Create-Abilities Math Webinar I Attended

Square Root of 558919216881 found on my fridge!

Photo Credit: byzantiumbooks Flickr via Compfight cc

I credit my ECMP355 class with getting me so active in finding online PD opportunities. I saw a webinar advertised on Facebook and, instead of scrolling past it, I decided I would give it a shot. I am glad I did. The website name-drops for math resources alone were worth it:

You can read my whole summary of learning here! If you take part in the webinar in the next few days you will even get a PD document to keep for your portfolio!

Check out the site here.


Testing Google Slides to See If I Can Link


Test again

Works perfect! I can link to any individual slide. That means… I can quickly pop off slides and put in the appropriate links to blog posts and outside material that I need. Stay tuned for my summary of learning!

At about 5 min in, I get the learning I had been waiting for – change the URL from the one the website had to the one you uploaded to WordPress. THAT is why my image map hasn’t been working. Even though I did not use the same site as him, I tried the trick and it worked. If you hover your mouse over A it should display the letter A! I will show my final product in my next blog.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ABCs of EdTech

Corporate Digital Etiquette – A Comparison

In my short time on Twitter, I have noticed an incredible range in the digital etiquette of different edtech corporations/organizations. It can become clear quite quickly who really cares about their customers and who does it to see the betterment of society due to their product, and who simply is asleep at the wheel!

The two sites I noticed the big difference between are Flipgrid, a brand new and exciting resource I was introduced to through ECMP355, and WordPress, the blog I have been using semi-faithfully since 2nd year education. I also used WordPress when I was a kid and it was more of a journalism site for reading and writing fiction – so I have a long and rocky history with it!

I love WordPress as a site because of all that it has to offer for blogging, but it goes with its share of frustrations. I had two questions which I thought were fairly simple. I even repeated one once (the first time it was just a tweet of utter frustration).

No replies by WordPress. This is how I felt.

Other people like and retweet which is proof, to me, that these questions are valid to be asked and that, if WordPress answered these questions, they would be helping out more than one person. I also understand I can possibly get the answers through trial and error, reading FAQs on their site, or by Googling for others’ solutions – however, if you are on digital media, why not really be there to help a girl out quickly?

WordPress only tweets every few weeks, and if you look at their Twitter page it has no retweets to their followers’ pages. I think the site needs to hire a full time tweeter to get people more excited about what WordPress has to offer, and answer all of our questions!


Flipgrid, on the other hand, is the coolest organization around when it comes to social media presence. I follow them on Twitter and they are proactively sharing their resource as well as reacting instantaneously to people (customers) with answers or positive comments/likes/retweets. They help their customers get noticed, educated and connected on Twitter in the meantime. I got 25+ likes on one of my tweets and I am sure it is because they retweeted it! Just check out these tweets below. Here, they answer a great question:

They re-tweeted this, and a few other tweets I put out about them.

I even learned something new about Flipgrid while writing this post – people do face-to-face educational chats with other professionals!!! What!!! This could be a way to expand my professional development and PLN. I am using this as an example, showing that they retweet what other Tweeters have to say about them – they are interested in what is being done with their product.

They liked every tweet I made that had their handle in it – even one that didn’t (my blog post):

This is how Flipgrid makes me feel:

So, How Does This Apply As A Teacher?

From this, I reflect that, as an educator, I need to be available in diverse ways to my students. It is no longer acceptable to ONLY have a phone number and an office to meet face-to-face. Even an e-mail is starting to seem lacking. I think teachers should still have their down time (students shouldn’t expect e-mails back until next work day – although the reality is that many teachers will reply back before then out of the kindness of their hearts!) HOWEVER I realize now how it makes a difference, as a student, when you can just ask a simple question through writing (or a short video!) rather than bothering with a phone call or calling a meeting. Becoming connected in more technology won’t mean more of a hassle, it can mean LESS of a hassle (quick answers) for both teacher and student.

I think it is wonderful that students, staff, and parents can now reach me through my blog, Twitter, or e-mail.

Flipgrid “Fever” with Robbi!

Over the weekend I decided to Search up Flipgrid because I kept hearing about it in ECMP355 but really had no idea what this “flipping” was all about. I found an infographic that summarized it perfectly and Tweeted it in hopes of helping others who were lost like me. Robbi then told me she had used it, and I wanted to help myself and others by getting her to say HOW she used it. She explained she used friends as mock-students, and so I retweeted this with the further idea that it would not have to be face-to-face friends but could be people in our PLN (online educator friends). She then went one step further in helping ME learn by suggesting we actually do it. Too cool! So she chose a topic that relates to education and asked me to answer. We have the link to the lesson on Twitter so others can see how it is set up as well – and no accounts are needed to answer the questions!

I found it extremely difficult to answer in 1 min 30 seconds. So I answered in 3 min (two videos haha!) Like Twitter, this is a GREAT way to focus students on summarizing accurately and getting to the heart of the matter. Short and sweet.

Here are our Twitter convos, which Flipgrid graciously liked and retweeted! (Just click on the live feed to see all of the replies.) I got a bunch of likes. Woohoo!

Here are my video responses (I answered my own initial question in the first video – there is a share button as soon as you finish publishing your video):

Video did NOT kill the radio star!… Podcast Exploration!!

After Googling podcasts out of sheer curiosity this morning I found an advertisement to “Castbox.” When I downloaded the app I was suggested to try another as well… “Podcast”. So I explored the two apps, Podcast and Castbox, and decided I like Podcast more. I found Castbox had outdated pods, not as many teaching pods, and it did not even download my first cast properly. Since Podcast was rolling along fine I decided it was the winner.

What I Like About Podcast:

For my own personal learning I know I will love podcasts because I tend to shut myself off from the world and read and write. Not only is written text kind of impersonal, I also cannot multitask while writing or reading. When I listen to podcasts I already feel that (ironically through technology which has such a bad rap for being isolating) I am hearing real people with unique experiences and personalities WHILE I am going about my morning. I listen to music 24/7 while I get ready, while I am in the car, etc… All times when I could be learning through voice! I thought it was so sad that radio talkshows were becoming a lost art… It turns out, video did NOT kill the radio star. If you are unsure of the reference watch this. It is a music video of probably the biggest edtech revelation of the 1980s… The switch from audio news to video.

I also find I learn better when I speak. I think may be easier for me to talk about something I heard than something I read.

As far as the app itself goes…

I like how it is as simple as typing in an interest and seeing so many podcasts pop up! I was going to type education but realized that may give channels on learning about anything… I want to learn how to be a better teacher. So, you just star them and…

… They go right into your favourites category! Then…

You choose a cast you want to hear. If you so choose you can also click on the plus button and it will download a pod offline so you can listen on the go without data!

I found it very handy there was a selection to only download in Wifi to avoid using data accidentally. Talk about lessons in digital literacy and citizenship… Good job Podcast!

What Could Be Better:

From the app I have yet to figure out how I can share the pod on any social networking sites. I need to manually type who and where I got each pod from if I want to share my reflections publically.

HOWEVER. I want to work in getting used to hearing my voice. So inatead of doing my online writing notes I may do a short recording with my phone after a podcast to summarize what I learned and then share that audio (along with naming the podcast I listened to) on Google Drive and WordPress.

I also wish I could organize my pod channels by categories as I know I will listen to more than educational casts. But oh well.

Getting My Ducks in a Row – With Google Drive

The Twitter chat I participated in last night (#saskedchat) motivated me to get my ducks in a row and get organized digitally so I can integrate my edtech and my “hardcopy” resources together for a streamlined, hopefully straightforward set-up for when I go in to intern.

I initially grabbed a memory stick and started setting up folders on there. That is how I have “trained” myself – my current extent of edtech capabilities.

Then I remembered the Saskatchewan Curriculum Project Chrome add-on… an incredible add-on that walks you through building strong lesson plans. I then went to my Google Drive (a place I know NOTHING about – even though I have made plenty of powerpoints and docs on there) and realized it is basically like your own little filing system. You can bring in outside files from other devices, too! What?!?!?!

So I realized – why not ditch the USB memory stick and go with Google Drive? That way I can be connected on my computer AND phone. With memory sticks I can’t just send a cool picture/website over from a website with one click – I need to plug it in, save the image to a file, etc. etc. With Google Drive I can snap a photo of a document from my education classes (with that Scanbot I tweeted about!) and have an online pdf to add to my repertoire. It is incredibly easy to link Google Drive documents to online blogs like this one as well. It seems, ironically, too slow for my fast-paced resource grabbing and ideas from Twitter – even though memory sticks are incredibly fast and handy. I feel silly for resisting it so long, thinking my memory stick would be “good enough”.

I am still going to have a memory stick as a backup. Instead of just having Google Chrome in the browser I am in the process of downloading it as an add-on, so I can smoothly backup my USB. My Google Chrome, however, will be my main point of traffic – where I send lesson plans, resources, etc. FIRST. I will then copy and paste my interning file into my USB every week or so. This way, if I need to teach a lesson where I have access to a computer but there is no Internet access (needed for Google Drive) I still have the USB. I know you can save things to be read offline on Google Drive as well, so I will look into that. I imagine it would use up a lot of space on my devices though.

I LOVE the edtech apps I have been exploring and learning from, but I feel like I am liking and tweeting so much that it is all getting flooded away. I won’t remember what I retweeted two months ago as a classroom resource. So, I know I need to get things in order and start saving what I REALLY think can be of use to my classroom to Google Drive and organizing it by subject etc etc.