Summary of Learning

April 18, 2014

Here is my summary of learning for ECMP 355 for the Winter 2014 semester. Thank you to all my classmates and all the special guests that we had speak to us during the semester. Best of luck for everyone!


Exploring Padlet

April 17, 2014

I got around to playing with Padlet tonight. Nothing like putting a Techtask off till the last minute. I was trying to think of an idea of how to use Padlet in my classroom and I got to thinking about how I could post documents and other things from the accounting class that I taught this semester to have them accessible for my students to use. It is super easy to use and drag and drop documents onto, plus when I give the links to my students  it makes everything accessible to them. I love how the documents are viewable to the student online and how I can manipulate the Padlet to organize like documents together.


Created with Padlet

I think that Padlet would also be a great tool for students to use to put documents and information for projects that they use. This would make it easy for me to see what my students used for resources and the amount of work that they have completed on their projects.

Overall I would say that this is an excellent resource to use in the classroom and I can see the practical use that it has, as well as how unlimited its uses could be.

Interview With My Mentor: Brandt Schneider

April 12, 2014

Brandt Schneider is a teacher in Seymour, Connecticut and teaches a variety of classes including choir, band, jazz, and technology classes. He is the proud owner of multiple degrees including a 6 year degree in Educational Leadership from Southern Conneticut State University. He is a published author in multiple journals, as well as is a successful track coach having led teams to various titles.

I had the opportunity to chat with Brandt and interact a little with his class this semester in my ECMP 355 class at the University of Regina. I have looked on his class page on Google+ and seen how he interacts with his students and I can see that he takes great pride in his work. I wish that I would have been able to interact more with Brandt this semester and due to some poor planning and procrastination on my part, I was limited in my interactions with Brandt but I hope that I can continue to talk with him and learn from him and having him as a mentor in my career.

This semester Brandt worked on producing Suessical at Seymour High School which from reading his posts was a huge success.

1. Brandt, just from reading your blogs and Google+ page for your Web Applications class I can tell that you are a very busy guy. As someone who struggles with time management and procrastination I am wondering how do you keep everything straight? Is there any particular technologies you use to keep yourself organized?

I use google calendar which I constantly check and update.  

2. In your Web Applications class you work with your students on things like programming, blogging, and other application on the web. What is your personal favorite for students to work with and why?

I enjoy teaching format: format for email, format for business letters, format for code.  It is neat to see the progression from draft 1 to draft 4 and have kids see what format will do.  We don’t spend even a full second on a web page or resume if the format is wrong.

3. As a teacher who teaches band and other music classes, what is the coolest way that you have integrated technology into these classes? 

4. Can you name a favorite experience in your career using technology? If so please explain how the technology was used and what made it so unique?

see above. 

5. What advice would you give a first year teacher to help them be successful?

Visit other classrooms.  Keep a record of everything you do, it will make the next year easier.

#ECMP355 Challenge – Create a Motivational Poster

March 26, 2014



This past weekend I received an award for being the top Linesman this season in the Prairie Junior Hockey League. I was looking at the challenge that Dean gave us for the tech task and I began to think about the success that I have had this year in officiating, school, and life in general and I couldn’t help but think back on a slogan that was on a T-Shirt given to me at a referee camp four summers ago. The slogan was “Sweat+Sacrifice=Success”.

The truth is that in life if we want to succeed we need to work hard and make sacrifices if we want success. I chose this image because it reminds me of all the hard work and sacrifices I’ve had to put in to be successful. The caption tells me to keep moving forward, and to keep chasing my dreams.

Classroom Technologies for the Technophobic Teacher

March 24, 2014

I found an interesting idea about using technology in the classroom today as I was looking through Google. The article was called 12 Easy Ways to Use Technology in the Classroom, Even For the Technophobic Teacher. It contained many cool ideas about using technology in the classroom.

One of the cool ideas that I really liked was the idea of using Twitter for students to summarize information. As someone who looks at my Twitter feed often, I think it would be a good idea to integrate the technology in the classroom. You can create a class hashtag for students to send information to, and you could also have the hashtag as a discussion board for students to look at. With many of our students spending tons of time on social media, I think it would help them feel more engaged when they are seeing Tweets about their classes in their Twitter feeds.

Another cool tool that I looked at in the article was using a Webquest. I think that the great thing about doing a Webquest is that they are not overly time consuming to create, and are also fairly easy to find online. They are easy to adapt and make your own, but can also significantly reduce preparation time.

I think the big thing for me as a beginning teacher is that I really appreciate teachers who post their materials online because it allows me to see what other teachers are doing and get ideas, and I can adapt these ideas to fit my own classroom and teaching style. As a teacher I do not believe that we should have to reinvent the wheel, but we should not be driving on tires from the 1950s when better technology and ideas exist. We need to use the technologies that we have to collaborate and share ideas so that every teacher can be more effective and learn from one another.

My Thoughts on Tech Free Spaces

March 22, 2014

I was reading  Morgan Burns’ blog this week and came across a piece that she wrote about having Tech Free Spaces in our homes. Morgan was listening to z99 and they were discussing whether we should have tech free spaces in our homes and some people felt that in todays day and age that it is hard to have a tech free space in our homes. One person who called into the show suggested a having tech free time at home.

I find that it is very hard at times to go without technology. I can say that I have been addicted to my Blackberry (I know that it is ancient. I can upgrade in a month) since grade twelve and I spend a fair amount of my time at home playing video games, using my phone, playing on my iPad and Macbook, and so do my roommates. there isn’t really a tech free space in my house but we do have tech free time.

A personal rule that I set for myself is to not have technology at the dinner table. I often have times when I have troubles sleeping and I think it has to do with technology. I think that I should try and set a goal to turn my cellphone off at a certain time when I sleep and put it on a timer to turn on again in the morning. I am a person who has problems ignoring my phone at night and I think that by turning it off at a certain time and having it stay off until my alarm in the morning I would sleep a lot more.

We could also work on taking this a step further and instituting no technology times in our classroom where our students have to put their phones and other technology away. I think that there could be benefits to this in the classroom, especially when it comes to teaching students to be responsible with technology. I think that one thing that is often lacking is proper etiquette for using technology, and I think is something that I am going to stress to my students in my classroom.

Looking at Racism in Saskatchewan

March 22, 2014

Growing up in Estevan, Saskatchewan  my mother operated the Nimbus Water franchise in the city that delivered bottled water all over the city and surrounding area, and during the summer time when I was off from school I would get to go along with mom and help her out with here deliveries. Every morning we would load up the big yellow cargo van with about 2500 pounds of water and drive out on our deliveries. During our deliveries we would go grab a Tim Hortons beverage (I wasn’t the coffee addict I am now) and listen to John Gormley Live on 980 CJME.

This past Tuesday night I attended the John Gormley book lecture in the Archer Library at the University of Regina to get a copy of his newest book  I’m Right and You Know It  signed for my mom. Gormley is a fairly controversial figure within our province and is known right wing conservative, even serving as MP in in the Brian Mulroney’s Conservative Government. He is known as being anti-left-wing and also anti-union and even wrote a book on the topic, Left Out – Saskatchewan’s NDP and Their Relentless Pursuit of Mediocrity.This is the lecture that was infamously interrupted by an aboriginal protestor who accused Gormley of speaking with a “forked tongue” and “hating Indians” while banging on a traditional drum and wearing a mask.

This protest comes on the heals of the infamous U of R Cheerleader’s Cowboys and Indians Scandal and as an education student really makes me wonder how far as a society we have come in terms of looking at and eliminating racism in our society. We live in a province that is growing immensely and seeing two high profile incidents involving stereotypes and racism at the U of R makes me wonder in which direction our province is in.

The U of R Cheerleader scandal left me wondering how a group of educated people could make a poor decision that was so insensitive. I don’t believe that the cheerleaders were trying to be racist in their actions, but made a poor decision that offended many people and in my opinion the entire province needs to learn from. What I did find to be racist this week was many of the comments on social media about the incident and I was amazed at just how bitter the feelings between races in our province and university are.

After reading the comments about the Cheerleaders and sitting in the Gormley lecture I am at a loss for words at how sour the relationships are between people in our province. I think that Gormley made a very valid point while the protestor was in the library that we need to be able to debate and talk about issues and not try and stifle the views of people that have differing opinions then ours.  We live in a society that is so prone to bashing each other over social media and all this does is create tension and feelings of hatred towards other groups of people.

As a new teacher I am curious about how as a society we should tackle the issue of racism. I believe that as a society we need to be more tolerant and understanding but I am still working on how I can teach this message to my students, my friends, and my family. I think we need to try and look at as many perspectives as possible and try and walk a mile in everyones shoes if we can.

I am curious to hear peoples thought on this so feel free to comment.


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