The Power of a Smile :)

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While mindlessly scrolling through my Pinterest feed today, I came across this picture which made me stop and think. This weekend, a girl I worked with passed away, and although I didn’t know her well, her passing hit me hard. It made me consider the way I treat all of the people whom I interact with everyday. I know that I will never be friends with everyone, but going out of my way to smile at everyone I come in contact with on any given day could maybe make a much bigger difference than I realize. What do you think?


RIP Cydney, you will be missed.

Reasons for Becoming an Educator

This is my first attempt at a Google Form (tech task #4.1), posing the question to y’all:

Why did you decide to become an educator?

If it was for a reason other than one posted above, why was it?

I decided to become an educator because I realized that it gave me great joy to see the look on a child’s face when they figure out something new or master a skill for the first time.

My Map of the Internet

Here is my map of the internet (tech task #2). While making this video, I realized that my definition of “resident” vs. “visitor” on certain websites/communities online is mainly based on whether or not I contribute to the community. I view myself as a “resident” of communities that I personally contribute to and have a presence on, and a “visitor” on websites that I use only for others’ posted content. I’m still not very comfortable with recording my voice, but I figure that the more I do it, the more comfortable I’ll get 🙂

Challenging Myself to Improve my Blog

After attending an Blackboard Collaborate session with Sue Waters of we were challenged to try and implement some of the things she discussed with us on our own blogs. For those of you that don’t know, Blackboard Collaborate is a platform used for live online conferences, meetings, or lectures in which all members can participate. So far in my ECMP 355 class, we have used Blackboard Collaborate for 3 sessions. Aside from a few technical difficulties with application sharing (and time differences..oops!) these sessions have been an awesome way to learn. Being able to see what the instructor is doing/discussing with the application sharing feature has been very beneficial to me, and the fact that sessions are recorded is great since I sometimes need to go back and re-watch portions to complete the assigned tech tasks. The features I added to my blog are (tech task #3):

  • a contact page – so that readers can contact me if necessary
  • my resume  & educational philosophy – so that my blog can become a portfolio to be viewed by future employers
  • widget menus (archives & posts by category) – to make my blog more accessible and easier to navigate for readers

In addition, I will be transferring this blog to a blog tonight. Wish me luck!


My Personal Learning Network

Although from an outsider’s perspective it may not look like my personal learning network has expanded drastically over the course of this semester, it has. The use of social networking in ECS 210 has pushed me far out of my comfort zone and has actually caused a lot of tension and discomfort for me.

At the start of the semester I was intent on keeping up with the weekly blog postings because they were a required course component. However, after a few weeks I became torn. I did complete all of the readings and activities prior to lectures and seminars and almost always took notes and reflected on them, but I had I really hard time putting these opinions onto my blog. Each blog post took me hours to write, read, edit, re-read, edit, re-read…and on and on, because I felt so vulnerable and uncomfortable with posting my personal opinions and reflections online. This discomfort came from the fact that I am not entirely sure of myself in terms of my educational philosophy, because I constantly feel that there is more I could and should know. I feel like my thoughts and conclusions now are not educated enough to be worth posting online where they are accessible by the world. And in addition to feeling like my blog postings were uneducated, I also feared receiving negative feedback from others. I am at a place in my life where I am not sure if I could deal with harsh negative comments and feedback. I know that ideally learning and growth can come from such a situation, however where I am at, I don’t know if I would be able to use such feedback constructively.

Although I felt a lot of discomfort with my own blog posts, I really enjoyed and learned a lot from reading others’. Actually even before this class I was a follower of many blogs. There is something very personal and raw about blogging – less professional than many other forms of text but at the same time very informative and thought-provoking. I find myself very comfortable in the role of an outsider looking in on the world of blogs, but I suppose in the future I need to continue to push myself to more fully enter into it myself by making my own blog one worth following. Its something I can see myself doing as I become more comfortable and more confident in myself and the ideas I have.

Twitter…another social networking method that I have underutilized. Even more so with Twitter than with blogging I can see the potential for connecting with others, with the addition of the mass sharing of resources. At this time in my life, I unfortunately do not have time to really delve into Twitter, because it is something that can become very addicting and time consuming. Not to mention that I still find it confusing which makes it intimidating. However as a part of our inquiry project, my group utilized Twitter to pose a question to educators regarding their suggestions of resources on overcoming resistance in the classroom.

We received helpful responses from a few teachers which we incorporated into our project. In addition, Katia tweeted out the letter we wrote to parents to inform them that as a mandated part of curriculum, Treaty Education will be taught in the class, and asking for their support of this. This resource we created was then re-tweeted by a handful of educators. Getting notifications that a tweet I was mentioned in was re-Tweeted was so cool! Definitely evidence of the fact that Twitter is great for sharing resources, as well as a great motivator for myself to become more active on Twitter.

The semester I discovered that Facebook can be used as a resource for professionally connecting with others as well. Until this time, I had been an on-again off-again user of Facebook, because I saw it as a waste of time as well as something that negatively affected my life by making me feel badly about myself in comparison to others. However this semester I became a part of the University of Regina Faculty of Education – Future Educators group. This space has become a place for Education students to post their thoughts and pose questions to others, and I see it as an awesome resource and part of my learning network as I continue through my Education journey.

Another professional learning and sharing space I have become a part of is a Google doc created by a member of my staff group in which lesson plans are shared for all members to see. On this doc I have shared the lesson plan my group developed for our inquiry project, so that other students can refer to it in the future for use.

Overall this semester I began the process of crawling out of my shell. I connected more with my peers in person, and began to explore networking online. I leave this class feeling not like I have a fully-developed learning network, but that I have begun the process of building one.