The Code has Flowed Right On Through!

Well, lets just start things off by saying the Hour of Code took me much more than an hour to get through! I picked the frozen themed hour of code mainly because I believed that because it’s frozen themed it must be easy, well I was wrong. I made it through to level 6 pretty easily but I struggled for a solid 10 minutes trying to get through level 6. I think that coding is definitely something that needs to be taught to children in schools. It is such a helpful tool that literally takes an hour for children to learn and complete. I can see when thinking about it some teachers might see how this is a waste of time, especially if they never experienced coding in school. However, these websites that teach children how to code teaches many other useful skills, other than learning how to code. The children are required to read the next steps and brainstorm what to do, it is also very helpful with teaching children about angles the different degrees of angles. I might be a university student, but never got a chance to play around with coding as a child and it was definitely a awesome experience and would recommend taking a few hours out of the year to teach this to your students and let them play around with it!



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The Addiction Behind Amanda Todd’s Story

During my online #ecmp355 class last night we were given the incredible opportunity to be able to video chat with Carol Todd, the amazing mother of the late Amanda Todd. As we were sitting in class going over a few things before Carol joined us, I was trying to imagine what this video chat was going to be like, I wanted to be able to prepare myself for such a strong topic. However, no matter how long I sat here and prepared for this video chat, I never would have even been close to how things actually went. Most people (myself included) would expect a lot of anger from Carol due to what actually happened to her daughter and the lack of support she received from the RCMP after reaching out to them so many times. I mean, who wouldn’t be angry? This was not the case at all, Carol has taken the situation that she has been put in and used it to better others. She speaks out to others about what they can do to prevent being in the same situation Amanda found herself in. She listens to others stories and does her best to help them through their situations, versus them resorting to going online and chatting with a complete stranger.

One point that Carol really hit head on was when she had shared that when a child turns 16, we don’t just give them keys to a car and tell them to go out and drive it. We teach them all the things they need to know first and then gradually get them driving safely. However, whats so different about giving them a cellphone or a laptop? If children are taught to to safely use the internet then they are going to just jump in and do what other people are doing. This is key for people to remember because internet safety is just as important as road safety and sadly, I don’t think everyone sees that.

Sextortion; The New Addiction

I watched the video post on The Sextortion of Amanda Todd and it was a struggle to get through the whole video. When thinking about blackmailers and cappers on the Internet, I have always pictured creepy 50 and 60 year old men who have nothing better to do with their lives. Hearing that the IP address they tracked lead them to the computer of a 21-year-old boy who was victimizing 63 girls all over Canada and the U.K. made my heart sink. I once had a girl I went to school with deal with this same issue. She was lonely and when a boy from her class had reached out to her and started talking to her she opened up to him. This resulted in her texting a picture of her breasts to him and him sending it around to all of his friends. Living in the small community that we do, everyone who had a cell phone in our school had received the picture but the next morning and without knowing she walked into the school doors as the laughing stalk of the school. I would be lying to say I know what these girls are going through, but I know what it’s like to have that attention on you and to feel special. It’s like an addiction. As a young teenage girl who has never been talked to before the way these guys are talking to her it’s no wonder she did what she did. These men are con artists at what they do. They know all the tricks in the book and always know exactly what to say which makes opening up to them so easy even if you know it’s wrong.

I wish I could give all the teenage girls out there some magical advice that would change their minds or be able to tell them how truly special and beautiful they are but that’s not possible so I’ll end with this; you have years and years ahead of you in life and thousands of boys who would die to meet you, live your life as a teenager because you have many years ahead for you to grow up. ❤

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I Have Released my Inner Yoga!

Well, still not a pro, but much better than the beginning! I have gone on to my fifth week of yoga and it has really made a difference in my life. In the beginning I won’t lie, I didn’t feel much of anything but I have learnt that it is very important to focus on your breathing throughout it all and so that’s what I have been doing and it feels wonderful! I never wanted to attend yoga classes before because I felt that I would be under experienced compared to the rest of the class but I am happy to say that earlier this week I attended my first yoga class and it was ‘hot’ yoga so the room was at 38 degrees and completely lite by candles. We did all of the moves that I have taught myself and I had a little hands on critiquing but I was not the least experienced one in the room and that really made me proud of my accomplishments. I also learnt a few new moves that flowed nicely in sequence with the rest. I wish I could have videotaped my class cause I moved so much nicer in there with the right mood and the warmth then I have been in my kitchen! I would highly suggest learning yoga to anyone, and be sure to record your journey so you can see your progress!

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Making my Friend Group A Little Larger; Welcome Technology!

I grew up with technology. When I was 5 we got our first desktop computer and a bunch of CD-ROM games to go with it and it was the best thing since sliced bread. From that day forward I thought I was pretty up to date with electronics and we would usually get the newest I-pod or gaming systems for holidays like Christmas and our birthdays. Even now, I have the newest I-phone and one of the newer I-pads and a MacBook, so in my eyes I am pretty up to date with technology. Now being over half way through our #ecmp355 class, I have learnt that I am oh so very wrong. I might have all the gadgets that go with technology but I have no idea how to actually work them and use them to my advantage! Even watching the #ecmp455 lessons at the beginning of our classes has given me so many ideas of what I will be able to explore with as a teacher. We never used anything like this growing up. I remember being in grade 7 and our school had got these census remotes that we could use to answer the questions posted electronically and I thought they were the coolest things ever and our teacher was sure to express how expensive they were so we wouldn’t fool around with them. That was 7 years ago and now we have websites such as Kahoot that are completely free to use and super easy to navigate. Depending on what grade you are teaching and your school’s rules on cell phones, if they are older and able to, students can use their cell phones to play or for the schools that have more access to technology you could even get children to participate with I-pads.

There are still some things that I struggle with when it comes to technology such as Twitter and a Google + community. I struggle with these ones because I am more of a writer then an explorer if that makes sense to anyone! I enjoy blogging (never did before this class) because I am free to express myself and when writing a blog I am able to just type. No word cap, no hash tags, no need to know what’s trending! This is much more enjoyable for me to do. I am also usually about a year behind with what’s trending whether it’s the new hashtag on Twitter or what’s hanging in my closet, I am not exactly a trend setter, I could however maybe bring some of trends back? I maybe haven’t completely fell in love with every website we have viewed and worked with in ecmp but to me that’s ok because I have learned and enjoyed using many more websites then the ones that I haven’t and that’s a win! I also became a blogger, which is pretty cool as well!Blog Meme.jpg

Are you ‘Basic’?

This is probably harder for some to answer then others, but what type of teacher are you going to be? Growing up, I remember the majority of my classes consisted of sitting in class doing our work and if we had the time or were good, sometime we would be allowed to watch a part of a movie in class. At that age, it was the best thing the teacher could let us do. Now looking at the elementary classes that I have been lucky enough to intern in, they would rarely go a day without using a laptop or an I-Pad and there wasn’t a classroom that I had been in that didn’t have a Smartboard on the wall. I however had the opportunity to go into the K, 1,2 classroom back home (yes, 3 grades per teacher!) and she was the same teacher that taught my kindergarten and sadly she had hardly changed. The school had all of the electronic resources you could wish for that would make learning much more hands on for students and much more interesting for them to do but she enjoyed her old ways of teaching and so her old ways was what she continued to do. This to me is an example of a basic teacher.

Another changing life event besides technology that teachers need to keep up to date with is the vast incline of immigrants coming into our country. It is important that we need only make our immigrant students feel welcome, but also at home. This is crucial and can be very beneficial to their learning. If we have immigrant students joining our classrooms but doing nothing to accommodate their needs and learning styles then we aren’t going to see any improvement in their learning. I feel this has happened lots recently in the education system, where we seeing teachers failing these immigrant students because they apparently don’t know anything, but the teachers just expected them to join in at the level they were at and succeed like the rest of the students.

As educators it is important that we stay on top of things, whether that’s tweaking our lessons plans every year to benefit our class better, staying up to date with the newest technology and useful tools or doing some homework of our own to get to know more about our immigrant students backgrounds, we need to keep up to date and keep our brains sharp. It is easy to find something that works and stick with it for many years, but that’s not always beneficial.

Where Are Your Contributions Going?

Breast cancer is an illness that thousands of people know about and learn about each and every year. As a teenager, the Keep a Breast foundation decided they were going to take promoting the illness to the next level and came out with the ‘Boobies’ line. This consisted of bracelets, hats and clothing objects that had some pretty aggressive slogans relating to breasts such as “I love boobies”, “motor boating” “I like butts, but boobies rule” and so on. This was a pretty big leap to take considering it could easily cause a lot of controversy but they went for it and sure enough it was a hit especially with teenagers and young adults. To me, this probably raised millions of dollars for breast cancer awareness to help find a cure, but did it really raise awareness? I bought several of these items and probably still have them kicking around somewhere, but looking back now I am not sure exactly how aware I really was about breast cancer. I was really just buying them because they were trending and everyone else in my class had them.

Looking through Facebook now, you see a lot more women coming out of their shells and telling people the real raw story about their journeys with breast cancer and how they faced it head on. In my eyes, this might not be raising a bunch of money for breast cancer awareness but it has made me much more aware of this illness and how it affects people and their families. Online activism is huge these days especially when you want to raise awareness about something. It would be ideal to find a medium where you are both raising money and creating awareness but these women shared their stories free willingly with the world and showed everyone how devastating breast cancer really is and what it does to a woman. Because of that I am much more aware then buying a bracelet in the store because it had a funny slogan written on it. We need to take full advantage of online activism because it will travel across the world faster then any other form of communication.I heart boobiea.jpg