Thursday, April 2, 2015

Summary of Major Project - Personal Learning

Thanks to all the students and instructors who motivated and inspired me during this class.  I am definitely making changes in my professional life and consequently in my personal life.  There is no better message I can send to these "soon to be" educators in the classrooms then:  Balance your life in all areas if you lose balance in one area all other areas suffer.  Do a good job as teacher but remember that you can't live to work.  You are being watched by others as a role model and a good, healthy, balanced life is one that we want our students and children to see and copy.
#ecmp455  #balanced work life  #major project personal learning  #learning is fun #bitmoji avatar #prezi

Monday, March 30, 2015

New "Fun" items for my Online Courses

New "Fun" items for my Online Courses

I was watching Headline News this weekend when the following mobile apps were introduced.  I immediately thought of how I can incorporate them into my courses.  The first one I did was Bitmoji for Messenger it allows you to make your own avatar.  Then there are sayings that can go with it.  I always wanted to put birthday greetings in my courses so I chose a Happy Birthday image and put it into my courses.
Then I did a ditty on my epiphany about "Blogs"using Ditty.  That I want to use later on for other key messages that I will have in my courses (ex. plagiarism, citing sources, searching, time management, goal setting, etc.)
Finally I used Giphy to find an animated gif to get across a feeling or idea quickly and with humour.  Click on the penguin below for some motivation.

I think "dipping into the river from time to time" with these additions will help make my courses fun, personable and interesting.  The greatest lesson I learned from this course is that you don't have to drink the whole river just enjoy it and take advantage of the tools a little bit at a time.  If I had to pass this lesson on to my students I would say "You don't have to eat the whole moose all at once as that is not enjoyable or   #fun online course #interesting LMS #ditty #ping tank #giphy #bitmoji

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Scratch" and my Online Skills

"Scratch" and my Online Skills

 I am a born "two for oner" in the good sense.  I am trying to see if I can tie "Scratch" into my online learner skills.  In my field as an online teacher I do look at html code to change or tweak things.  I play around with it to see "What it does?  I guess I am very curious and try to save time as well.  In my last post I talked about the "Online Course Countdown" and I had to change the date.  Rather than making the project on the website and getting the code I looked at the code in html and I seen the date could be changed easily.   I think some of this changing, tweaking and experiencing the language of "code" is a nice little skill for students to be exposed to.  Some students will love it and use it to enhance their learning, skills, development and others will think that is neat but only use it for minor tweaks at times.
Here is my little project check it out. #scratch  #ecmp455  #online learner skills #learn code

Time Management Motivators in the Online Course

I embedded the following 'Online Course Countdown' into my online courses for students to get motivated and manage their time.  It is from the website You can set up a countdown for weddings, babies, grads, etc.  right down to the second.  In my case it is till June 1, 2015 when students should be completed their 100 hour long online high school course.  I made it clear that these days include weekends as there is probably only 45 days of actual school days or business days when students can work with us or contact us.

I feel it is very important to help online learners learn the skills of an online learner as they don't realize that there are skills, tips and tricks to learn.  They mistakenly think online courses are easier as they are not sychronous (same time and/or place) but are asynchronous (different time and/or place) thus they must be easier.  However the skills that they must learn and practice include time management, independence, self-motivation, practice, asking for help, etc.

#time management  #ecmp455  #online learner skills

Teaching Students "GRIT" and "Stick-With-IT-ness"

I emailed all my students this information below.  I would like to embed it into my online courses by connecting it to the skills of an online learner.   
We all have setbacks but if you can learn to quickly bounce back from them, stay positive, and gut it out during the tough times you will make it.  

According to the article “Find the Winner’s Edge” by Jen Ator there are six mental traits that you can be develop and strengthen like your muscles to summon the will to win.  She says, “Olympic athletes tap into a set of mental strengths that enable them to conquer fear, stay focused, and drive relentlessly toward their dreams.”

1. Perseverance - Fierce and steadfast dedication; holding tight to your dreams with patience and true grit 
The Underdog:  If you want something badly enough and you never give up, you may just be able to accomplish it.  
Feel like giving up?  Tell yourself you have to try ONE more time before you decide. 

2. Self-Awareness - Introspective evaluation;  having an accurate measure of your own ability
A crucial factor in whether we stick with or give up on a task is how we view our ability to reach that particular goal.
This is called self-efficacy.  People high in self-efficacy can have a greater sense of motivation, feel more empowered, and channel failure into success.  This doesn’t mean being unrealistic about your actual ability.  Seeing the end goal in your mind helps it feel real, which can revive your hope and motivation.

3.  Resilience - Calm and intrepid elasticity;  taking things in stride and adapting to new situations
When the unexpected rips through your life - cancer, divorce, natural disaster - it can change everything.  How well you bounce back can come down to whether you view obstacles as healthy challenges or paralyzing threats.  Being resilient doesn’t change your circumstances - it allows you to move on despite them.  You can’t plan for the unthinkable, but finding “micro-moments” of happiness or gratitude could help you face future adversities. 

4. Perspective - Optimistic and hopeful mindset;  believing in one’s own ability to create a better reality
When it comes to success, hope and optimism are key elements.  Positive people tend to see problems as temporary and feel that they have the ability to influence the future.  When dealing with failure you have a choice in how you look at things.  You can also give yourself ten minutes or an hour or a day to get out your negative feelings rather than keep them bottled up.  Freak out, panic, go to that dark place, then when the time is up move on and tell yourself, “Never let defeat, defeat you and have faith that it will get better."

5.  Focus - Sharp and purposeful concentration; staying cool and observant under pressure
Where we centre our attention can often be the difference between continual success or stalled progress. Staying completely and fully present in the moment helps you tune out unnecessary distractions.  Mindfulness is an incredible tool to help people tolerate and deal with emotions (fear, anger, anxiety, nervousness) in healthy ways, rather than being shut down by them.  Deal with failures, setbacks and obstacles by breathing and checking in with yourself so you can pause and  “choose how to act” rather than just responding automatically.

6.  Discipline - Consistent, self-propelled motivation;  realizing that no one is going to force you or do it for you
When we are uncertain about how to reach a faraway objective, we’re more likely to procrastinate.  Short-term goals are powerful tools that help you with the important in-between steps in reaching your goal.  They help break it down into meaningful stages, which fuels motivation because we know how to accomplish the smaller tasks.  The benefit of these mini-goals is that the reward of finishing them is tangible and close which means we’re less likely to delay or give up on them.  Your dreams and goals are your responsibility if you lose motivation you have to rely on your “commitment,” build positive habits, and be accountable to your support system. 

#teaching grit #ecmp455  #building mental traits #online skills

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Eleven Recommended Storytelling Resources from EdX "Reconciliation through Indigenous Education" MOOC Participants

Here are some resources for those of you who are interested in teaching students Traditional Storytelling.  Around the world the Oral Tradition has been carried down from generation to generation.  In these tellings and traditional languages there are learnings about culture, values, ethics, etc.  Here are resources to help you with a starting point to incorporate these into your students well rounded education.  #ecmp455 #traditional story telling #reconciliation through Indigenous Education #oral tradition 

Eleven Recommended Storytelling Resources from edX "Reconciliation through Indigenous Education" MOOC Participants
From the website:
“Circle of Stories uses documentary film, photography, artwork and music to honor and explore Native American storytelling.”
From the website: “
From the website:
The hummingbird parable, with origins in the Quechuan people of South America, has become a talisman for environmentalists and activists who are committed to making meaningful change in the world. In this inspiring story, the determined hummingbird does everything she can to put out a raging fire that threatens her forest home. The hummingbird - symbol of wisdom and courage - demonstrates that doing something is better than doing nothing at all.
The parable is embraced by two of the world's most influential leaders: Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner from Kenya who launched the Green Belt Movement, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who has spoken widely about his commitment to preserving the environment. This courageous little book features artwork by internationally-renowned artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. His distinct and lively Haida Manga style engages perfectly with this inspirational story that encourages every individual to act on behalf of the world's limited and precious resources.
Circle of Stories
First Nations Pedagogy
This site is the culmination of a project funded by BC Campus that allowed two education experts, Sylvia Currie and June Kaminski, representing Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and Kwantlen Polytechnic University to create an online resource that builds on research, consultation, and community-based activities. This site provides best practices and support for online learning initiatives that are intended for aboriginal students, elders, educators, curriculum developers, and educational leaders.”
Flight of the Hummingbird
Four Directions Teachings
From the website:
The goal for the project was to create an engaging site where people could experience Indigenous knowledge and philosophy and where educators could incorporate the site into their curriculum. honors oral traditions by creating an environment where visitors are encouraged to listen with intent as each elder/ traditional teacher shares a teaching from their perspective on the richness and value of cultural traditions from their nation.”
From the website:
I’m Not the Indian You Had in Mind
I’m Not the Indian You Had in Mind challenges the stereotypical portrayal First Nations peoples in the media. This spoken word short offers an insight of how First Nations people today are changing old ideas and empowering themselves in the greater community.
The actors, in business suits, jeans, and typical urban attire are juxtaposed against the loincloth-wearing, tomahawk wielding Natives of yesterday’s spaghetti westerns.
Through the use of stock footage, language, and common artifacts like a cigar store Indian, the viewer is encouraged to examine the profound role that these one- dimensional media representations have played in shaping their perspectives of an entire group of people. The man living next door, the woman working in the next cubicle, or the stoic wood carving in front of the cigar store – which Indian did you have in mind?
In Our Own Words (K-3)
From the website:
“This resource has been developed in response to desire on the part of teachers for more guidance and information on how to incorporate First Peoples materials into their instruction and assessment practices. Educators and communities have long recognized a need for increased information and support in the use of culturally appropriate and meaningful First Peoples content, materials, and teaching methods.”
From the website:
Math Catcher: Mathematics through Aboriginal Storytelling
“The Math Catcher Outreach program aims to promote mathematics and scholarship in general by encouraging elementary and high school students to recognize how math is used in everyday life and how it forms the basis for many of our daily decisions and life-long choices. The storytelling, pictures, models, and hands-on activities encourage young people to enjoy math and help dispel myths that math is boring and abstract.
Another key component of the program is to introduce these concepts to Aboriginal students through the use of First Nations imagery and storytelling. The Program has produced animated films in several First Nations languages (Blackfoot, Cree, Squamish, Heiltsuk, Nisga’a, Sliammon, Halq’em ́eylem, Hul’q’umi’num’, and Huu-ay- aht) as well as bilingual picture books in Blackfoot/English, Cree/English, Squamish/English, Nisga’a/English, and Sliammon/English.
The Program is based on the belief that it is crucial that we engage Aboriginal students in mathematics and science at the early age. ”
Our Voices: Omushkego Oral History Project
From the website:
In Aboriginal culture, teachings are passed from generation to generation in a rich tradition of storytelling. Join the University of Winnipeg's Centre for Rupert's Land Studies as they welcome Louis Bird, Aboriginal scholar and storyteller.

As part of the Omushkego Oral History Project, Bird will share - in Cree and in English - a sampling of the stories of the Omushkegowak or "Swampy Cree" people of the Hudson and James Bay Lowlands of northern Manitoba and Ontario.
Bird is from Peawanuck Ontario and has shared his stories with audiences throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. In addition to performing traditional Cree legends, mystery stories, and oral history, Bird has devoted three decades to documenting Cree oral traditions. He began making audiotape recordings of the stories told by his elders in 1965. Today, his collection comprises more than 340 hours of material - the largest extant collection of such recordings.”
From the website:
“Raven Tales is series of half-hour, (24min.) CGI-animated television programs, targeted at school-age children and their families that introduce Aboriginal folklore in a humorous and entertaining way. They tell the stories of the many adventures of Raven, the most powerful deity of Aboriginal mythology. Each episode features an original interpretation of a popular tale from the folklore of our First Peoples.”
Raven Tales
Rebel Music Native America: Lesson Plan
From the website:
Rebel Music: Native America is one episode of a six-part documentary film series that explores the lives of young people who are using their art and music to ignite social and political change around the world. Rebel Music: Native America highlights Native American musicians who are using their art to inspire and transform their communities and the places they travel. This powerful story from South Dakota, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, and New York City depicts the lives of four characters: Frank Waln, a Lakota hip-hop artist who is fighting to save the environment, Inez Jasper a Skowkale musician who is bringing awareness to missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada, and Nataanii Means and
Mike Cliff (aka Witko), Oglala Sioux from Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota who are encouraging youth to find strength and inspiration through music amidst high suicide rates in their community. These musicians demand positive change for their communities, harnessing the power of music to elevate their voices and escalate awareness. They understand that the future of their communities is at risk and are fighting in hopes of a more promising existence..”
From the website:
“The Seven Sacred Teachings is a message of traditional values and hope for the future. The Teachings are universal to most First Nation peoples. These Teachings are aboriginal communities from coast to coast. They are a link that ties First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities together.

David Bouchard is Canada’s most renowned and awarded Métis author. Dr. Joseph Martin has spent his life coming to understand the Sacred Teachings. Métis Kristy Cameron took a year out of her life to interpret the Teachings through her art. Swampfox has created seven flutes out of seven different woods, each in the key that is consistent with a particular Teaching. This master flute maker then dreamed seven songs to accompany this telling.”

Teaching Traditional History on Traditional Lands - Re: Residential School

Here are some resources for those of you who are interested in teaching students the Traditional History of Canada.  I know I personally did not learn about the history of "All" the people in my Northern Community.  It wasn't until University that I found out about Louis Riel, Treaty Signings, and in this MOOC the seven generations of Residential Schools (and the Syndrome and Legacy that still negatively and profoundly affects Aboriginal Youth and the rest of Canadian society to this day).  In fact it is said that it will take seven generations to repair the damage done.  I feel that positive education now definitely will lessen this time. #ecmp455 #residential school #reconciliation through Indigenous Education #Canadian history

Ten Recommended Resources from edX "Reconciliation through Indigenous Education"  MOOC Participants

From the website:
“The Deepening Knowledge Project seeks to infuse Aboriginal peoples' histories, knowledges and pedagogies into all levels of education in Canada. The project is a part of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, which is located on the territories of Anishinaabe and Onkwehonwe peoples.
On this site you'll find information about the history and traditions of First Nations, Métis, Inuit and Native American cultures, information about the challenges facing Aboriginal communities today, and curricula for incorporating this information into your teaching practice.”
From the website:
The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) is an independent society led by a strong and diverse board of about 100 First Nations community representatives. FNESC is committed to improving education for all First Nations students in BC.
Since its establishment in 1992, FNESC has worked to communicate the priorities of BC First Nations to the federal and provincial governments and to support First Nations communities in working together to advance education issues. Communications, research, partnership-building and advocacy are all central to FNESC’s activities.”
Deepening Knowledge: Resources For and About Aboriginal Education
First Nations Education Steering Committee
Indian Residential School Resources
From the website:
Indian Residential School Resources “
is designed to help educators teach their students about Indian Residential Schools by developing accurate, balanced, and engaging lesson plans and resources to supplement Social Studies and other course curriculums”
From the website:
“LHF is a national Aboriginal charitable organization whose purposes are to educate, raise awareness and understanding of the legacy of residential schools, including the effects and intergenerational impacts on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, and to support the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors. Fulfilling this mandate contributes towards reconciliation among generations of Aboriginal peoples, and between Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal people in Canada.”
From the website:
Project of Heart” is an inquiry based, hands-on, collaborative, inter- generational, artistic journey of seeking truth about the history of Aboriginal people in Canada. Its purpose is to:
§§ Examine the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada and to seek the truth about that history, leading to the acknowledgement of the extent of loss to former students, their families and communities
Legacy of Hope
Project of Heart
§§ Commemorate the lives of the thousands of Indigenous children who died as a result of the residential school experience.
§§ Call Canadians to action, through social justice endeavors, to change our present and future history collectively.”
Anishinaabe filmmaker Lisa Jackson’s award-winning short film, "Savage", is a multi-genre depiction of the loss experienced by the children, families and communities affected by the residential school system in Canada. Accompanied by a Cree lullaby, the film follows a First Nations girl’s journey as she is taken to, and transformed within, a residential school. Jackson then turns to song and dance over dialogue to illustrate acts of symbolic resistance and the dehumanizing effects of residential schooling. She leaves the ending unresolved.
From the website:
There is an emerging and compelling desire to put the events of the past behind us so that we can work towards a stronger and healthier future. The truth telling and reconciliation process as part of an overall holistic and comprehensive response to the Indian Residential School legacy is a sincere indication and acknowledgement of the injustices and harms experienced by Aboriginal people and the need for continued healing. This is a profound commitment to establishing new relationships embedded in mutual recognition and respect that will forge a brighter future. The truth of our common experiences will help set our spirits free and pave the way to reconciliation.”
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
We Were Children
From the website:
“In this feature film, the profound impact of the Canadian government’s residential school system is conveyed through the eyes of two children who were forced to face hardships beyond their years. As young children, Lyna and Glen were taken from their homes and placed in church-run boarding schools, where they suffered years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, the effects of which persist in their adult lives. We Were Children gives voice to a national tragedy and demonstrates the incredible resilience of the human spirit.”
From the website:
“Between 1831 and 1969, residential schools operated in Canada through arrangements between the Government of Canada and the church. One common objective defined this period – the assimilation of Aboriginal children.

This site is a counterpart to Where are the Children? Healing the Legacy of the Residential Schools, a touring exhibition that explores the history and legacy of Canada’s Residential School System through Survivor stories, archival photographs, and documents, curated by Iroquois artist Jeff Thomas.”
Where Are the Children?
Where the Spirit Lives
From the website:
“In 1937, a young First Nations (Canadian native) girl named Ashtecome is kidnapped along with several other children from a village as part of a deliberate Canadian policy to force First Nations children to abandon their culture in order to be assimilated into white Canadian/British society. She is taken to a boarding school where she is forced to adopt Western Euro- centric ways and learn English, often under brutal treatment. Only one sympathetic white teacher who is more and more repelled by this bigotry offers her any help from among the staff. That, with her force of will, Ashtecome (forced to take the name Amelia) is determined to hold on to her identity and that of her siblings, who were also abducted.”