Major Project Summary!

(Read it or watch my vlog)

It’s hard to believe that the semester has come and gone and I am writing my summary for my major project! I started this class with very little knowledge on digital citizenship and media literacy. Even after the first few classes I wasn’t quite aware of how encompassing these concepts were for the course. I had chosen option 1 for my major project and had proposed created some math blended lessons. I naively believed that by using technology to create my resource I was hitting the ‘mark’…it wasn’t until a few classes later that I realized how far I was from the heart of the assignment.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Please watch my vlog to hear my full journey for my major project. I created this page on my website in order to help others see the journey I went on to create a digital citizenship website for primary grades. I wanted other educators to understand that it is okay to go from teaching the bare minimum to imbedding it into almost every lesson. The change in my personal teaching pedagogy was the foundational piece to my drive to compile and create my lessons and resources. You can also visit my Wakelet where you will see how my project evolved through my blogs and my resources.

Photo by Matt Howard on Unsplash

How I began my project once I settled on a destination:

  1. Researched the blended/flipped approach
  2. Researched existing Digital Citizenship lessons, websites, and resources
  3. I tried to email a teacher who had created a digital citizenship website for elementary aged students but I never heard back
  4. Looked at my year plan and my past digital citizenship lessons
  5. Looked at the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship
  6. Looked at the SK documents for teaching Digital Citizenship
  7. I then started looking specifically at each of the 9 elements of DC and my year plan to find ways to create cross-curricular lessons
  8. I used an adapted version of the RCSD Connected Educator lesson plans to create my lessons
  9. As I created each lesson I would think of a way to create a blended lesson that the students could complete at home with their parents, this piece was foundational to each of the 9 elements. I had remembered when our discussions in EC&I832 were focused on DC and the lack of knowledge that parents can have with it all and I was determined to find a way to incorporate parents in the learning process.
  10. After I had written out all my lessons I then filmed my 9 blended lessons that went along with my 9 cross-curricular lessons
  11. Throughout all of this research I was accumulating resources and trying to figure out a way to best present my project. I had shared my idea with some fellow teachers and that is when I decided I would try my hand at creating a website.

Steps to creating a website:

  1. I had to research and choose the best FREE website creator
  2. I then taught myself how to edit and manipulate the website to become the desired outcome I was envisioning
  3. I quickly realized that I enjoyed the freedom to design every last detail of my website
  4. I was able to add personal information, a rationale page, all my researched resources, my created content, and a summary page

In closing…

Overall I am very pleased with the outcome of my project. It was definitely a major learning process for me to not only figure out how to imbed DC into my lessons but also to create blended lessons and an entire website! I know that the process has forever changed the way I look at DC and the ease at which I can now teach the 9 elements and encourage others to do likewise. I also am glad I now have a resource to consult and to direct other educators to as well. I chose to release my major project early in light of the changes in our teaching environment with Covid 19. I had a friend who was giving her children technology access for the first time at home and she was thrilled to have this resource to consult for not just her children but also herself! I am so grateful for the opportunity I had for deep learning of DC before this pandemic hit. I now can roll out distance learning with DC imbedded throughout my teaching.

Thank you to my classmates who helped guide my project with their comments and reviews. I also appreciated the amazing resource sharing that took place through Twitter; either my peers sharing or my own sharing as I discovered resources. It was such a neat way to design a resource!

Here is the link to my website! Enjoy! Please share your feedback!

[Emergency] Distance Learning…Does Privacy Still Matter?

The first thing I wanted to look into was LAFOIP that was mentioned during our class presentations. I had heard people talk about it before in staff meetings but most people didn’t seem to clear on what it all entailed. I figured this was the best time to look into it. Especially considering our current state of emergency distance education. I have seen many teachers grasping to figure out new systems to deliver their content and have wondered how they are ensuring that privacy policies are fully understood or reviewed before accessing these new sites. Below is some videos I found on the SK website about Privacy and Policy. I found the first video particularily helpful.


After watching these videos and thinking about how they pertain to other educators, I couldn’t help but think about my own students and the platforms I use with them. I am an avid Seesaw user and I LOVE what the platform offers. I would never have considered it to be a social media app; however, according to the definition by Oxford, it technically is.

“Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” – Oxford

Seesaw has alot of settings that allow the teacher to make choices about what content is visible to others and to the outside world. Personally, I have kept my settings fairly private and have not felt too comfortable opening the door for public access or for students to see eachothers work. I definitely believe their is a time and place to teach students how to view each others work, I just don’t think that time is in grade 1. There is alot of digital citizenship that needs to go into students before they should be allowed access to other peoples work/content. One of the biggest problems I have with opening up students work to each other is the ‘like’ option. Reading the research behind ‘likes’ on social media and the recent movement for Instagram to take off their ‘like’ count on posts I believe their is some truth to the concerns raised. My personal belief is that we don’t need young kids to start to view their work in light of how many ‘likes’ they get….sorry for the side rant:).

These thoughts are things I wrestled with prior to setting up my students on Seesaw a few years ago. I spent alot of time testing and reviewing how the app worked, what the students would see, and what their parents would see. I believe this is an important process that needs to take place before any teacher starts a new platform with their students. Going through the process of researching and testing needs to take place with LAFOIP kept in mind. Amidst switching to distance learning I have found myself going through the same process. I spent 2 weeks researching Seesaw’s ‘Home Learning Codes’ before I felt comfortable exposing my students to a new form of digital learning. By doing this I was able to confidently begin using the new program and assist parents in their questions and concerns. As teachers it is our job to assess the platforms we use in the classroom before we expose them to students. I know that we are in the midst of a pandemic but let us not add to the stress by being underprepared as we switch to teaching online. If anything we need to try our very best to be fully educated on the platforms we intend to use so that we are equiped to assist students and parents through this time. We do not need to add confidentiality breaches, cyber-bullying, or hacking opportunities to this already tumultuous time. As an educator who uses social media platforms and am taking EC&I 832, I feel it is my responsibility to speak up and help those teachers who are less experienced. I have seen my fellow peers already doing this through Twitter! Way to go guys! Keep up the great work!


Below I will link some sites that can help you navigate privacy and laws when it comes to students and technology/social media in the classroom:

  1. Twitter , GroupTweet , Twiducate
  2. Edublogs
  3. Skype
  4. Edmodo
  5. Google Hangouts
  6. Microsoft Teams
  7. Diigo
  8. Instagram
  9. Snapchat
  10. Seesaw
  11. How to prepare kids for video-chatting

What does it mean to be literate today? What might be some different elements of being “fully” literate?

When doing my research for my class presentation I came across this great video series that could easily used for personal education and in classrooms! It walks the listener through what it means to be literate and what some of the different literacies are.

I also spent time listening to the Ted Talk by Andrea Quijada who says that “Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media. You can read the article to learn more about her opinions surrounding how literacy has evolved. I found her insights quite helpful in my own quest to discover more about media literacy.

I then started researching how I could summarize the multiple different elements surrounding media literacy. After listening to Peter Komendowski’s Ted Talk I was directed to his website that listed multiple resources and articles surrounding digital literacy.

One of these resources directed me to a website that they were in partnership with that outlines 5 Key Principles: (The following was taken from the website that is linked if you click on the text).

These were developed by The Center for Media Literacy based on the Five Core Concepts which the early media literacy field adapted. In their work with teachers over the years, they learned that concepts are difficult to teach but questions are powerful! The Center’s five key questions of Media Literacy are:

  1. Who created this message?
  2. What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?
  3. How might different people understand this message differently from me?
  4. What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in or omitted from this message?
  5. Why is this message being sent?

I found these 5 elements very helpful in narrowing down what to examine when we view different literacies. I appreciated that the questions were not focused solely on digital literacy but rather could be applied to non-digital literacies as well. I would love to hear others thoughts and opinions on these 5 elements. Have you found similar ones? What are the elements based on your own research? Are any elements missing? How do you teach these elements in your classroom?

When the weekly blog assignment IS your major project…

“What practices are currently in place in your school or context [for digital citizenship]? How might you envision addressing the concept of digital citizenship in the future? “- #ECI832

So I read the weekly blog topic and realized that it pretty much summarized the questions that I sought out to answer with the creation of my Major Project for this class. So over the weekend I finalized all the pieces of my major project and designed my website. I had wanted to include a vlog explaining my thought process and planning process so I am using the same vlog for this weeks blog and on my website (sorry, you’ll have to wait a little longer for the website to be published…I’m a perfectionist and had no idea how many small details go into web design). I also apologize for the length of my video…I learnt how easy it was to talk TOO much. I am hoping I will continue to get better at making vlogs! …Again, this was another new method of sharing my learning that I decided I needed to tackle this week!

Needless to say it has been a LONG week of finalizing my major project pieces and reflecting on my journey throughout it all. However, I have LOVED diving deep into what it looks like to teach digital citizenship in a primary grade. I also came to realize my inadequate teaching of the topic and am excited to become an advocate for WHY we need to teach it through a cross-curricular approach.

If you have any questions about the research I did prior to creating my lessons/videos please ask! My video already seemed to long so I didn’t want to extend it further. I hope this is helpful to some of you primary teachers and maybe even to some of you middle/secondary teachers!…a picture book is always a great resource!

Thanks again for reading/watching! I would love some feedback before I publish my website! 🙂

Digital Identity; an Interview with a Teenager

Hi guys!

In the last few week’s I have been more and more interested in exploring some new formats of gathering information and reflecting on our class topics. Recently the one format that I have been curious about has been Podcasts. I have seen Amanda and Dean’s podcasts which really helped to motivate me to step out of my comfort zone and test it out! I have often joked with some colleagues about it but have actually had some serious conversations about trying one out lately. However, after reflecting on this weeks topic I decided I would start small by locating some equipment to use for recording and testing out a platform for sound and editing.

This weeks topic focused on digital identity. I knew I could spend some time reflecting on my own experiences and thoughts around it but I was hoping to go broader than my own scope. Unfortunately, my students are still pretty young to get into this topic and have much to say; however, I have a sibling that is just finishing high school! The more I thought about interviewing him the more excited I got to hear his views. Although you would assume he would have a high digital footprint and be fully connected online he is surprisingly invisible. We have had the odd conversation about social media in the past but I figured this was the perfect opportunity to learn more…plus get some help with my new equipment! So I gave him some time to think through some of the bigger questions and then we sat down for the interview.

….I did not prep him with responses but you may be as surprised as I was by his insights 🙂

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Unfortunately, I could not add an audio file through the free version of WordPress :(. But if you click the button you will be able to listen to the audio.


After sitting and discussing my brothers answers I was actually quite impressed by his overall responses. I would consider him to be a part of the generation that did not receive alot of education around digital identity and media and yet he seems to have avoided alot of the negative impacts of technology. I found some his thoughts on his peers social media use interesting in relation to the commonsense research article that I read recently. It seems as though social media use continues to grow, which he sees in some of his peers; however, he would go against the status quo. I would love to be able to sit down with an avid social media user and my brother and compare their thoughts. (Although I wasn’t able to sit down with a different teen I did come across an interview from commonsense where teens discuss their own personal social media usage.)

After the interview with my brother I asked him how he knew to avoid posting certain things or why he stayed off of certain sites but he genuinely said he wasn’t interested in the whole ‘social media fad’.

Summary of my brothers thoughts and comments.

Comparing his digital identity to my own:

I then began to think of my brothers digital identity compared to my own. I would have to admit that I am a lot more present on my social media and can say that I do feel a pull to it that can be unhealthy at times. I find it interesting that a lot of people I have talked to lately, in light of this class, actually feel similar. After reading Daniel’s blog about social media I found I could relate to his views and so could many of the people I know in my day-to-day life. In my school division we are currently celebrating Lent and it is alarming how many people have chosen to give up social media for Lent. I have gone through phases of this myself…especially after I get my weekly screen report or realize I just wasted valuable time on scrolling through posts. However, I find it very difficult to stay off it completely and I am not convinced that that is the answer.

Articles on Social Media Balance:

I read one article that gave some suggestions for finding balance. Some of these I found new and refreshing to hear…it’s almost like I feel like I need someone to tell me it’s okay to not ALWAYS be connected. I sometimes feel like there is this unspoken expectation that you should always be up-to-speed on what is happening which can cause a lot of stress and feelings of failure.

Here are the suggestions from

I also found some interesting information from forbes. com about how social media can affect your stress levels, mood, anxiety, cause depression, and lead to lack of sleep. Although I did not thoroughly fact check all of forbes findings I have heard most of these claims in the past and so it doesn’t surprise me to hear these.

My Own Digital Identity Sleuthing:

Since this class started in the Winter I have found myself increasingly aware of my presence online. This has caused me to do a lot of checking and reading of my different social media platforms and their privacy policies. I have actually found out some pretty interesting things about myself and my lack of awareness on some of these sites.

  1. There is a famous person with the same name as me which makes it really hard to track myself down.
  2. I had my Facebook settings set to only allow 1 of my friends to see my posts for the last 7 YEARS! Haha…I still have no idea how that happened or how I never noticed.
  3. I have some professional social media sites that exist but for really no purpose and so I find myself questioning if I should delete them or not.
  4. I have noticed that Instagram seems to be a more closed site depending on your privacy settings compared to Facebook.
  5. I have also become a lot more mindful of the apps I download on my personal device and my student’s devices. There seems to be a lot of apps that unnecessarily ask for all of your identity for no real reason.


In closing, I would say I am still in the process of learning which social media accounts are necessary for personal & professional practices. I definitely enjoy all my platforms for different reasons; however, I question if this is another area that quality over quantity is what matters. What I have learnt up to this point is that every account I have accumulates to create my ‘digital identity’ which should match my real life identity. When I think of my personal vs. work life I wonder if we can maintain the same divide online? Shelby brought up some interesting points in her reflection that caused me to question the purpose of the divide and how we can work to change the way our current society functions with digital identities.

One post-interview discussion I had with my brother was around the phrase ‘cancel culture‘. I had never heard this phrase before but I found it very interesting to hear that he also found it frustrating how we take one persons mistake they’ve made online and judge their entire character from it. As Katia wrote in her article, “In a world where forgetting is no longer possible, we might instead work towards greater empathy and forgiveness.” The more I learn about digital identity the more I wonder how we can move away from solely teaching kids to ‘fear‘ technology and rather teach them to make informed decisions while learning how to show forgiveness and empathy both in-person and online.

Thanks for listening to my thoughts!


Digital Citizenship & Blended Learning

I found this weeks vlogs on Digital Citizenship to be very enlightening. I hadn’t had the chance to dig into all the difference sources that talk about digital citizenship so listening to their summaries and combination of their findings was very beneficial. Their vlogs also challenged me to reassess my own digital citizenship lessons and also begin to contemplate how my Major Project for EC&I 832 could incorporate digital citizenship.

After watching these vlogs and listening to the content from class I can’t help but reflect on my Major Project and the goals that I wish to accomplish:

  • Is my project leaning more towards to the curriculum side and less toward digital citizenship?
  • How can I include digital citizenship into my math blended learning lessons?
  • If I haven’t explicitly taught digital citizenship should I be using blended learning for my math lessons?
  • Do I need to back up and teach digital citizenship more explicitly?
  • Am I on the right track for my project?
  • Could I teach digital citizenship through a blended learning apporach?
  • Wouldn’t digital citizenship lessons benefit students and parents?
  • How would blended learning look with a digital citizenship lesson?

Time to Make a Change…

After asking myself these questions I decided I would do a google search on the words Digital Citizenship. Surprisingly the top search that was linked to the definition was ‘What is digital citizenship? (And how do I teach it?)’ I found it very interesting that the first link is related to ‘teaching it’, meaning that someone needs to be the teacher…that this isn’t something you are born knowing (aka digital natives). When I clicked the link (because I’m guilty of assuming that the first link is the best link) the second line in the article states “This is why digital citizenship is such a crucial topic to teach today’s students.” What I am trying to get at is the argument that it is assumed that digital citizenship is the school/ teachers job to teach. The other links from google mostly referred to pre-made lesson plans and activities to teach digital citizenship to students. So I started to scroll through the articles to see if there were some lessons that I could use with my Grade 1’s. However, I was not suprised to find little to no lessons directed at such a young age level (this was my first frustration that began to churn the wheels in my brain). I then started to think of my own students and what they share about their use of technology at home and I started to wonder how much parents are actually discussing concepts of digital citizenship at home, either due to lack of their own knowledge OR assumptions that their child is still too young to learn about these concepts. In my own classroom I have designed simple digital citizenship lessons; however, they are short & sweet and only kept within our 4 walls of the classroom (this was the second thought that began to challenge my intial Major Project idea). Why are we not educating parents on digital citizenship? How could I use the blended learning approach to actively engage parents in digital citizenship lessons and knowlegde? Would it be possible to create blended learning digital citizenship lessons that parents and Ss could complete and discuss together at home? Could these digital citizenship lessons be linked to curriculum topics that I am already teaching? How can I create cross-curricular lessons?

I still am not sure what these lessons could look like but as I began to search the terms ‘teaching digital citizenship through a blended learning approach’ online, I found nothing that was geared towards grade 1 level. I now feel compelled to change my Major Project topic to creating blended digital citizenship, cross-curricular lessons in order to co-teach students about digital citizenship alongside their parents. I will still be utilizing Seesaw to share the blended lessons with parents. Now that I have recognized this gap I feel convicted to address this gap. I cannot encourage technology use at home (through the blended learning approach) if I have not first taught both parents and Ss the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship. I therefore am going to embark on a detailed exploration of the 9 elements and how I can create 9 blended lesson plans on digital citizenship for grade 1 students that will coincide with curricular topics in my year plan.

Changes to my Major Project:

  1. I will NOW be creating 9 cross- curricular blended lessons to coincide with the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship
  2. I will NO LONGER be creating grade 1 blended math lessons
  3. I will STILL be using Seesaw and it’s many functions to apply the blended approach to my lessons
  4. I will STILL be using the blended approach
  5. I will NOW be reviewing my year plan to see which curricular topics I can use to teach content and digital citizenship through (cross-curricular)

New Curricular Connections:

I will be using the K-2 section of the continuum to create my I CAN statements and link the 9 elements to age appropriate expectations.


Thank you for taking the time to read through my thoughts as I processed these changes to my Major Project. I am so glad that I called my Major Project Outline ‘living‘, as it definately is now changed (hopefully for the better). Please feel free to comment and leave suggestions/ questions!

Nomophobia…Are Tech Free Camps the Answer?

Last class we watched a video by Simon Sinek. I had seen this clip before but each time I watch it I find myself resonating with something new he shares. I know not everyone may agree with his thoughts; however, in my lived experience with millenials and the current generation I find some of his ideas to be relatable.

There was one statement that stuck with me in particular…

“We have age restrictions on smoking, gambling, and alcohol. We have no age restrictions on social media and cell phones.”- Simon Sinek

This quote made me sit back and question WHY we don’t have age restrictions or age guidelines. I know that some social media apps require children to be 13 or older; however, we all know that most kids lie about their age to access these sites. I also have read different reports that share information on recommended screen time for kids but I am not to sure how often parents are are exposed to this information. The issues surrounding children and cellphone use seems to me to be something that parents have to be proactive in researching, it appears much more difficult to enforce rules once kids have had unrestricted access. This comment by Simon also made me think back to an article I read sometime ago that talked about technology free camps. I have done some research to learn more about these camps, what they stand for, and why they exist.

CAMP #1: Camp Pocono Trails

CAMP #2: Detox camps in South Korea

This questionaire was attached to the article… if you have sometime take the quiz and see where you fall.

CAMP #3: Family Bootcamp

Here are a few of the things they treat that are specifically related to technology.

CAMP #4: Camp Grounded

CAMP #5: Morningside Recovery

This treatment center specifically looks at nomophobia. This was the first time I heard this term.

Do I need to continue??

After doing some researching and reading these sites laterally I have determined that quite a few camps & programs have been created in order to combat the high exposure of technology on our lives. However, I am doubtful of whether these treatment centers are the answer. I would love to hear your thoughts on these programs and their effectiveness. Some of the questions I am left with are…

  1. How do we balance technology usage in our lives?
  2. How do we create healthy boundaries for kids and adults?
  3. What does a healthy amount of technology look like? Does it look the same for everyone?
  4. How do we educate students to help them understand balance before it reaches a critical point?

I am hoping that alot of these questions will be answered in this class (EC&I 832). I feel that media literacy and digital leadership will be two key teachings that we can use to help students balance technology usage in their lives. I like the idea of the camps and some actually look pretty fun! However, I fear that in taking away all technology it may make it difficult for people to re-integrate into a society that is so reliant on technology…Anyways, I definitely do not know all the answers and I am still pondering through my own thoughts as I write this blog post. I hope you took the test, learned soemthing new, and if the test told you that you have an unhealthy dependency on technology then go check out one of these camps and let me know what it’s like! I hope this post has also provided you with some questions that are troubling your own beliefs and experiences with technology.

Just because WE may not have an addiction to it it doesn’t mean that others aren’t struggling and in need of proactive intervention. The fact that these camps exist tell us something about a need that we should take some responsibilty in addressing.


What other solutions do you suggest?

In my own classroom I noticed a bigger focus on technology once I became a Connected Educator and decided that one thing I could do to help balance their choices was to create a Maker Space in my classroom. I have found this to be a HUGE hit with my kids and has given them opportunity to create and explore with technology AND hands-on materials. Just as it is mentioned in the TedEd blog I am already looking into how to create a LARGER space for my Makerspace next year and how to allocate more time for it.

Week 2: Blended vs. Flipped…Which will I choose?

Step 1: What is BLENDED learning?

(I am a visual learner so I started with a video from Edutopia)

Their Suggestions:

  1. Look at the research
  2. Define blended learning
  3. Ask “what would it look like in MY classroom”? (I love how personalized this is, it takes off the expectation that there is only ‘1 way to do it)

Kids started to say to their teacher, “We don’t want to listen to somebody else [on the videos]; we want to listen to YOU…we need YOUR help and we want to hear YOUR voice.”- Edutopia

“The online tools are there to help make understanding even better, even more rich of an experience for the kids.”-Edutopia

“We really wanted to focus to be on the teaching and learning part, and on the digital tool as a secondary thing.”-Edutopia

Tech they used to blend content:

  • ShowMe app
  • Podcasts
  • Kids make podcasts

The teacher concluded, “classroom time, direct instruction, investications, discovery, that’s all still part of teaching. It’s not all online. Alot of the face-to-face stuff is still the most important thing to me.”-Edutopia

I LOVE this quote, these pieces are essential to my teaching pedagogy as well so it is reassuring to hear that you don’t ‘lose out’ on these elements when you bring in more technology.

“Kids don’t always GET IT the first time, or the second time, or the third time. And this allows different ways for those kids to GET IT.”-Edutopia

Step 2: What is a FLIPPED classroom?

(I couldn’t find a summary of a flipped classroom from Edutopia but I found one from Common Sense Education.)

“I dont want kids to watch a video, I want kids to INTERACT with learning content. The efficacy of a FLIPPED classroom is greatly enhanced if the TEACHER IS THE CREATOR of the content.” – Jon Bergmann

“95% of kids in the U.S. have access to internet at home.” -Jon Bergmann

What is the percentage in Canada?

In Canada (2018) “94% of Canadians had home internet access.” – Stats Canada

“The entry point for a flipped classroom is not to flip a class but to FLIP A LESSON.”-Jon Bergmann

Challenge for my first lesson:

“What is something you find yourself repeating over and over and over again? FLIP THAT LESSON.”-Jon Bergmann

Findings after flipping classess the first year:

  1. “more ownership of their learning”
  2. “better performance on tests”
  3. “more interested and engaged”

Step 3: Summary of FLIPPED vs. BLENDED

I created this using:

Implications of these findings…

After disecting the difference between the two types of digital learning I have decided that my project and beliefs more closely mirror the BLENDED LEARNING model. However, with the staggering amount of overlap between the 2 frameworks it would be silly to not also utilize research and resources from professionals who are also using the flipped model. I am glad I did some research to find the differences/similarities which allowed some clarity in my own mind. I am now planning to spend some more time researching the blended model. I am hoping to find some scholarly articles, videos, online articles, and hopefully also try to connect with a teacher who is using the blended model to see how I can effectively promote media literay and digital leadership.

…stay tuned for updates! 🙂

Week 1: Gathering Seesaw Resources, Tips & Tricks

Connecting with Other’s Online:

See How Others are Utilizing Seesaw:

Get Up-To-Date with Seesaw’s New Features:

Participate in Some Seesaw PD:

Digital Citizenship on Seesaw:


All of these items I have found so far will hopefully begin to direct me with my project. I am sure I will continue to add to this post as I discover more resources and hear back from some of the teachers I have Tweeted in regards to what they are doing. My purpose in beginning here is to hopefully allow me to see the full scope of what I can accomplish within Seesaw and how other teachers have already begun to develop similar resources. I am also excited to see how this research will aid me in my current Seesaw practices in other subjects as well. Most of these ideas I was unaware of or have not tried before. I am excited to begin testing out some of these features and reflecting on how they can enhance the resource I am creating! I’d love to hear if any of you have tried these features in the past!


Next Time…

  1. I am hoping to now spend some time experimenting with these features
  2. Listen in to some of the PD sessions
  3. Begin compiling resources to compare & contrast blended and flipped classrooms

Reading Laterally…Crucial For More Than Just Online Shopping

After having the opportunity to listen to Mary Beth for EC&I832 I spent sometime going through my own notes as well as the links that were shared during the class. I found the presentation touched on multiple topics that I could easily have reflected on. However, the topic that caused me to reflect on my own digital practices was when Mary Beth talked about ‘reading laterally’. She points out the obvious that websites are set up to be read vertically and therefore that is usually how they are read. However, in this day and age in order to be media literate we need to be aware of the content we are consuming and whether or not it is reliable. If we only read websites vertically we have no way of knowing whether or not that site can be trusted.

After hearing this I began reflecting on how I consume media (websites, adds, social media) . Some of the questions I asked myself were:

  • Do I check multiple sources when searching for answers online? Or do I click the top results and blindly trust them based on popularity?
  • When I see news articles on my social media do I habitually click and trust their stance or sources?
  • When are the times that I check multiple other websites and sources? Have I ever done this?
  • Am I quick to trust the sites of articles sent to me by trusted people rather then checking the source for myself?
  • What are the consequences on my negligent behaviors when I research online?
  • How do I shift from reading vertically to laterally?

When are the times that I check multiple other websites and sources? Have I ever done this?

When I asked myself this question I immediately got my answer: the times I check sources, reviews, and opinions from sites is only when I am doing one thing….shopping online. After I realized this it caused me to reflect further on the ‘WHY’. Is it because I am more fearful of being scammed out of my money? Why do I not fear the same of being scammed out of the truth? Why am I more concerned with where my ‘stuff’ is coming from and less where my knowledge is coming from? Some of these questions I am still wrestling with and probably will continue to do so as I challenge the roots of my online habits.

Side note: Just curious, with the startup of so many blogging/lifestyle Instagram accounts does anyone find that they blindly ‘trust’ the items and sites being promoted by these ‘real people’ who make a living from blogging and sharing products? I catch myself naively trusting that these bloggers have my best interests in mind vs. their own (which is that these accounts are their business). Not to group in all bloggers, more just a pondering I have had in the last week. I’d love to hear others opinions, especially if someone knows one of these bloggers or is one. How do these bloggers avoid promoting just for the sake of business?

Photo by Charles on Unsplash

Called Out!

I recently had a friend ask me about a certain author that I had been reading. She said she was also given a book by the same author to read. I asked her how she liked the book and she said she hadn’t read it yet…I was a bit confused. I asked her why and she said she was still doing research about the author; who the author was affiliated with and what her beliefs were. I was a bit stunned to say the least. Not that I don’t understand that you can’t just read anything but because I had read the book and it all sounded ‘good’ to me. However, her explanation of why it was imported to look into the author’s background opened my eyes to why it is important to ‘check into things’ no matter how you feel about a book or source. Initially I had thought of this experience as an isolated conversation but as I began to reflect on ‘reading laterally’ I started to see how it was one and the same with how I should also be reading online.

Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash

Implications Moving Forward

As I look back at my thoughts and the learning that I have encountered I cannot help but see the importance of changing my patterns of reading media. I believe that the biggest reason that I haven’t been reading vertically is due to laziness and the assumption of low-risk when absorbing information. However, after reading Ch. 1 & 2 of ‘Media Literacy’ by Potter I am now aware that ALL the information we absorb and HOW we absorb it affects our brains and how we think and feel about media. I am finding that I am still at the beginning stages of discovering the multiple changes that I need to undergo in not only my habits but also my thinking around media. Although reading vertically will take more time I now see that it is just as essential whether I am spending my money OR my time online.

I’d love to hear others thoughts, experiences, and learnings in regards to this area. Have you experienced the same things? When and how do you read vertically? What are your suggestions for HOW to read vertically? Are there specific sites that make ‘checking’ easier? What are your go-to’s?