TT No. 11: Show, Tell it on the Mountain

This “Tech Task” asks students from the #I4ED BU course to talk about their favourite app. On this site, I sometimes link to apps I thought were beneficial for classroom use as a teacher.

In all honesty, I do not know why I have not yet posted about my numero uno, got-to-go-to-app, the app I’ve made room for on my iPad taskbar, the app I could not live without, THE app that deserves all the hype it receives.

That app is Notability. Seriously, if you do not have this app on your iPad, go buy it, use it, then bang your head on the wall for not finding out about it earlier. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Glad you’re back. See? Told you it was great. For the following reasons:
1) intuitive interface
2) organizes like a dream
3) picture inserts
4) voice recording
5) typing
6) sketch capabilities
7) uploads to darn near everything

…and more, but this guy gives the best video review.

For the sake of joyous pirates everywhere (y’know, ships and giggles), here are four screenshots of relatively recent activity I’ve used on my Notability app.

IMG_1020 IMG_1021 IMG_1022 IMG_1023

Wait…you’re still reading this? Make like a musician, and go create notes.


TT No.9: Using Online Video in the Classroom

One video that I like to use in my SY Fine Arts classroom is the “Crumpled Paper” challenge. It’s a great way to show students how value can be applied effectively, for a purpose (instead of asking students to complete mind-numbing value charts *yawn*) It’s also a time-lapse video, which means that the student comprehends that their own time spent applying values will be more substantial.

Basically, it’s another way to demonstrate expectations of skill development to a class. After that, then the students can create their own works of art, using the skills acquired.

Now that I’ve explored free and easy video production, I’m going to ask students to use Hyperlapse .Students could then create their own time-lapses videos, add copyright-free music, and to present their efforts to the class. The only difference I would request, is that they change the subject matter to that of a simple geometric object with an obvious light source, an apple, a water bottle…whatever.

That being said, I will always reserve the right to encourage a student beyond their comfort level of skill. It’s what teachers do.

TT No. 8: Podcasts


“Welcome to my Podcast review. For this assignment, I’m actually creating an audio review of my favourite Podcast, “Under The Influence”, by Terry O’Reilly. It’s a CBC Podcast, so naturally it’ll have some pretty slick production values.

Along with the production values, O’Reilly is diligent in collecting and presenting facts about his subject matter. The subject matter, by the way, is all about advertising and marketing. Basically, how do the corporations bleat to the consumerist sheep of a capitalist society.

It’s an eye-opener—take the red pill.

I’m not saying capitalism is bad, but it sure is nice to know how traditional advertising has been effective, made mistakes, and evolved with media over the years.

I’ve taught a few Business courses over my last 6 years of teaching, and I have always managed to include a Podcast of O’Reilly’s. It engages my students in critical thinking about product image. However, after building this quick little audio file myself, I know that in whatever course I will teach in the future, creating a Podcast is now a viable option for presentation…replete with slick production values.”

Podcast of this transcript available here.

TT No. 7: Infographic Resume

An infographic is a visual representation of statistics or information. There are many sites available in which to create one. A few worth mentioning are: Piktochart,, and Venngage.

As a former Graphic Designer, I always consider audience first. As part of my class responsibilities, I was looking forward to creating an infographic that would explain to my classmates who say “Hey, self-deprecating old-guy…why are you here? Aren’t you already a teacher?”

I inevitably reply (with a deep breath), “Yes, I am a certified Vocational Instructor, but due to a complicated mix of seniority/administration/certification issues, I was forced to embark on a journey of self-discovery, traversing through the region of Mordor…”.

Seriously, it takes a novel to explain the last seven years of my professional and academic life. Eventually, people start to nod off. I’m pretty sure a few people were somnambulant as they shuffled away.

Now, when the cool kids ask me about my reasons for being in a B.Ed, I will happily refer them to my infographic resume.

I also chose Visualize as an infographic creator because it speaks to the audience of resume readers, e.g.: employers. People respond to graphics quicker than they do to long, boring passages of text (like this blog post).

A few limitations of Visualize that I’ve noticed (the service is in its Beta state):

  • Not many themes available
  • Not easy to insert snippets of info (like Thinglink does)
  • If you choose fonts, then switch to a different theme, you lose that font choice
  • Viewing the link on an iOS device does not allow for the text-box to appear, explaining the nuances of the graphics.

Basically, if you wish to know my complete story, view my infographic resume on an actual laptop or desktop computer.

#I4Ed Class: One-to-One

This week in my #I4Ed class, the guest speakers were Martin Ingenmay and Bryce Ridgen from the Rolling River School Division (RRSD). They both spoke to our class about the 1:1 initiative occuring in the RRSD schools. What “one-to-one” means, is that the division issues enrolled students with devices that are capable of accessing the internet.

What a sweet idea.

Of course, acknowledgements were made about growing pains such as: What would happen if a student “sold” a device that was not legally theirs, no internet access from homes, etc. However, if one considers all the positives that would result from proactive use of technology…

There’s simply too much to list for one blog post. Our 2-hour class went by in a heartbeat, as Ridgen kept showing potential applications of tech use in a classroom. However, one idea stood out to me right at the beginning of the presentation: The concept of SAMR. SAMR is an acronym for: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redfinition. These are four areas of technology use. Each level increases a level of critical thinking. If technology is to transform learning, it has to be interactive

In my opinion, this means that the first two levels of SAMR, aren’t even worth explaining—these levels represent when a teacher uses technology to adapt previous pedagogical practices *yawn*. Rubber only hits the road in the third and fourth areas of SAMR. I only focussed on the M & R definitions Ridgen provided, and I see it like this:

     Substitution *lower level*
     Augmentation *lower level*
     Modification—tech allows for significant task redesign
     Redefinition—tech allows for the creation of new tasks previously inconceivable

As Ridgen pointed out, Blooms has a lot of connections to SAMR, and the critical thinking in the higher levels of Blooms corresponds with the “Modification” and “Redefinition” areas of SAMR.

I agree.

So much so, that I now have to re-visit my thesis and include the comments made during that presentation into my Thesis. In addition, I hope my Thesis research reveals some interesting facts in that area of focus.

TT No. 6: Personal Learning Network

Ah, Popplet, what would I ever do without you?

I blame the TV series “Pop-Up Videos” that aired in the late 90’s for my preference of this format. The little round boxes provide what is known as “Information Nuggets”. On a video, they literally “pop up” on the screen, explaining an aspect of a video.

Popplet, however is a site that offers a static mind-map service. I’ve used it for everything that I work on, from establishing my Master’s Thesis questions, to creation of links for a website.

For this BU assignment, class was asked to generate a mind-map of their Personal Learning Network (PLN), also referred to as a Personal Learning Environment (PLE). By creating this, I discovered that my online identity of 289CID was more extensive than I thought. The actual, stated visual of the Map made me realize where my interests spread online. Kind of the like the “You Are Here” arrow of the triple dub.

I had to develop categories that made sense to me, in order to create the appropriate links. As such, I can envision myself showing this to an future class to develop their online awareness of self, and ask the students why their personal preferences use different sites. All in the name of literacy.

Here’s my PLN



Update 11/02/2015: Heres a Popplet about my thoughts on what a 21st Century Learner’s PLN may look like. Now with 25% more conjecture!

My PDF File


TT No. 5: Digital Footprints

My online life is no different than my personal life. I share what I want, and keep the personal items to myself. As a teacher, I also have to acknowledge my online persona in a professional manner.

Most academically certified teachers come out of their courses, acknowledging that they are in the process of developing their professional behaviour. These are the people who have managed their emotional and intellectual aspects in tandem, under the auspices of potential employment. However, because I started teaching with a Vocational background, I should acknowledge my preference for a pseudonym. My first year in teaching, a voice from the past e-mailed me at my work address, the message was, “Ha! Someone told me you disappeared from Winnipeg, but I found you!”. Perhaps not a terrible way to say hello, but I ask you to consider the context.

For 13 years of my life, I was a Graphic Artist, and as such did not have to adhere to a code of professional practice. It was a wonderfully free, uninhibited time. I have NO wish for any associates from that timeframe to connect with me online. As such, I chose my professional pseudonym as 289CID. I curate anything educational related under that. Well, except for my Instagram account; the subject is personal, but it can interpreted as an example of Constructionism learning.

So, I start off with my online identity. From that, any social media site I sign up for with a public, professional mindset. I then connect these, as I see fit. My WordPress account is linked to my Twitter account. Pearltrees, are linked to my WordPress account, etc. Pinterest is my grey area. I could go either personal (boards about fitness, cars, or comics) or professional (boards about education, or art) yet I am mindful of not following or posting questionable material.

My Facebook is non-existent. When I was using FB, I even had a pseudonym for that, different from 289CID and nothing was linked to it. Personal thoughts and opinions where issued. A lot of them political in nature. Eventually, I decided to eliminate and delete all activity on FB, and  deactivate the account. A wonderful side-effect? So much less stress now.

Finally, at the risk of sounding morbid, I like to think of my Digital Footprint like this: When I die, (if people are still curious enough to check up on me) what is it I want people to see that I left behind online?

when I di