.  I believe the problem for me arises in the fact that if I have ever not had access to certain websites or I have been blocked from pages, I have been completely unaware.  I feel that this unawareness would be fairly common among my peers as I have not personally thought about what types of boundaries have been implemented on the WIFI of my school and I don’t believe others would have had a reason to.  Thinking about it now makes me curious about what I can do to become more aware if there are limits to my searching capabilities.  I’m sure there are ways to find the policies used at an institution and become aware of what types of materials may be unaccessible, however, I am uncertain if there are steps I can directly take to avoid them.  I feel that education of the presence of redlining and the negative effects would be needed for the student body at large, followed by an outcry and petition for full access to the internet.  This makes me frustrated as many students trust in their institutions to provide them with the means to learn and not to limit them!

I used the platform Piktochart to make my multimedia reflection this time around and I have to say, I am impressed.  This option was very easy to use and understand.  I ran into very few difficulties and found setting up an infographic, finding graphics/images, and organizing my thoughts to be extremely efficient on this site.  I would recommend using this for summaries and reflections to my peers as well.  Even as future educators, I am sure this platform would be useful to explain topics or post information for an entire school to access easily.  The difficulties I ran into were easily solved and involved trying to make sure the work I had already completely was saved when I was on slower internet connections.  I found that Piktochart recovered all of my work when I thought I had lost it except for in one instance where I lost an image.  It took little time to remake the graphic so my opinion on Piktochart remains a very positive one.

Here is the Piktochart I have created to summarize the main points of the Gilliard/ Culik article, hope you enjoy it!


Article: Gilliard/Culik.


Tagged ,

Integrating Technology Into Student Education

I choose to do the article Teaching in a Participatory Digital World by Jacobsen, M. The article does a good job presenting the perspective of how important technology is in the education system in today’s society. The educators of today must be willing to learn and adapt to using new technologies in the classroom. There is great importance in applying these technologies in the classroom. Students can have a more individualized education by using the internet as a resource for their specific topics of interest. The article mentioned that people that are interested in something more niche can now be interconnected on the internet and gain access to previously unavailable information. Not only is more information accessible through technology but students obtain a deeper understanding of material and can complete more complex learning goals when supplemented with the right use of digital technology.

The article changed the way I viewed how important the use if technology is in schooling, teaching and learning. The importance of teachers knowing how to utilize the use of technology can affect their students. The article really opened my eyes and made it clear that many different organizations and people are responsible for teachers to learn about these technologies. It was important to learn from the article that students obtain a deeper understanding of concepts by integrating technology into their learning. More complex learning goals can be achieved for your students as well. Ultimately, the article informed me how useful, important and life changing proper use of technology can be to students in the classroom.

For this multimedia reflection I choose to use coggle. Coggle is a website that allows you to create a digital mind map. At first use it did not seem very user friendly. As time went on the program became quite easy to use. I recommend using a mouse when trying to create a mind map on Coggle to improve your experience. Coggle allows the use of inserting images into the mind map which can greatly enhance the theme. There are, however, several features that are locked behind having a subscription which is a drawback. Overall, Coggle was good to use for this article as it allowed for lots of connections to made with the main theme of the article. It was easy to make connections between ideas with Coggle because of the connections you can make with the branches of the mind map.

Tagged ,

Trick or Tweet!

Henry Jenkins and Michele Jacobsen raise interesting points about the integration of digital technology in the classroom. In his short video, Jacobsen explains that present day students are raised in a digital word and grow up on things like podcasts, video tutorials, gaming and social media and we are losing sight of the big picture when we consistently discourage them from using these modes of technology and networking in the school environment. Jacobsen also makes light of this in her article “Teaching in a Participatory Digital World’ and explains that teachers need to engage themselves more in the digital world to successfully integrate technology in the classroom in a way that engages and motivates students. I’ve attached links to Jenkin’s and Jacobsen’s content below.



Jacobsen Article:


I decided to write a Twitter essay to reflect on the ideas that Jenkins and Jacobsen raise. I’ve uploaded a link to my full twitter essay and a few snapshots of it below. Twitter is a platform that I passionately dislike and avoid using to express my own personal opinions, but I decided to give it a whirl to express myself in an academic context. In the end, I surprised myself and actually really enjoyed this reflection. Scrolling through the endless GIFs was addicting, and I found the poll feature to tweeting really useful. It seems like the platform has come a long way from when I can remember last using it years ago. The character count frustrated me while I was trying to get all of my thoughts on one idea into one tweet, but it forced me to be concise and to the point without sounding redundant and to keep my sentences short and sweet… unlike this one. 🙂 Overall I actually enjoyed using Twitter for this reflection. Nonetheless, this positive experience hasn’t motivated me to start using the platform again to express my personal thoughts outside of school. Maybe it’s gotten better since I first starting using the platform, but it seemed to me like everyone was just whining and complaining about things more than they were posting funny or positive things. I think it’s a great way to network with people all over the world and share news with one another, but it’s just not for me.


Before reading Jacobsens article, I was always ‘pro-technology’ in terms of its integration into the classroom. Being a 90s baby, technology has been present in my everyday life since childhood and it doesn’t intimidate me. Jacobsen challenged me to think more critically about HOW I would actually integrate this digital world into my classroom one day. Looking back on when I was in high school, I can’t remember any teachers really encouraging the use of technology in our lessons, projects, homework, evaluations, etc. The times have changed dramatically in only a handful of years since when I was in high school, so I don’t have any previous personal experiences to build on or inspire me. Everything I’m learning about classroom technology is through my BEd, and I need to focus more on HOW I will actually make use of this digital world to benefit my students.


In regards to Jacobsens article, I whole heartedly agreed with most of what she had to say, but there was one idea that I struggled with. This was her idea that schools should remove their internet firewalls so that students can have access to the web without any boundaries. To some extent, I think this is a great idea and has good intentions, but I think that there will always be students who will abuse this privilege. I also think that some parents wouldn’t agree with this, namely those who apply firewalls to their internet at home to block their children from discovering sensitive content on the web. Then again, I think to myself: “Well, if these kids have cellphones and have access to the internet away from home or outside of school, they will find on their spare time whatever it is they want to find online.” I’m a strong believer in school being an environment greater than just one to host books and to teach students traditional academia. Students should be learning people skills, life skills, social interaction skills, learning about themselves, their strengths AND their weaknesses and how to embrace all of this in this crazy thing we call life. Learning experiences like getting in trouble for whatever ridiculous things students do help us grow and blossom into responsible and sensible adults. Sometimes getting in trouble is the BEST thing that can happen for a child, because in that moment, they are LEARNING. It’s cliché, but it’s true: we learn from our mistakes. Thus, maybe students should have the freedom to explore the internet freely while at school. If they’re going to do it on their own time anyway, why not let them explore what they want to explore in a safe environment under adult supervision and with guidance from teachers. If they push the limits of these privileges and abuse them, the privileges can be revoked and consequences can be enforced. Learning is occurring either way. Win Win for everyone.


Jenkins’ video and Jacobsen’s article really put things into context for me as a future teacher. It is our responsibility not only to include technology into our lessons, but to embrace that technology and engage ourselves in the digital world so that in turn, we can better engage students. If we aren’t motivated and passionate about what we are teaching, students won’t be either. This is partially why I chose to do a Twitter essay. I wanted to push myself into an uncomfortable environment and better familiarize myself with the platform that students regularly use. Teaching isn’t always comfortable, and learning often occurs at the boundaries of our comfort zone.


– Natalie Gagne



Access Denied !?!?!?

I read the article Digital Redlining, Access, and Privacy by Chris Gilliard. I thought that in my response I should add an image that reflects the origination of the term redlining especially since it happened so close to home. Before reading this article I had no idea that redlining was a problem that was faced in the physical world and now the digital one. Redlining the marginalized communities only lead to huge gaps in finance between the white population and the African American population. By denying these poor communities mortgages the government ensured that they could not escape from poverty.  The marginalized are trapped in poverty and become more likely to go to jail, have a drug addiction and commit suicide all because the rich want to stay rich. Today the majority of the black community are still living in poverty and the average prison statistically more full of the marginalized communities. Now the same thing is happening digitally, only this time instead of denying mortgage they are denying students educational sources based on institutions wealth. The institutions that are more wealthy and well known for their research programs and education are granted more resources. The community colleges and smaller universities are granted less. They could not afford to go the to higher level schools so they do not get to have a well rounded and whole education; that seems unfair. How is anyone supposed to break the bonds of poverty if their education is hindered because of their financial situation.

Before I read this article I had no idea that redlining was even an issue. I have since tried to find articles for my philosophy paper and was having a hard time. My cousin who went to Laurier said that he never had problems finding articles there.  I had no idea that institutions have different access to sources!! I also watched the digital classroom recording with Chris It hit me when he said that at his institution he could not read the article that he published. WOW! I can’t even believe that anything like this could happen. I had a little bit of experience with this in the classroom. I did some small scale reactions of the Alkali Metals due to the reactiveness of these elements I could not do a larder scale reaction. After I gained the attention of the class with the reactions I wanted to show a video of a larger scale reaction of these metals. I had my video selected but it would not let me play it in the school.  The students were denied that learning experience because of the schools access. This is unacceptable, it is time to take the red tape down! This is a money making scheme that we need to put to rest for the sake of greater education. We need to stop extinguishing students curiosity with a big red blocked sign!

I responded to this article with a sketch note of the images that came into my head as I read the article on this topic. First of all there is a red line spiting the page in half. The right half of the page are those who benefit from redlining that is why this side is depicted in colour to indicate their privilege. The left side of the drawing is enclosed by the red line and in poverty, they are depicted in black and white to indicate that something is missing. At the top I have two very different locations; a large city and poorer homes. This explains the origins of the word redlining which is to keep the poor and marginalized poor by not allowing them to have a mortgage.  The next image is of a man standing on the edge of a cliff, with a rainbow bridge that is blocked by the red line. To me this image represents the steps towards a solution that must be taken. The red line must come down so the people living in poverty can share the benefits of their neighbours both physically and digitally.  The last images are of two people on computers, the one on the right goes to a top university and has access to all the resources she needs. The one on the left has no connection and in his search finds a blocked page. This guy represents those who’s education is hindered by the redlining of our society.

Below is my sketch note. Hope you enjoy!