Living & Learning in the Salish Sea

Author: jamieandrews (Page 1 of 2)

Blog 6: Two Models of Technology Integration into Classrooms


Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with no functional change
Tech acts as a direct otol substitute, with functional improvement


Tech allows for significant task redesign
Tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable


2) Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Blog 5: First Day of Class Presentations – Stop Motion Animation / Google Geographic Products / Digital Literacies in Classrooms

Here are my notes from our first day of in-class EdTech presentations:

Keiro: Stop Motion Animation
  • Great fun to implement into the classroom (with clay, vegetables, post-its, drawings… anything!)
  • App: 
    • Stop Motion (free for apple)
      • Question button shows what all the buttons do

    • Can animate on Photoshop
      • Window tab — timeline — make layers — in timeline, select two layers and then select twinning button: say the two photos where of a ball moving across a table from one location to another, the twinning button will create more images to fill the gaps and have it be a steadier progression from the first location to the next
  • Pros — can be used in every subject
  • Cons — technological malfunctions — need to give time and leave room for error
  • Things to watch out for — best to have photos taken from a remote as clicking the button directly on the camera shakes it.
  • Resources:


Anne, Eliza, Kelly, Connor: Google Geographic Products
  • Google Maps
    • My Maps
      • Points, lines, shapes
      • Attach media
      • Calculate routes, perimeters, areas
      • Layers
      • Share the map to collaborate
      • Colour icons by value (i.e., temperature, altitude, etc.)
      • Change the base map
    • Lesson/Project Ideas
      • Points of interest map
      • Student commentary
      • Family heritage map
      • Map languages
      • Class info
      • Fictional settings (map out fictional setting you are reading about in class)
      • Trip planning – real or imaginary
    • Google street view
      • Not just streets
      • Cultural, political, physical, geography
      • Google cultural institute
      • Museums (can zoom in on art), natural wonders, architecture
      • Art, curricular content, historical documents, deep dives
  • Google Earth
    • For experience over utility
    • Complete 3D satellite data
    • Find your house
    • Flight simulator
    • View the past
    • View layers (in 2009 a bunch of NGO partnered up with Google Earth and can see where endangered species, ecosystems are, etc.)
    • Google Moon (narrated by astronauts who were on those missions), Mars, and Sky
    • VoyageurLesson/Project Ideas
      • 20 Questions
      • Engage in real-world math activities/experiences
      • Explore different environments
      • Create your Own KML Tour
      • Google Earth Scavenger Hunt
  • Using My Maps in the classroom
    • Can track routes that historical figures took in their explorations
  • In a classroom
      • Speak about online presence, online responsibility
        • How do you feel about sharing your personal information, preferences, etc.
  • In Europe there is a legislation: the right to be forgotten, request companies to delete all your data

Katrina, Brie, Taylor: What is Digital Literacy and How can it be taught in Classrooms?

  • What is D.L.?
    • Information literacy —  distinguishing fact and fiction. Who benefits from the information they are receiving and projecting
    • Ethical use of digital resources
    • Understanding digital footprint — what are you sharing?
    • Protecting yourself online — teaching self-regulation
    • Handling digital communication — don’t be a dick and don’t allow the screen to dehumanize communication
    • Cyberbullying
  • Lateral reading — who is writing this? Are they funded by someone who has a bias? Who has the power? Checking your resources, and their validity by understanding underlying biases.
  • Youtube: crash course series on Navigating Digital Media Series
    • Canadian-specific content
    • Resources for teachers and parents
      • Including lesson plans
  • Strategies, Tips, and Best practices
    • Student choice and voice
    • More creation than consumption — get them to be the creators
    • Include multimodalities
    • Focus on collaboration
    • Ensure accessibility for all learners
    • Crowd-accelerated learning — bring huge groups of people together (i.e., citizen science) to accelerate group learning
    • Social media and peer-to-peer social learning
    • Core competencies
  • Digital literacies with Sex Education

Book Making: Practicing Watercolour Techniques

After one of our art classes, I was lucky enough to receive a watercolour tutorial session from a fellow teacher candidate who is a very talented artist.

We practiced a variety of techniques:

  • Wet on wet — paper is lightly covered in a thin layer of water (we used a spray bottle) and then wet paint is applied over top. The resulting effect is a paint that spreads upon contact with the wet paper and blurs at the edges. You can see a good example of this in the top left quadrant of my experimentation
  • Wet on dry — in this technique, we are applying wet paint to a dry paper. The effect is a paint with a distinct, non-blurry line. We can see this clearly in the top left portion of the top left quadrant as well as in the bottom right quadrant.
  • Blowing — this is a really fun technique that can have a really neat look. This is were you put wet paint on paper and then blow it to have the paint spray out on the page in multiple directions. You can see this in the lower left quadrant. I also used it in the lower right and then painted in between the splaying lines.

My colleague then got us to think about an emotion or feeling that we were experiencing. I was asked to think about which colour(s) would best represent this and then translate this onto the page. At that moment I was feeling very scattered. I have so  many concepts floating around in my mind and felt like I am struggling to connect them all in a way that allows me to feel confident in my understanding. The cloud like formation at the top of the image below represents the concepts in my mind, and the thin bridge to the bottom of the page represents how much of that I feel that I have understood.

Next blog post, I will be starting on my book!

Blog 4: Introducing Minecraft into Elementary and Middle School Classrooms

On Friday, November 1st we had a teacher and some students from Colquitz Middle School come in to speak to us about how they have been working with Minecraft in their classrooms. They highlighted how this game challenges students to develop several skills including: problem-solving, teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking skills and crafting (building worlds, tools, etc.). 

When asked about their experiences with Minecraft, the students emphasized the following:

  • Minecraft has built a sense of community
  • Has helped them learn about agriculture (need food, seeds, how to tend to them, water, fences, dirt, hoe, care for animals, etc.)
  • Everyone on the server has to be asleep in a bed for it to get to the next day. If you don’t have a bed, monsters will come out and can kill you (one of the aspects of collaboration and teamwork)
  • Building of civilizations – allocate jobs to each player (farmer, builder, hunter, etc.)
  • Tutorial world is finite. Beyond the tutorial world is infinite
  • Math skills (x y coordinate grid, and 3D coordinate grid;  use coordinates to navigate around the world to figure out where their teammates are)
  • Science curriculum (physics)
  • Design, draw, plan, execute (Design skills and Technology Curriculum) – ideating, prototyping, testing, making, sharing
  • It is one of the more collaborative games (chatter was constant in our room to coordinate with one another and to problem solve)
  • One student wants to be an architect, another wants to be an artist
  • Facilitates PLAY
  • Environmental lessons on sustainability. I have a few reservations about this as I feel the infinite nature of this world could potentially lend itself to a misconstrued representation of the finite nature of our planet. Could reinforce a worldview of consumption and ignores the interconnectedness of local and global ecosystems.

From the perspective of the teacher, she noted that students truly are the leaders. It is important to trust them and work to empower student voice and choice in the classroom and beyond. In terms of assessing student engagement with Minecraft, the teacher said that assessment is fed by anecdotal comments based on observations. Minecraft lends itself to a good tool in the classroom as it has a facilitator version where a teacher can have special powers to do things like freeze all (or individual players) and bring them into a specified location, they can gift players items, change the time of day, change the level of difficulty and much much more.

Minecraft Education Edition

Blog 3: Accessible Learning

This week my classmate, Fran needed to stay home to be with her child who was feeling unwell. Had it been 20 years ago she would have missed the class altogether. Do not despair! With technology where it is today, Fran was not only able to video conference in to our class, but was able to do so in style…

Introducing ____________________________ (<- insert name of device here***)

This device allows anyone to be a part of the classroom from anywhere in the world. In this instance, Fran has control of the robot’s movements and is therefore able to move about the classroom at the touch of a button. In other words, I did not get up to take a selfie with Fran, she came to take a selfie with me!

This is the kind of technology that is making classroom learning more accessible and inclusive to a wider range of learners with various learning needs and abilities.

3D Design and Print: TinkerCad workshop

On Thursday, October 10, I attended a free 3D Design and Print workshop at UVic Digital Scholarship Commons. At this workshop they spoke about the processes and products of 3D printing and gave us the opportunity to design our own model using the TinkerCad software. I made a simple name tag for my doggo, Ellie!

Useful Resources:

  • Thingiverse Education: “provides over a hundred free lessons that make teaching with a 3D printer easier and more effective for a variety of grade levels and subjects. It also provides a community where educators can exchange best practices or remix projects.”
  • TinkerCad: “a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!”
  • Sketchfab: resource to search for 3D print artifacts – available to use and download because of the creative commons license.


Important to look at the model from multiple angles to make sure it all lines up before printing

Think about printing orientation so as to maximize efficiency (i.e. which orientation will allow for minimal support?).

Can use heat to smooth things out. Or shape filaments using a blow drier, for example.

Available printing filaments:

  • PLA (polylactic acid – used at UVic)
  • PVA (polyvinyl alcohol)
  • TPU 95A (flexible filament)

Technique to inquire about: bridging

Blog 2: Most Likely to Succeed

How do we provide a meaningful education for our children? How do they become action-oriented learners who value the process of doings things rather than simply the product produced from their efforts?

This documentary film highlights they ways in which the staff and students at High Tech High are re-imagining how education is approached. The truth of the matter is that the current education system, which has been largely unchanged since the late 19th century, is working to equip students with a very specific set of skills. These skills are quickly becoming redundant by modern technology and the society that is being created alongside these advancements.

In response, High Tech High has shifted the ways in which things are run in order to instill creativity, autonomy, and critical engagement skills as key focal points in their pedagogical practice.

Learning Swedish: Week 1 progress

In this first week of learning Swedish on Duolingo, the main focus has been on building the basics with:

  1. Verbs:
    är (to be)
    äter (to eat)
    dricker (to drink)
    har (to have)
    läser (to read)
  2. Pronouns:
    jag (I)
    hon (she)
    han (he)
    vi (we)
    ni (you pl.)
    de (they)
  3. Nouns:
    ett barn / barnet (a child / the child)
    en flicka / flickor / flickan (a girl / girls / the girl)
    en pojke / pojkar / pojken (a boy / boys / the boy)
    en kvinna / kvinnor / kvinnan (a woman / women / the woman)
    en man / män / mannen (a man / men / the man)
    ett äpple (an apple)
    bröd (bread)
    en smörgås (a sandwich)
    ris (rice)
    mjölk (milk)
    vatten (water)
    en tidning (a newspaper)
    en bok (a book)
    ett brev (a letter)
    en meny (a menu)
  4. Conjunctions:
    och (and)

Next up are some basic phrases, foods and animals!



Blog 1: Video Editing

On Friday, September 27th, 2019, I along with many in our cohort joined thousands of others in a Climate Strike that has swept the entire globe. We marched in solidarity with the future health of our home, Mother Earth, at the forefront of our minds. According to Greta Thunberg, the world is losing approximately 200 species every day to extinction. At the same time, people are standing up and holding their governments accountable to their actions, saying enough is enough; it is time for meaningful change.

Here is a video I put together to commemorate the day. I used many of the techniques we practiced in class before heading off to the strike. I slowed many of the clips down and added a sepia tone to all the clips leading up to the march. We had Rich McCue come to speak with us and share with us many useful tips in creating video using iMovie. I chose to incorporate music (Michael Kiwanuka’s Love & Hate) as well as some audio clips from Greta Thunberg’s address to the UN in New York, September, 2019. Enjoy!

Also here is a documentary I found to be particularly inspiring. It shares the stories of the youth-driven grassroots movement that is sweeping across Europe.



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