My Learning Journey-->

Category: EdTech


As we move away from face to face classes and experience the fun of virtual classes. I got to learn a little bit more about Zoom today.

In relation to education:

Some Pros could include:

  • Allows virtual instruction
  • Can screen share
  • Can save and record the video
  • Has a whiteboard feature, polling feature
  • Has an online chat option
  • Can mute and unmute
  • Can host up to 100 people
  • Has a free option

Some. Cons could include:

  • Its features are difficult to use
  • Not great video or audio quality
  • Not all students have access to laptops, digital surfaces
  • Not all internet is strong enough for this

In a university setting, I found this too be quite useful given the circumstances. However, I do believe that the face to face instruction and teacher presence is much more beneficial for all learners and various grades. Yes some students may thrive from online learning, but Zoom is difficult as you can only ask private questions through the chat. As such, it doesn’t allow children to get all learning styles of instruction and that one on one aspect that classroom can provide. In desperate measures this is an option and who knows maybe schools will result to this depending on how this continues. However, even with online school such as SIDES for example, there is the option to meet or Skype one on one, which I think is more beneficial than a video conference with everyone for instruction. I do believe this could be a useful resource in certain circumstances. For example, for specific projects this could be very interesting to learn from other teachers or have students ask various teachers from various places or do a collaborative interview where everyone weigh in on your inquiry topic for instance. However, I think for the most part I think it benefits the middle school and high school years as students are further elaborated in regards to communication skills and listening. However through Zoom we as teachers lack seeing the body language and ability to go around the room and help with the process of learning. We also do not know what is going on and if students are actually listening as they are all in different learning environments. As such it may be more beneficial for it to be 1 student and various other people or teachers for learning purposes or projects. As mitigating a classroom of say 25-30 students and taking turns (everyone not talking over each other) is something that is developed through time.  As such, it worked for us as university students, however I would see many more obstacles in the elementary to high school years. It could be possible, but much more preparation would be required.

MinecraftEDU Lessons and Google Science Journal

Today we had the opportunity to have Heidi a grade 7 teacher at a local school in Victoria. With the evolution of technology and apps like Minecraft, teachers are able to create lessons that are co-curricular.  As such, interrelating and create lessons that work with various subjects is powerful to engage our students. In the following lesson plan  they focus on grade 3-5 and use language arts and digital technology. This allows students to be creative and engaged while collaborating and building (math) in relation to a story (literacy).

Here are a few pro’s and cons


  • Easy access
  • Inspiring and engage
  • Promotes creativity
  • Promotes teamwork, collaboration and community
  • Connects to various subjects notably math
  • Helps support problem solving and geometry
  • Teaches resource management


  • Addicting
  • Parents may not approve
  • Distracting
  • Too much screen time
  • Not super easy/ user friendly

Another key program we learned was Google Science Journal. This program allows children to measure light, sound, motion, & atmospheric pressure. As such, it can be useful in many subject areas (music, science, math etc). For elementary it may not be very practical as all students need a phone or tablet that have these features. However it could be very useful for middle and high school. The following link explains how Google Science Journal is useful for Science Fair projects.

Another key feature is that there is a feature that allows this program to film. Therefore, this is beneficial as there is an ability to record and save your data. Online there are lots of different resources that help empower students to learn using this program.

Here are just some pro’s and cons.


  • Useful for many subject areas (music, science, math etc)
  • Free
  • Has many resources and tools
  • Measures light, sound, motion and atmospheric pressure
  • Fast and the program does the work for you


  • Not accessible to everyone as not everyone has a phone/table
  • Too much screen time
  • distracting
  • Not easy for those who aren’t great with technology

Flipping the Classroom and Educational Video Platforms

Have you ever had to use online video platforms to help deepen your understanding or to clarify something… I can honestly say that I have used Khan Academy, Ted Talks and Youtube to support and further my learning. The pro’s of theses online surfaces is that they are widely available and if they are being used for educational purposes, one could say that in order for them to be used the child must first be intrinsically motivated as they are choosing to research it more on their own time. They are also useful as they help students learn from various sources. As such, if a student doesn’t understand, they can seek a new explanation.


  • New perspectives / different teaching techniques and experiences
  • Self directed / self paced = promotes intrinsic motivation
  • Student centred
  • Lead to new discoveries / help research ability
  • More 1 on 1 time with the teacher
  • Personal


  • Not always widely available/ easy to find :lack of ressources
  • Distractions
  • May not be at the proper level, may include subjects not directly related or too advanced for current classroom lessons.
  • Student lacking motivation, may feel lost
  • Personal curriculum design= more planning and specific/ need to know students
  • Some students may require more hands-on and active activities

Here is a Ted Talk by the creator of Khan Academy, Salman Khan and how video is used to reinvent education.

Rebecca Bathurst Classroom Visit

This week we had the opportunity to go to Rebecca Bathursts class. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to attend. I really wish I was able to attend as I think seeing an inquiry based elementary classroom would be beneficial as we got to see it and evaluate the pro’s and cons upon visiting PSII a secondary inquiry based school.

I follow Rebecca Bathurst on instagram and have looked at her website and truly value her creative and child centred approach to education. Here is her website link to learn more about her teaching philosophy:

One aspect that stood out for me is that there are different types of inquiry.

Rebecca included this in her slide and it is also found on on VIU’s website

This is powerful and interesting to me as it allows students of all ages to be immersed in a style of inquiry that works best for them. As such, this idea of scaffolding helps support various student needs and the diversity of student learners.

When first thinking of inquiry, I always thought of Free Inquiry and how that may be difficult for younger students, but I quickly learned through Rebecca’s presentation that there are multiple ways to include inquiry even for Kindergarten. As such, I look forward to trying these out and modifying an inquiry mindset based on my future classrooms.  Through the various projects I have seen on Rebecca’s instagram I truly value her thought and creativity as well as the hands on learning and cross curricular approach she brings forward. The dinosaur unit for example, supports a structured inquiry and I am excited to follow and see the progress and projects that continue throughout the unit.

Technology Speaker: Jesse Miller and iMovie

Today’s class, we talked about internet and social media. There is a constant evolution around technology and students challenge what you know. As such, “We shape our tools and thereafter, our tools shape us” ( John Culkin).

(photo from Jesse Millers PowerPoint Presentation)

The more discussion around these and the more comparisons between the evolution of social media and internet interfaces, the better we can educate our classrooms and support children. The conversation is the learning journey and therefore is important as social media impacts us all. It is also valuable to evaluate both the positives and the negatives around social media and how this is constantly shifting and we as teachers need to understand and know how to gauge this constant advancement in support of learning.

Although we all know nothing gets deleted on social media, I learned something new around online surfaces. Particularly SnapChat, SnapChat stores data and that data is used for resources. For example, it evaluates not just your selfie but the other elements of the photo. Therefore, if they Nike was to ask snapchat for data they could look and find out how well Nike is doing vs Adidas in a certain region based on snap chat data. This is interesting as this is the way social media can make their money, since Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc are all free to use. Without this and their numerous privacy pages you sign, the company would have no way to make money as we as users do not pay per use.

In the second part of our class today, we worked closely with iMovie. I have worked with iMovie before, but never with the green screen option. Therefore below you will see my first video. In regards to video editing and production, I think there can be many benefits but there can also be some cons as well.  The following link addresses some pros and cons of video learning

6 Pros and Cons of Video Learning

In summary, here are some that really stood out for me.


  • Videos no matter how private if posted online may still be searchable, therefore privacy may be a concern
  • Not all students may have access to the softwares/their own computer.
  • Editing videos may not be of interest to everyone and the learning may be lost in this part of the process (especially at a young age)


  • Can use diverse systems and styles of video to create videos to support learning
  • Can allow students to be creative
  • Can help students with communication skills
  • Allows information to be widely shared
  • Videos can be a collaborative or individualized project

Here is my first green screen video! Hope you enjoy the chicken’s who got away!

Quizlet Research Project

Today in Ed Tech,

Arnelle, Angie, Catrina, Maddie and myself researched Quizlet. The following is some of our findings!

Flashcard Apps: Quizlet


What is Quizlet?

Quizlet is a free website which provides learning tools for students of all ages. It includes a flashcards section, learn section, write, spell and test section. It makes learning fun! It is a digital take on the simple Q cards, which allows for students to think and share to learn. 

Below is a link to a Youtube video, which explains what Quizlet is. 

Did you know?

  • That 90% of students receive higher grades when using a quizlet to study.
  • It is an American Company.
  • It was invented in California.
  • It has seven study modes.
  • You can share your Quizlet’s with your friends. 
  • You can include Quizlet diagrams. 

Study Modes and Games: 

  • Quizlet lets users create sets of terms and their definitions. These sets can then be used with several study modes
  1. Flashcards: this is the most commonly used mode and it simulates paper flash cards. Users are shown a card for terms and they can flip it over by clicking it to see the definition
  2. Gravity: In this mode definitions move vertically down the screen like asteroids. Users must type the correct term before it reaches the bottom of the screen. Gravity is one of the ‘Play’ study modes
  3. Write: in this mode users are shown a term or definition and must type the term of definition that goes with it. Users are graded automatically
  4. Long term learning: In this mode users are given a study set that has been recommended to them based on whether they answer study set questions correctly. Terms are repeated if answered incorrectly. A dashboard shows learning progress. This mode focuses on spaced repetition to stimulate long term retention and mastery rather than short term memorization
  5. Speller: in this mode the term is read aloud and students must type the term correctly. Correct responses are rewarded with a video of a monster truck using a flip
  6. Match: In this mode users are shown a grid of terms in random order. They must drag terms on top of their definitions

How is Quizlet Used in the Classroom? (Pros and Cons)

Here is a good link for some pros and cons of using quizlet in the classroom:

Because quizlet is a public website, anyone can go on and create a set of study notes. However, this freedom can lead to the spread of misinformation. Educators can combat this by creating study sets for their students and encouraging them to work with their peers to create concise notes. Another problem with quizlet, is that if one word is out of place, the website will mark the answer as incorrect. 

Quizlet Live is an in-class tool similar to Kahoot for quizzes using devices. The students are shown a question on the board and must choose the correct response on their device (phone, laptop, or tablet). It is important to weigh the pros and cons of Quizlet, to decide whether or not it will work in your class. 


  • Free 
  • Allows students to share and create their own quizzes using various forms (MS, short answer etc, matching) 


  • Could be used to encourage cheating, as students can copy/paste material and find answers to online quizzes. 
  • Could provide false info because anyone can make a quizlet 


Quizlet was first created by Andrew Sutherland while he was studying for his French class to help him memorize words. The coding for this program took him over 420 days to create, and was then posted to the public in October of 2005. Over the years Quizlet has been revamped and restructured to grow with modern day technology. Quizlet was then developed into an app available for iphones and androids so that students could view their flashcards anytime, anywhere. 

Privacy Policy: 

Information from Quizlet is stored in servers in the United States, which as we know, have different privacy laws than Canada. Quizlet keeps the information as long as the account is active. The information Quizlet can gather include: login information, google and Facebook accounts, language, and local time zones. 


GROUP: Catrina Moyes, Angie Cauthers, Maddie Osgarby, Brittany Johnson & Arnelle Basi.

PSII Field Trip

Today we had the opportunity to visit Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry (PSII). This school is designed by Jeff Hopkins on an inquiry based learning approach to education. This idea extends beyond just meeting the curriculum, as it supports learners needs and pushes them to learn more as they are choosing an inquiry project based on their interests. Each learner develops a project at their own pace and learns subjects within their research. Therefore, there is a lot of interdisciplinary and cross curricular learning.  This design and way of learning is very powerful, in my opinion, as it allows children to access the mastery aspect of learning and empowers them to be the expert in their projects, all while learning skills such as collaboration and planning.

In an elementary setting, this idea can also be powerful as it allows students to be self motivated. However, for younger students I think there is a need for more guidance in this type of learning environment, as they may not know how to go about a project that is free range. I do believe this can be done, but it may look different in the elementary classroom. In the high school setting and even middle years, I think this idea of independence and ability to work in more of a learning journey rather than outcome based (graded) work, is beneficial for the learners. As such, I also value the idea that students all work collaboratively and are not working solely with their grades and singular subjects. As this collaborative model of crossing grades represents what life looks like and the ability for the students to have a choice and voice in their learning and daily schedules. These are life skills that can be transferable and useful. Therefore these students aren’t just getting the core competencies they are working outside the doors of the school, collaboratively, independently all while mastering and exploring various questions and learning from others.

Something that stood out for me was the opportunities that come from this school experience, children are coming out with great results and experiences. One person published a book that she wrote for her inquiry at PSII, others are attending university classes and finally one learner created a portfolio website. These are all valuable experiences that are beyond just the curriculum and with the field trips and opportunities this school provides, it benefits the learner and supports them by adding to their tool box.  As a result, I wish all students in the future can experience these diverse learning experiences.

Here is the PSII Inquiry Process Flow Chart

Open Educational Resources

Hi again,

Today we learned about various online resources and how these can be useful to help students succeed both in the classroom and at home. With the use of internet and the rise of online educational resources in schools, online educational resources play a huge part.  An OER is known as open educational resources; these help students be able to learn effective searching strategies as they provide people with direct access to information. Some may say that OER’s have their purpose and are effective resources, while others may believe that they took away some aspects of creativity and critical thinking; while others may believe that they help push these ideas as it provides access to learning and worldwide views and situations. Even though we are moving towards everyone having a computer and internet including school, we still need to consider opportunity and how some may not have access to these resources; therefore schools can help provide these experiences to provide an equal access. With the use of internet people today are informed about situations happening all over the world as they have access to the internet.The following article addresses the pros and cons of free open educational resources 

As children, I know I can say I used Wikipedia which is a website that anyone can modify. However moving through elementary, we start to learn that the effectiveness and reliability of various resources and how some may not always share realistic information. As such, if this is taught in the early years of a child’s development, this can lead to a very important lesson as students start to evaluate and learn while approaching things with a critical lens (being not everything is valid on the internet). Resources like Khan Academy, for example can help students learn at their own pace as well as learn from another teacher who may have a different teaching strategy. As such, allowing children to learn from various sources can serve as an asset if it is properly framed about all aspects of the internet, so children can explore and think rather than just find one thing.

This idea of online resources is also key when it comes to the idea of inquiry based education as children are able to search a subject of their choosing through various interphases. However students should also experience using physical books and physical resources as it allows them to learn different searching and critical thinking strategies. Here is a link to a website that addressed the use of OER’s  towards inquiry and personalized education

In relation to the use of online resources, there is also the need to teach about copyright. As stated in the video RIP -A Remix Manifesto, is that even though it is online and commonly known such as the Happy Birthday song, you need to be aware of who made this and give them credits. This made me think about all the covers and creativity behind people and artists who want to make remixes which can be considered copyright. Someone may accidentally copyright something as everything comes from something, therefore this is an important conversation.

Here is a video that sums up the idea of why open educational resources matters

Figure 10.2.1 © Giulia Forsyth, 2012

10.2 Open educational resources (OER)

Learning Plan and Lesson Planning

Just an update on learning and lesson planning in relation to inquiry!

Today in Technology we had the opportunity to learn how to set up Trello! Trello is interesting because it creates a list of boards with links to your research and learning journey. As someone who is beginning their inquiry project (stay tuned for more on this subject!), this software can benefit my learning because it allows me to sort and group various sources in one place while creating a checklist of my progress.  In relation to both lesson planning and a learning plan, there are significant distinctions. A learning plan can be more personalized and inquiry based, whereas a lesson plan is more to do with the whole classroom and tends to be more structured and teacher driven. Both of which, have strengths and weaknesses in various settings. An inquiry based approach allows students to feel empowered as they have the opportunity to explore and learn at their own pace and within their own interests. In the video Most Likely to Succeed, students were involved in an inquiry based approach to learning by presenting their discoveries through an exhibit based model. However, some challenges that may arise in younger classrooms (K and 1) is that, yes, we can provide students with choice,  but, it may be difficult to fully meet the curriculum by following each individuals learning plans as children may still need to learn how to regulate and work consistently through a specific plan. As such, I think it is important to find a balance and support children with choices and allowing them to experience both styles of learning (learning plans: inquiry based model and lesson plans: curriculum focused). Therefore, cross connecting these two approaches can be beneficial in the classroom.


Education Technology Day 1

Hi everyone!

Welcome to Day 1 of my journey to becoming a Elementary school teacher through blogging about my learning journey.  Today is the first day of technology class and we learned how to make a website, what a learning journey that was. Though I have never blogged or made a website before, this was lots of fun and I learned so many new things. I cannot wait to bring these to my future classroom and learn from others. Looking forward to a blogging journey were you can share and follow my learning journey and ever evolving experiences as an emerging teacher in the education program.

Anyways to give you a little context and a little bit about me! I am in my second year of the elementary education program. I enjoy gymnastics and dance and would like to incorporate these elements in my future classroom!

Learning to make a website and blog today was a little challenging but I think these can be useful tools that may provide students with the opportunity to communicate various aspects in a modern format, which can be shared to others worldwide if so desired. Something in an elementary classroom that may be challenging is that not all students may have access to internet and a computer as well as they or their family members may not feel comfortable with the idea of an online and public blog. Therefore as an educator, I believe that it is important to evaluate the needs and respect your students and their families and work around the idea that not everyone will be open to this idea. As a result, providing various options for families and students can be beneficial to putting the child at the centre of their education and valuing their ideas and opinions in all aspects of their learning. This idea of having students be the centre of their learning can be paired with the idea of an inquiry based focus on education and as described below in the video by Jeff Hopkins.

Today was a new step into the online world of blogging, stay tuned for my future blogs!!

Text erasing "Im" from "Impossible"


P.S Learning to blog!! Nothing is impossible, it’s the learning journey that makes things possible, you just have to try!

Check out this video which talks about an inquiry based to education!