News flash: an update on my major project! My personal journey / critically looking at Snapchat & Google Classroom.

Hi EC&I 832!

When thinking about digital literacy and Mike Ribble’s 9 elements of digital citizenship, my main goal is to understand and to critically look at the following applications that my students are using for social media and educational purposes. I am critically exploring the application of SnapChat and Instagram. My students are constantly using this social media app and I am curious to see if my students are aware of their own digital citizenship while they use it on a daily basis. I am also wanting to critically look at Google Classroom and Remind to see if they are critical and useful tools to use in our classrooms.  As educators it is important that we critically evaluate and understand the educational tools that we are using with our students. It is also important to help our students critically analyse and understand the social media apps that they are using.

As Dr. Alec Couros suggested, how do Mike Ribble’s 9 elements of Digital citizenship relate to my major project?

Digital access: as technology users we need to be aware that not everyone has access to technology. For my Google classroom and Remind, is it truly fair that I ask all my students to join and share their work and my own work on these platforms? Do they all have access to a smart phone or a computer? What if my student does not feel comfortable using technology? How can I teach my students to be comfortable with technology?  It is a reminder as a teacher that not all my students will have access to tech. How can I make sure my students have an equal opportunity with technology?

Digital commerce: Ribble reminds us that we are part of a market community when we use technology. Google is in fact a huge asset to the internet. Everything is Google and by me using it in the classroom I am endorsing The Google all the time. What are the legal and legitimate exchanges that are occurring when I use Google classroom and Remind with my students?

kg google class

Digital communication: has changed due to the many changes and the ability to communicate with so many other people with so many methods of communication such as cell phones, messaging etc. I and my students are in constant communication with each other via social media apps like Snapchat and educations apps like Google classroom and Remind. Students are not able to control their own communication. They are constantly taking random pictures and Snapchat and Instagram messaging each other every minute of the hour in classrooms or throughout their daily routines. Many students have not been taught how to make appropriate decisions when they have access to so many social media aps. Myself, with the Google Classroom, I can give direct feedback to students on their assignment anytime. Is it healthy for my students and for myself to use digital / direct feedback digitally? Though on the other hand, I can communicate with my students on a daily basis when they do not have access face to face. If a student is away ill, they have direct access to documents via our digital classroom and can contact me anytime should they have questions. Is this healthy digital communication?

Digital literacy: Ribble reminds us about the importance of teaching about technology and the use of technology. As teachers it is important that we integrate Ed tech in the classrooms, not just for the sake of it, but meaningfully infusing it in the classroom in all subject areas. This would be meaningful to teach students about how to literally use Google Classroom, Remind, Instagram and Snapchat meaningfully and carefully. And at the same time teaching about DC.

Digital etiquette: Unfortunately, many of my students are unaware of how to conduct themselves properly while using social media apps like Snapchat and Google classroom. I see students daily sending inappropriate messages and images via Instagram and  Snapchat. I actually had one student who began sending inappropriate comments via Google classroom. (I blocked his comments.) Ribble discusses that many people are uncomfortable talking to others about digital etiquette. The goal for my major project would be how can we make students feel comfortable to talk about their own digital etiquette? We can’t simply take away cell phones from our students (or block their comments), we will need to find ways to teach our students on how to become responsible digital citizens while using Snapchat, Instagram, Remind and Google classroom.

kg snap

Digital law: There are many unethical situations that my students are finding themselves in trouble due to the damage from bullying or from stealing each other’s property such as cell phones. Plagiarism is another huge problem where students are copying from another’s student’s work or from the internet. How do we teach students to abide digital law?

Digital Rights & Responsibilities: We all have the rights to privacy and must also understand that the technology that we use has to be used responsibly. While using Snapchat, Instagram, Remind and Google Classroom how do I ensure my students identity and work is kept private? With Snapchat how do I ensure my students are being responsible that they are not taking pictures without someone’s consent?

Digital health & wellness: How do we teach our students to protect themselves?  How do we teach our students (ourselves) to psychologically and physically take care of our own digital health? Are we obsedded with social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat? Is it healthy that I am / my students are using Remind, Google Classroom on a daily basis?

Digital security / self-protection: Ribble suggests that we take electronic precautions to guarantee our own safety. How do we teach our students to become aware of what and who they share with on social media apps like Instagram and  Snapchat? Who has access to all their photos? How can we properly teach our students on how to protect themselves from others that may try to cause harm to them? How do I ensure my students work and identity is kept secure while using Remind and  Google Classroom?

What does this all mean for my major project / my personal journey into media?

  1. Continue to explore the educational app Google Classroom and Remind with my students.
  2. Explore the social app Snapchat and Instagram with my students and myself.
  3. Document the findings from these 2 educational and social apps) via blog posts, surveys, pictures and videos in regards to effective communication, education, social media, digital citizenship, privacy, concerns and positive effects of all apps in and out of the classroom setting.




The Alpha who?

After our EC&I 832 online class last week, the term “Alpha generation” was a new term for me. As Alec had mentioned during our online discussion, every generation has always had an opinion or has made a judgment on the various past generations and their use of various technologies. I really enjoyed watching the videos this week from Bree  Danielle  Kyla and Brittany on their definition on what it means to be a digital citizen. Thank-you for sharing your finding ladies! 

Though when looking back in our history, every trend and every technology has taught us something new and has made a contribution to our society either in a positive or negative light.  With change comes discomfort and uncertainty, though it also comes with new and exciting possibilities. By being open to change and understanding the new future, it opens up the opportunities to teach our learners / children about how to steer themselves in the right direction. Meaning it is necessary to take positive steps with change and to help prepare our learners / students / children for what is to come for them in their future.


Photo source 

Digital citizenship will play a huge role in this process for the reason that today’s students have various technologies at their fingertips. It will not come naturally to our learners as they are still unaware of their own digital footprint. DC would need to be integrated / taught in the classroom where it is somewhat of a norm (not just taught in one unit) in any subject area to protect and ensure that students understand the importance of their own digital citizenship.

As discussed in the 2020 Future Work Skills, it is necessary that these ten skills: social intelligence, cross cultural competency, novel and adaptive thinking, design mindset, new media literacy, computational thinking, trans-disciplinary , virtual collaboration and cognitive load management be implemented in the work place and education systems.

These ten skill will support digital citizenship with the Alpha generation and also future generations. Furthermore, our learners will become more critical in their thinking as well as have an open mindset to the new technologies that will develop.

madi tech

Technology reflection

For this week’s blog post we were asked to respond and reflect on an assigned article. I really enjoyed the articles and as I watched a few of them from the past two classes, I pondered on how technology is used in my classrooms and in my daily life.

I found David White’s article on You Tube to be quite interesting though I do not consider myself to be a ‘digital native’ or a ‘digital immigrant’. I think I am actually in between both.  Like Carter Davis shared in his blog,  I too found it interesting that anyone who was born after the 80’s are considered to be a ‘digital native’ for the reason that they have grown up with technology. My mom to this day still needs help on how to maneuver her CD player one of the most basic of tasks.

I  myself am not an expert as I am always wanting to learn more on how to use the varied technology that is out there. I also enjoyed White’s idea on having a continuum of online activity for both professional and personal use.  I agree that is all about balance, when it comes to connectivity in our personal and professional lives. Though to be honest I am guilty of not being great when it comes to this balancing act. On a nightly basis, I can be found checking work email at home when I should be spending quality time with my family.

me and tech

Wherever I go everyone (including myself) are using some sort of technology and social media.  The other day, my family and I were in line at Fuddruckers waiting to order and almost everyone in line was on their cell phones checking their emails, texts and social media.  It’s as though nobody can be bothered to converse with eachother nor does anyone have the patience to wait in a lineup. Instead, we use our technology to fill in the void of waiting in line or to converse with each other. I ask are we bored?

In my classrooms, students are asked to put their phones away during teaching time in a cell phone charger holder. Two minutes before the bell, my students can be seen rushing to their phones in desperate need to check what they missed on their social media. It’s as though I took away “their social media life”  for a small hour of their lives.  I ask why are my students so desperate to be on their cell phones? Why must they always fulfill this need to be on their cell phones even when they are allowed to use them in the classroom?

giphy-downsized cell


I have done my best to put away my cell during the teaching day, though I know I am also guilty of constantly checking my device in between classes and during the lunch hours to read the news or check my own social media. Students in today’s schools are constantly on their phones like zombies. A student will ask to go to the bathroom with cell phone in hand and I will always chuckle and say, “you may want to leave your phone here…you don’t want to lose that in the toilet.”

I am all about connecting with loved ones, friends and fellow educators. I also feel that it’s important that our students are able to connect with each other though at what point do we stop when it becomes obsessive?

The social media that I check on a daily basis is Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I guess you could say I love posting pictures of my family and I also enjoy sharing about what my students are learning. Similar to my students, I am guilty of mindlessly /constantly checking / reading news articles and social media posts. Like Sherry Turkle discussed in her Ted Talk am I constantly checking social media and reading news articles because I have the need to constantly be in the know because (like my students) I don’t want to be alone / left out of what is going on in the social media world.

gates spanish

I can honestly say that when I have had no internet access (my vacation in Cuba Xmas 2015) I was not feeling the need to check the news or social media. It was like it was out of sight and out of mind literally which can also be a good thing for everyone. Disconnecting and then reconnecting is truly about a balancing act and can be great for the soul.







That Google Classroom, Remind, Instagram and Snapchat are lit!

Hola! Bonjour fellow EC&I 832 classmates!

My name is Krista Gates and I am a teacher of languages. I teach French Immersion and Spanish at the high school level and I love to take traveling adventures with my students and my own family.

krista paris

I completed my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in the summer of 2015 and I am currently working on my last class for my Master’s certificate in TESOL, where I have been mainly focusing on Second Language Acquisition.

Even though I have blogged before I currently have the case of “mom brain”. It seems like I am trying to remember everything about blogging all over again. Though I am super pumped to be taking another class with Dr. Alec Couros and yourselves!


The main purpose of my blog post this week is to share and outline my major project. I have decided to do option 2: my personal journey into media. As a teacher / mother, I think it is super important to have an understanding of the digital world and the many apps and programs that our students and in fact that our own children are using.

I am looking at this project as a professional and also a personal journey into social media, and what it means to be a digital citizen. The educational apps which I will investigate are Google Classroom, and Remind. I will be using these apps during the second semester with my students and of course I am always curious to see how this will impact education and learning with regards to communication. I am also wondering how I can use these apps more effectively for educational purposes.

Google classroom


The apps that I am also curious to examine with my students and myself are Snapchat and Instagram. I have personally used Instagram for a few years and enjoy posting about family memories. For Snapchat I just created an account out of curiosity a couple of years ago. Though in my teaching world, I see students using these apps on a daily basis and I am always curious to fully understand the social aspects of these popular social media apps. I am also curious to see if our students are truly aware of their own privacy, their own digital citizenship while using these apps since Snapchat and Instagram continue to be used for sexting and bullying.

My steps for the major project (Personal journey into media) will be (hopefully) as follows:

  1. Explore the educational apps that will be used in my classroom. (Google Classroom & Remind).
  2. Explore the social apps (Snapchat and Instagram)with my students and myself.
  3. Document the findings from all 4 educational and social apps) via blog posts, surveys, pictures and videos in regards to effective communication, education, social media, digital citizenship, privacy, concerns and positive effects of all apps in and out of the classroom setting.


I look forward to investigate our digital world that our students and our children use on a daily basis.
Has anyone ever used these apps personally and professionally?

Thanks! Gracias! Merci!






























Until we meet again EC&I 833

As I type this post, I cannot believe a semester has already flown by and we have already reached the end of our EC&I 833 course. Bellow you will find my Summary of Learning with my partners Luke and Liz. Not only am I lucky to have done this project with these two fine classmates, I am also proud to call them my teammates at work.

The impacts of what I have learned in this course have been profound as they have and continue to shape the way I teach. This is my second Master’s and I still feel as though there is always more to learn and share with my fellow teaching colleagues.

I have understood that technology can be used meaningfully while teaching curricular outcomes.  I will continue to try a variety of tools, assistive technology tools  that are beneficial for my teaching and that are useful for all learners.  I am still wondering what technologies are purposeful and useful for EVERYONE in the classroom.  As I go on in my teaching, I hope to find answers to that question.

The historical background of technology helped me process where we were and where we have come to today. Theories such as Connectivism, Constructivism, Behaviourism, Cognitivism, and Social Constructivism all play a role in how I am teaching through the curriculum. There is so much out there to use in the classroom. I continue to learn in my own teaching practices and try new technologies that are both meaningful and engaging.

There is sometimes resistance where we teach…… I think of Katia’s presentation on audio-visual technologies and how tech tools were seen as dangerous tools. This is not so different from today, as some educators are still against using technology in the classroom. Though I do believe with the understanding of teaching of Digital Citizenship, technology can be used purposefully and safely with our students.

I have found that a variety of tools specifically Kahoot and Mentimeter have changed the way I teach my students. These tools not only help me follow curriculum, they can also be used for formative assessment purposes. There are so many tools out there such as Socrative, Google Classroom and Poll Everywhere.  I am determined to continue to use these tools and new ones as they come into play in my teaching career.

Something that was an eye opening experience for me was how our Educational Systems has been and continue to be controlled by some technology systems like Google. How can we benefit from these systems and ensure that our students are receiving the best education? If students do not have access to education from the face to face contact, how can we ensure all students have access to online learning? How can we ensure that all students can have access to a device? How can we continually promote Digital Citizens with the new Web 3.0? How can we continually understand that technology can be used safely and meaningfully? As educators this is something that we will be continually working on as we move onto new technologies in our teaching careers.

The learning will never stop. Period! It is forever ongoing.

I wanted to say a huge thanks to Alec, our guest speaker Katia and fellow EC&I 833classmates for a wonderful semester.  Thank-you for sharing your knowledge and insights.

May we all continue to grow alongside our students within technology in the classroom and help create positive digital citizens. Thanks for having such a positive impact on my learning #EC&I 833. Please stay in touch via Twitter and our PLN.

Gracias and merci!



Virtual and Augmented Realities in Education

Gracias to Bill and Logan! They did great job on the discussing the benefits of augmented and virtual realities in education. I am super impressed with the tool Aurasma…….thank-you for sharing the benefits of this tool Bill especially for language learning!

I was quite hesitant about this week’s class topic like Erin as I have really never used these tools in my classroom before.

Though at the same time, I agree with both of our presenters this week, that there are many positive benefits with integrating VR and AR in the classroom with students. I actually have access to 30 Google Cardboards.  I just recently began to play with this tool.

For example  I can take my  language learning students for a quick tour of the Eiffel Tour with Google Cardboard via Urban Hike with their own cell phones. (I took the following pictures while playing with Urban Hike).


From there my students can also take a swim in the Great Barrier Reef in Belize:


They can also check out the Coliseum in beautiful Rome and even the Westminster Bridge Road in London.



It is very neat for our students to experience the world of travel via VR and AR through a virtual scavenger hunt. Though in reality, it is truly a better experience for our students to see these places in the real world.

Reede and Bailiff’s article on When Virtual Reality Meets Education was very informative. They discussed how VR is a useful tool as it provides immersive experiences for our students. That classrooms can use these tools to collaboratively construct historical sites as well as architectural models. Immersing our students with AR and VR is truly a transformative experience for our learners as they are able to learn interactively with many new and innovative resources.  This is all so truly amazing!

Though as we know with advantages come also disadvantages.

Some teachers may not view this as a learning tool but only a “gaming” tool. In reality these type of tools can provide positive learning experiences for our learners…..even gaming tools!

Also, not all students will have access to the tools that they will need for VR and AR technology. As well as some of this technology is quite expensive to use and for this reason some may benefit more from it than others. Though the Google Cardboard is a great start! This tool can be found online for roughly $20.00. I also understand that with cardboard you can create anything….perhaps educators could also help create VR and AR with their students with a simple piece of cardboard. Within this topic anything is truly possible.

I will for sure be trying this tool with my students shortly….stay tuned! Though in the meantime, do you know of any other AR and VR travel apps?



Assistive technology is for all learners!

Huge thanks to Holly, Allison, Benita, Heidi and Launel on their awesome presentation on assistive technology. It is true that assistive technology is not just for struggling learners. There are many great assistive tech tools for all learners.

When thinking back on my teaching career and my first experiences using assistive technology, it was a speaker and microphone set (for my hard of hearing learner), a laptop for a learner and the Kurzweil program.

The speaker and microphone set was lost when it was required for my student. I spent roughly 2 weeks looking for the sound and speaking system when it was transferred from the elementary to the high school setting. During that time my hard of hearing student sat close with me and was able to understand my teaching, though not to her full potential without the required equipment. It turns out the equipment was locked away at the board office over the summer months and was unfortunately given to a different student within the system at  the start of the school year. Luckily a system was found not used and I was able to pick it up for my hard of hearing learner. There was no training to use this system, luckily my hard of hearing student taught me on how to use the system for her.

For the Kurzweil program all teachers in the high school that I was at, received the start-up training.

The unfortunate part, French Immersion resources were not able to be used with some of the programming at the time, which was very frustrating for a language learner and teacher. When teaching over a 100 students in a semester, being expected to know how to use new assistive technology, though the assistive technology does not support all French Immersion resources I found myself not using it, and looking for other suitable tools to help my learners.  To make matters worse, when we were trained, the training was not complete. It required two more training sessions. Unfortunately, we did not receive these training sessions due to lack of time at the schools. The information was emailed without more supportive training for the teachers.

The laptop (to support my student) arrived a month late during the semester. To make unfortunately, the laptop was not updated and was slow. I was able to bring the computer to the board office to receive its proper updates.

My first experiences using assistive tech were frustrating ones. Though these tools were necessary for our learners, so I guess you could say I just dealt with my frustrations and moved on.  As Dave Edyburn discussed in Rethinking Assistive Technology, teachers are frustrated with assistive technology because there is not enough training on this assistive tools, “there is little evidence that in-service professionals have received adequate training”. (P.18)

And on the other hand these days, there is an enormous amount of assistive tech tools out there, that some educators do not know which ones are the best tools  for their learners. It is best to learn/review an assistive tech tool “one at a time” to not overwhelm the teacher tech tool learner.

I have a grade 9 student who is reading at a grade 4 level. She has other cognitive learning disabilities that are impacting her learning in the classroom. My next assistive technology tool that I want to use / try with her is Google Read and Write for our French Immersion resources. I am in the process of learning this program on my own and I am trying to figure out on how to get my French Immersion resources added to this program. I found out that not all French Immersion resources are supported by this program….this is a common theme for French Immersion teachers….not all tools support French Immersion.

This video was very informative on the Google read and write program:


When researching the Google Read and Write program, I will need the following for my student:

-A Board office issued laptop for my student.

-Chrome installed on this laptop.

-Insuring my student knows her RBE Google account.

-Learn this program for myself.

-Help my student learn and understand this program.

-Help our LRT learn this program.

After having revised some of the Google Read and Write program, I am realizing that this tool (if it supports our French Immersion resources) can be a useful tool for all my Immersion students. Assistive technology can be used for all learners not just for students who have disabilities.

There is a stigma in our classrooms and we all know what it is. For some reason when a student is using these tools, they are seen as the “weak” student. Now and in the future, I want my own children/ students to understand, that there is nothing wrong when using tools to support your learning. I am hoping that we can break this stigma and have all students understand that using supportive /assistive technology is for all learners.

Do any of my fellow EC&I 833 classmates know of any other awesome assistive tech tools that supports French Immersion students?




Assessing assessment technology tools that are out of this world!

I was quite excited for this week’s class topic on Assessment technologies. Huge thanks to our fellow classmates Tyson, Jen, Nathalie and Nicole on your many great tools that were shared for effective students learning and assessment. Not to mention the great list of resources that was shared! So awesome to collaborate on what works in our classrooms as educators as this is in itself another great resource….sharing!

Gone are the days (for some educators) where we use tests (paper and pen) for every assessment to see if our students understand the required outcomes.

With technology has also come unique and varied assessment tools that can be useful for every educator from the elementary, high school and post-secondary settings.

As discussed in previous discussions from my blog, technology use by educators is “one day at a time” method so new Ed TECH learners (teachers) are not overwhelmed. Though in reality there are so many assessment tools out there, it’s important to reflect and review what technology assessment tools may be useful when assessing your learners.

Kahoot is awesome! Plain and simple. Once the students in the classroom understand the rules of cell phones and the meaning behind Digital citizenship, this tool can be quite useful to see of there in comprehension for what has been learned. From a personal example, my students read a novel and instead of a written quiz, they participated in chapter reviews from a Kahoot to review the novel. It’s a great way to assess if my learners have been reading and if there is understanding of the required chapters. It’s also a way for me to see what I can change for future understandings of the reading. As Heidy’s discussed in her blog, there is excitement and engagement when using this tool for our varied learners.


Though with every assessment tool comes technology issues. For example, not all students have access to cell phones. In this case I have students pair up and make teams so every student can participate. With teams, brings less stress and more collaborative learning in the classroom.

I just began looking at Plickers and I am very invested to try this assessment tool in my languages classroom setting. This You Tube instructional video was quite useful too:

-I noticed is it quite easy to set up.

-The cards are re-usable (better to laminate)

-I can create a free account

-Can use one device (teacher device) instead of multiple devices

-Very easy to use true and false or multiple choice questions

-Can use an opinion survey

-Can easily create questions

-They even have a calendar item… great for planning (for varied subjects)

-I can look back to see data reports for my students

-Gives me data from my students in real time

– I can use 63 bar codes per class

-Assigns the card number per students (to keep track of assessment)

-The questions can be projected to my students using my data projector while they use their cards.

-See if students have understood a learning concept.

I am super interested in using this tool for my languages classroom. The benefit is, you only need one device for many instances. It’s also a great tool for formative assessment.

There are so many positives with assessment technology. For example as discussed it is flexible, it is faster and efficient and most importantly, it can provide differentiated learning opportunities. Did I mention it improves student engagement in the classroom setting (when used effectively)? Of course as mentioned earlier there are some drawbacks such as bandwidth connection issues as well as not all students having access to technology.

Though to increase student engagement will also require “at times” the use of technology tools when assessing our learners today. Not all will support this idea, though with time and learning these tools will help support our students in their learning.

Fellow EC&I 833 classmates, what is your favorite technology assessment tool? Can you recommend a great one for languages learning?



Change is constant in Education & the Web

Huge thanks to our fellow classmates Kyle, Angus, Erin, Naomi and Heidi for their presentation on Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. I really enjoyed our #eci833chat via Twitter and the great discussion that took place.

Secondly…….Web 3.0 : Your presentation and this video explains it perfectly:

From an educational standpoint, the changes from Web 2.0 to 3.0 will change the way we use the internet. It’s important that students and educators take note of this change as it will change the way we use the internet in our classrooms. Web 3.0 as Jackie Gerstein explained in her article, will provide even more collaborative knowledge through interaction and will also increase the learning opportunities for both the student and the teacher. Learners will become constructivists, they will be able to make even more connections and create in meaningful ways through Web 3.0.

As an educator who has embraced technology in education, it’s important that teachers educated themselves about the transition to Web 3.0. The internet and educational tools are constantly changing that for some teachers this may be overwhelming. It truly is, though at the same time it’s important to stay up to date about the new tools that will help motivate our learners in the classroom. Our learners are already learning about these tools, to the point that our students are sometimes teaching the educators about them.


My students have been using Google Docs and varied programs for quite some time. In fact, they have been collaborating, co-creating in projects prior to coming into my classroom. Teachers have also been using collaborative tools in planning as well as using presentations tools with their students and fellow staff members. By using and implementing these tools in a meaningful way for our students, the transition into Web 3.0 will be of a smooth transition, as most educators and students have already been using these collaborative tools for quite some time.

I enjoyed the quote from Heidi’s blog this week, “Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.” Of course with change comes resistance. Not all educators will “buy in” and accept Web 3.0 in their teaching practices. Lunch and learns, interacting and collaborating with our own personal learning networks, professional development, Grad classes will help ease the stress of learning new educational tools and encourage the implementation of Web 3.0.  By using new tools while implementing the curriculum, our students will meet the outcomes in the most effective and inspirational way.

I know that every teacher on this planet wants to teach the curriculum in an effective manner as well as inspire his/her students in the process. Our students also come with varied learning backgrounds that will require varied teaching styles in order to successfully meet the outcomes. Technology will help in this process, it’s just about taking that next step and accepting and learning about what’s out there and helpful for our students and their learning.

What are your thoughts? How can we can educators to use and meaningfully integrate Web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 in the classroom?