Author Archives: paty1

For the third multimedia assignment I decided to try my hand at a completely new tool, Explain Everything. It is ultimately a smart board on the iPad (there is also a desktop version) that lets you insert images, videos, browser files and annotate/record your voice over them. You can then go back and edit, cut and change each component. I will say it was a much bigger taking on than I had imagined, and I don’t know if I was able to even show even close to what this is capable of. I would one day like to become very proficient in this technology as I feel it would be a very handy tool in a one iPad class to get concepts that were prepared in a creative way previously. Another great feature of this app is that you can invite individuals to view and collaborate on your whiteboard with you, which would be great in a classroom setting. It would also be very beneficial as a tutorial or guidance type system as you can open and control a browser, so it lends itself nicely to this assignment.stamp of approval

I could not figure out how to store pre-loaded tabs, so I was not able to show many of the hyperlinks within the resource to their full potential. However, the biggest issue I faced was timing my commentary to the doodles I made, as I tried to do them separately. I filmed and recorded numerous times until I reached a video I was semi pleased with. If I had had more time, as I mentioned above, I would have loved to test out some of the other features but I would have needed weeks of time to set aside (here’s looking at you summer). I also realized after the fact that there was a desktop version I could have been using which may have made to process a little less tedious, however my iPad was sill sufficient. This app is a freemium model which limits the amount of projects you can have and their lengths. I paid for 1 month just to see what would unlock and I am very please so far. I can’t wait to try and incorporate it into my own lessons, which transitions nicely into the next topic…

The focus of this multimedia assignment was on ecampus Ontario’s Technologist Module. It is an open education platform with the primary goal of raising digital literacy awareness and providing educators with the steps they need to consider before integrating technology to support a need within their class. This is one of the six modules offered on the extend page.

Users are immediately greeted by a short video about Terry  a teacher who wants to do better by his students and start utilizing technology. I found the layout of the site to be clean and intuitive. It was clear that there were steps and one was to work through them page by page until complete.  However, the amount of information covered under each tab was extremely overwhelming, not to mention the amount of clickable content dotted within the bulk text. As someone who struggles to sit down and read for long periods of time, this would have been a deterrent for me. However, for some, this is preferable. Although they did try to incorporate some videos at the start they disappeared by the third or fourth tab which meant there was no option but to read in the latter half of the module.

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One facet of this outline I thought really positive was the community interaction through the Activity Bank response options. This was in attempt to get the users of the module to collaborate and share their thoughts and opinions. However, when I clicked to join in there was only ever a handful of users who actually used this feature which is very unfortunate. If there was more of a push to join the pool of collaborators I feel this would greatly benefit the overall engagement of the module.  Another aspect which was executed beautifully is the amount of templates and exemplars users have at their fingertips – very handy resources for future consideration. They even have The Great Tool List of technologies available to teachers, some of which I had not heard of!

As for the content, it is very valuable and educational albeit overwhelming at times. The program talks about technology integration as being student-centred and about meeting learners where they are. It then walks you through the Design Thinking model as a means of achieving integration for differentiated instruction – meeting your students where they are asking to be met. As part of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model, it is an educators job to assume there is a variety of learners in their classroom and the Design Thinking model reflects this practice. Beginning with empathy, trying to understand the needs from the students perspective all the way through to a prototype to practice the integration and shape it into something that works for you.

I believe that this module is a step on the right direction to more openness of education online, an extremely important movement that I hope will only become more popular as time goes on.


Please see my response below! 

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

Ghosts in the Classroom! I Thought You Ought to Know…

I have chosen to read and reflect on Ashley Hinck’s article entitled: Digital Ghosts in the Modern Classroom.

In short she sparks a discussion about template and short cut media making platforms available to students today such as, Canva and WIX, and how these platforms are ultimately hindering their creative learning process. You see when a student is limited by a rigid number of designs, styles and inputs they can only be as creative as the program allows them to be. There is very little in the way of trial and error as one can simply drag and drop from a menu. Slowly these programs are turning our students into robots that can follow a linear path of instructions to reach a common, and often predicted, outcome. This path convinces students that at the end of their media assignment there is a correct way to display their ideas and an incorrect way to do so, based on the teacher instructions and the limitations of the programs suggested to them. However, this is a false notion and will cause them great disadvantages as they move forward. These individuals will not be able to handle failure when faced with a creative challenge they must complete on their own, ads they have not developed the skills to start from scratch and learn through the mistakes.

To banish these “ghost” platforms Hinck makes many suggestions. First she states that, as educators it is our job to analyze the tech we are using inside of our classroom but also what is absent. Perhaps introducing more open-ended and free form programs such as, Raspberry Pi, Scratch, CSS and Python to entice students to build from the ground up something they can be proud of. These programs demand trial and error (especially error) in order to better ones ability to create. She also used LEGO as an example outside of classrooms, some sets have instructions that meet and end goal but the pieces can be put together in so many ways without instruction that the opportunity to create is nearly endless.

All in all, she is asking us to think about the skills and outlooks we want our students to have when they leave our classroom and look deeply into the tools we use to do so. Students are not jars that we just fill with correct answers hoping they will one day come out on top. We need to teach them how to see failure as growth and be proud of finding skills on their own.

I whole heartedly agree with what Hinck is saying in this article and it honestly made me realize that although I have some knowledge of these open ended systems I too am a product of ghosts. Especially for this project, I used Piktochart which is a drag and drop template website. I chose a template, wrote words and found images to match my thoughts. I did not know how to stretch the medium more to what I envisioned so I went with what it already provided. I am pleased with the outcome however saddened by my compliance to it and lack of questioning what I could have done differently.


Please see my Infographic below: