That’s a wrap #EC&I 830

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It’s been a great journey EC&I 830. I have learnt so much along the way from everyone in this class and I thank you for that! All the debate topics were eye opening and gave much food for thought and learning. Thank you Alec for another great learning experience!

To showcase my summary of learning, Lori, Allysa and I worked together. They have been the best to work with and could not ask for better partners.

Click here to watch it!



A Tool That Can Change the World Faster Than Anything Else…

In this week’s #ECI830 class the debate topic was, “Technology is a force for equity in society.”

On the agree side there was JenDawn and Sapna. In their opening arguments video they stated that technology is bridging the digital divide and providing opportunities to those that may not have had such opportunities in the past. It was discussed that it should be called digital inclusion instead of divide. They further explained that open education in the form of virtual classrooms and online educational resources (MOOC’s, OEC, OER) made education more flexible, accessible, and are providing fair and inclusive opportunities for all people.

Image result for technology connectsSome main points that I took away from the presentation was:
Technology connects many people across the world- Most people have access to technology and therefore it is the perfect tool to connect from anywhere in the world and anytime. It also provides fairness in regards to gender, socioeconomic status and ethnic background.

Technology removes barriers- Technology can act like a bridge for learning, students can have a voice, and technology has features like assistive technology that help students who may have learning disabilities or difficulties.

Technology doesn’t discriminate. Sexism was here long before technology.


Image result for digital colonialismOn the disagree side there was Rakan and Amy S. In their opening arguments video they stated that technology is designed in ways to promote racial inequality, gender inequality, digital colonialism and economic inequality. To be totally honest, I don’t think I ever thought this deep about this ever and think that Rakan and Amy S did a great job at defending this side.

Some main points that I took away from the presentation was:
The AI facial recognition problems was very interesting. Rich vs Poor- lower income don’t get connected. “digital poorhouse”. 4 billion have access to the internet— what about the rest of the world?

Both sides did a great job in defending their positions – In my opinion, the most complex topic thus far.



I really enjoyed the above Ted Talk that was provided this week. It showcased how technology can be successful on a limited budget as well as, how educators need to look at options, not just the “tech candy”. I liked how the video pointed out that technology is not to blame for the inequities. Inequities have been around far before technology. 

While doing more research and watching videos and doing the readings this week, I came across the below YouTube video called, “Using Technology to Close Equity Gaps”.  Richard Culatta, from the US Department of Education presented on this topic.



He discussed five ways that technology can be used to close persistent equity gaps so that all students can have access to high-quality education regardless of who they are or where they live.
Opportunity 1: Equitable access to high quality digital learning materials.
Opportunity 2: Equitable access to expertise
Opportunity 3: Personalized Learning
Opportunity 4: Support for Planning Higher education
Opportunity 5: Supporting accessibility
Image result for technology eqaulitiesRobert concluded his presentation with what I thought was very powerful. To summarize what he said, Technology is an accelerator, whatever we apply it to is going to accelerate. Technology is neutral, it is not good, nor is it bad. If we choose to apply technology is ways that accelerate existing inequalities, than shame on us all. On the other hand, if we choose to realize the value that we hold dear in this country, a value that all students should have access to the same opportunity for learning, regardless of their ZIP Code or income or anything else that we group some students to have less opportunity than others. If we decided that is something that we truly care about,  and we use technology as a way to solve those challenges- He believes that we have a tool that can change the world faster than anything else we’ve ever seen before.  Because if we drive them and keep that as part of the conversation, we change the world. It’s as simple as that.
I think that this was a good summary of how I personally view this topic. Technology has the opportunity to be more digitally inclusive instead causing a bigger divide.  How are you ensuring you are being digitally inclusive is the question? Thank you for reading and stopping by my blog this week.





Is Social Media Ruining Childhood?

This week’s debate topic in #eci830 with Alec was, Is Social Media Ruining Childhood?

I seen this Bill Murray picture and quote on Facebook this week, how fitting for the topic!

Brooke, Erin and Danial put up a good fight in this weeks debate and raised many good points. However, while one can argue that there are certain benefits of social media for kids, Allysa, Lori and myself felt the risks still outweigh the benefits.

As educators, we need to inform children to see what dangers exist in social media and encourage them that there are healthier forms of entertainment, such as playing outside with friends or sports activities.

Social media can amplify the effects on young people’s natural tendency to risk taking and fuels the notions of overnight internet fame or instant popularity (such as the Tide pod challenge).  This is the perfect storm for childhood to have a permanent negative digital footprint and having lasting effects on their future without even knowing it.

As we discussed in our debate this week, research shows a link between cyber bullying and low self-esteem, depression, family problems, academic difficulties, school violence and various delinquent behavior. I was reading a article by Jamie Doward: Revealed: the more time that children chat on social media, the less happy they feel , which has some statistics about the amount of kids that use social media and the effects that it has. Doward wrote, “The amount of time that children between eight and 11 and those aged 12-15 spend online has more than doubled in a decade,” (Doward, 2017). Kids, young kids, and teens are constantly on a device and many are on some sort of social media. Much of our research proved this.  This article also mentioned, “… cyberbullying could be another explanation for links between unhappiness and children’s use of social media. ‘There’s evidence the longer young people spend online the more likely they are to be victims of bullying,’” (Doward, 2017).  Some kids might not even realize what they are saying is considered cyber bullying, but it is and could have life threatening affects. We as educators and parents have our work cut out for us. Therefore, if there is going to be continue access for kids to social media, then we need to educate everyone better. Also, I really believe that limiting the use of the internet and electronics is very important in the home and in the school setting. There needs to be a balance, kids need to be kids and play outside, rough house, interact, etc. They don’t need to have 24/7 screen time, they need to be active and imaginative.

Cyberbullying: Identification, Prevention, & Response This article expertly discusses what cyber bullying is, how it happens and what negative effects can occur. Some stats are provided and comparison is made between cyber bullying and traditional bullying. Obstacles for the prevention of cyber bullying such as outright dismissal or denial by parents, teachers and law enforcement. Teachers as well as parents need to better monitor their kids online/social media behaviors. 

Social media is meant for ‘entertainment purposes’.  It doesn’t make children smarter or teach life skills; nor is it needed for healthy social development. It is pure entertainment attached to a marketing platform. Many social media sites display multiple advertisements such as banner, behavior, and demographic-based ads that influence not only the buying tendencies of preadolescences and adolescents but also their views of what is “normal”. Such powerful influences start as soon as children begin to go online and post. 

The bottom line here is, technology and social media are not going away anytime soon, or ever! Therefore,  it is critical to educate parents, children, and adolescents about their practices so that children can develop into media-literate consumers and understand how advertisements can easily manipulate them.

During this week’s debate, Wendy spoke up about how social media has changed adults as well. She discussed how they are worried about how a picture will look to others as well as if this picture get enough “likes”. When we started our group debate topic, I made this clip that we were maybe going to use during our opening statement. However, we didn’t have time to include it. I think it reflect just what Wendy was talking about as well as how social media is effecting everyone!

I leave you with this short clip this week. Thank you for reading!




Educators As Well As Parents Have A Responsibility Here!

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This week’s debate in #eci830, was about, Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids. Once again I find myself sitting on the fence. I am torn as to what is “right”. I think this brings me back to how I closed last week’s blog, when Alec said you can do it right both ways, you just have to use it RIGHT”. I feel that is fitting here as well. Let me explain how I got here.

As a parent, I really like the idea of being connected with my child’s school and teachers. Being able to see what she is doing, working on and taking part in is exciting to me. My daughter is not in the school yet. However, our daycare is using a app called “HiMama” to communicate and share information with us. Until tonight, I had not given this much thought. I selfishly just liked being able to stay connected more while I am at work. However, after this week’s debate, I fear these pictures and information being used in a negative way or leaving a digital footprint that my child may not want. I asked myself questions like, are her teachers creating a positive digital footprint for her? Would my child want these pictures shared? How will this affect her later in life? Am I protecting her enough?

I found myself on the fence. I was back and forth with my thinking… there is probably not much harm in what is being shared at this point. However, then again, my child is at the mercy of her teachers online digital citizenship practices. Is her teacher going to make the right decisions? Follow best practices and policies. Is my child’s attention in the moment being sacrificed for that  picture?

Oh geeze, STOP Melinda. This is screaming helicopter parent….


I get that digital technology is providing a growing variety of methods for school leaders and daycare’s to connect with parents anywhere, anytime.  However, social media can pose risks to students’ privacy, but these risks can be managed with informed, intentional use. There’s also a huge upside: Teachers can use social media to share best practices, provide an authentic audience for students’ work, cultivate and model digital citizenship among their students, and build more connected school communities. I believe this is a good reason to use it. I liked the below video because it ingrains the importance of teacher following some important guidelines to protect students privacy on social media.


Getting back to my thoughts overall about this week’s debate.

Team agree did a great job of presenting the possible dangers associated with posting online. During the debate the chat was hot and it seemed like the K-12 teachers were all over this. They were discussing new policies and practices being implemented all the time. Many of these teachers were finding it hard and discouraging to continue with online posts and communication because of this.  Privacy concerns is on everyone’s radar these days, and for good reason. Team disagree also did a great job of proposing what teachers need to be truly mindful of when posting online with students. They did outline some great concerns, I feel that the educational benefits and learning that takes place in this digital world somewhat out ways these concerns.

Ester, Kari and Shelly outlined during their debate, that sharing online is the reality of childhood of this generation. I would agree with this. As discussed in class as well as in previous blogs, I believe it is our responsibility, as adults and educators, to help children navigate this complex digital world in a more positive light.

One of the articles this week was, Building and Keeping a Positive Digital Identity: A Practical Approach for Educators, Students, and Parents. I particularly appreciated this quote from the authors, ”as learning becomes more digital, educators at all levels are instrumental in building students’ understanding about how technology impacts both their personal and future professional
lives. Educators are also instrumental in helping students develop lifelong habits to create and maintain a positive online identity.They said educators at ALL levels…. That is powerful to me because that starts early on with parents as the educators, as well as educators at the university levels and so on. I guess starting at my child’s daycare level is not looking so negative now. Creating a healthy digital footprint is so critical. This article addresses ways educators can help students to understand what their digital footprint/digital identity is all about. Moreover, teachings students how they are creating that identity each and every time they connect online and how that can impact them positively or negatively. We can do this by positive role modeling. As parents and educators, we cannot forget that our students need this guidance to help them understand what positive digital footprint are. The more you can teach students and empower them to make positive digital footprints, the better they will be moving forward in their future.

I think of these lessons as riding a bike. We don’t expect kids to jump on a bike and just ride independently. They start slow, maybe with a tricycle or a bicycle with training wheels and work up to more independence. This is no different with the online digital world. This world should not be a free for all. We are educators and parents have a responsibly here. Sharing positive pictures and information at school seems like the way of truly inter-grading and ensuring this is happening at all levels.

This is my daughter, Jayla and my nephew Zach. I started creating Jayla’s digital footprint while I was pregnant, and didn’t think much of it. I have no choice but to ensure I teach her what positive digital footprint looks like for this fasted paced, ever growing world.

I guess I can say I am no longer on the fence. I am ok with openness and sharing, we have to be! Just in a positive way with learning being at the core!

Thanks for reading! More to come next week!


Why Teach it When You Can Just GOOGLE it?!?

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth learning can be taught.” 
— Oscar Wilde

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In this week’s debate in my EdTech ECI830 class, the topic was about whether schools should continue to teach information that could be Googled.  While both groups brought to light the importance of a teacher to guide thinking, I think that there was great support for a shift in how education in Canada is delivered. We need to change traditional learning, of the teacher being the knowledge keepers, to teachers being more of a facilitator of learning. More practical skills to build the knowledge. More meaningful learning…more meaningful from the students perspective and not being told the information is meaningful. Sounds easy right?

There were so many great learning moments for me in this week’s #eci830 class that made me stop, think, reflect and rethink critically.

I found one of this week’s readings, ‘The Objective of Education is Learning, Not teaching‘ very interesting and profound to what we were talking about in class.  Traditional education focuses on teaching, not learning…..The article states,“It incorrectly assumes that for every ounce of teaching there is an ounce of learning by those who are taught. However, most of what we learn before, during, and after attending schools is learned without its being taught to us. A child learns such fundamental things as how to walk, talk, eat, dress, and so on without being taught these things. Adults learn most of what they use at work or at leisure while at work or leisure. Most of what is taught in classroom settings is forgotten, and much or what is remembered is irrelevant.”

This paragraph makes total sense to me. This is what learning is and this is how learning is happening. It leaves me to think, why is our school system not shifting in how education in Canada is delivered? or maybe it has and we are not giving it enough credit?!?

Image result for critical thinking nursingI think that teachers are evolving from a “keepers of knowledge” as Shelly discussed in class this week to more of a “facilitator of knowledge”.  Being a nursing education instructor, this is primarily what we do. We facilitate adult learning. We can not possible teach nursing students everything they need to know about everything. Critical thinking is a process that lets your brain do more for you as you make decisions and solve problems. This is nursing! Our students need to be resources and know where to find the information and to think critically. This application results in higher quality and faster problem solving, decision making and innovation. Clinical skills in nursing are obviously important, but critical thinking is at the core of being a good nurse. The nursing process is way in which we as nurses try to thinking and give care. The nursing process is a scientific method used by nurses to ensure the quality of patient care. This approach can be broken down into five separate steps.

Google has a vast amount information, which is the composition of millions and millions of experts and “so-called experts”. In nursing we are continuously teaching what resources are reliable, creditable, evidence based best practices and research driven. The article posted this week called, “Teaching Students Better Online Research Skills” reinforces this importance. All of this information can be found online for our students to access. However, this does not make us, as nursing educators, indispensable. Our role as educators needs to continue to evolve to empower and guide students to use the information at their fingertips in a professional, accountable, positive manner to build and enhance current knowledge.

I came across Shelly’s blog this week. Within her blog I read the article she posted about called, “The Changing Roles of Teachers: What Research Indicates. Part I of II.” This article really resonated and made me reflect as a nursing educator and how I am helping prepare nursing students for the 21 century. This article spoke about the “aim of 21st century teaching as the development of knowledge, higher-order skills (such as the 4Cs of creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration), and character, as well as the establishment of lifelong learning habits and an ability to learn how-to-learn with technology as the central roles in the new picture of teacher effectiveness.” Moreover, Partnership for 21st Century Learning, stated that the role of teachers is changing to be:1) a planner for 21st century careers, 2) an instructor for different ways of learning, 3) a technology designer for learning. It is becoming imperative to integrate the teaching of information literacy and technology skills into to regular curriculum (Chu, Tse, & Chow, 2011). Such skills are essential for effective functioning in today’s knowledge society. Effective integration of technology into the classroom depends on teachers who have the knowledge of how to use technology to meet instructional goals.

Overall, I think both sides of the debate made many convincing points that really got me thinking about the potential for changing our mindset around what and how I teach in nursing education.  As many have said within their blog posts as well as during the debate, times are changing and the skills that children, young adults and adult learners need moving forward are not the same as the ones they needed when we were starting their education. How can we make sure everyone is playing their part in this? Teachers do NOT have to do this alone. From the points of the agree side- they mentioned several times that things are moving at a ever changing speed. We are educators need to keep up and show students how to access this important information so they can keep up moving forward.

So what I am saying is, I think “googling it” helps me teach and aids my students growth and learning. At the end of the day, we want our students to “learn”. However that looks. I believe technology, google and online tools are strengthening education as well as nursing education and are preparing students for this fast paced, ever growing “real world”.

In closing, Alec said something that really suck with me this week and I believe is key and pulls this debate topic together for me, you can do it right both ways, you just have to use it RIGHT… but you have to do it well.”

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Technology Enhance Learning! Or does it?

Andre Francois

There are two sides to this coin!

Does technology enhance or not enhance learning, is a complicated and convoluted question.  We live in a fast paced and ever growing day and age of technology. Personally, I don’t think this will slow down anytime soon, or even ever. As adult educators, it is our responsibility to teach and that includes technology. Technology is growing at a rapid pace in the health sciences and medical world as well. As a nursing educator with the SCBScN program, I feel it is critical to continue to grow students and integrate technology into our curriculum in every shape and form to enhance nursing education.

In this week’s EC&I 830 class our debate topic was; Technology in the classroom enhances learning. I would say I would have to agreed, that technology enhances learning. Kristen, Jana, and Katie did a great job at defending their side of the debate. However, I can also identify with some of the points Wendy, Kyla, and Amy C. discussed on the disagree side of things as well. I have highlighted a couple points that stood out to me that were argued as well as what was within the readings for this week.

Cons of Technology Pros of Technology 
  1. Technology is distracting
  2. Impacts social skills


  1. Helps engage students
  2. Provides opportunities to all kinds of learners (can include everyone)


I think one point that stood out for me from the debate was when they said technology enhances learning by moving from teacher-centred learning to student-centred learning. I would have to agree with this. Most recently I personally took a classroom and lab based class (Pharmacology) and turned it into a blended learning style. Historically, we were hearing students say that they needed more hands on practice as well as more time to learn this content. Getting more classroom and lab time was not going to be an option. Therefore, I felt a blended learning approach would be best.

The existing course comprised of a print course manual that was disjointed from the online course. I set out to transform the course for the May 2018 offering into a coordinated lab experience whereby students would have clear expectations on how to prepare for lab, and what to do during lab and post lab to enhance their learning. I wanted the course to be engaging, fun and user-friendly while using technology to my advantage. The course manual and previous lab elements were converted to “e-Books” on Moodle. This meant students would have a streamlined navigation system to easily find what they needed. I sequenced the content into learning chunks and adapted previous exercises from print based to online interactives. I used H5P interactive, an innovative technology which creates HTML5 

exercises that are mobile-friendly and provide immediate feedback to the learner.  Every lab contains a variety of interactives, including question quiz set, interactive video, and hotspot activities.

After doing all that, how can I not agree that technology enhances learning!


In addition to supporting why I think technology enhances learning, Saskatchewan Polytechnic issued a article discussing “Bring surgery to life through virtual reality With the help of advanced technology, student will now be able to get a close up look into an operating room, without having to leave the classroom! AMAZING!

With every great thing there come downsides. I do support technology in the classroom but I think there needs to be perimeters. Every student (no matter the age) need rules that they have to follow. Moreover, it is critical that there is implementation of a digital citizenship across the life span. Yes, even at the university level and within the workplace. This is something that needs to start before kids begin school. Students need to understand how to use technology appropriately.  It is a must that we teach our students to be come positive digital citizens!

I liked the SAMR visual because it is a model that supports, teachers, and helps to understand the integration of technology. This idea was made known by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. It shows a progression that adopters of educational technology often follow as they progress through teaching and
learning with technology. It is a framework through which teachers can assess and evaluate the technology used in the classroom. As teachers move along the continuum, computer technology becomes more important in the classroom but at the same time becomes more invisibly woven into the demands of good teaching and learning. Below I have included a short YouTube video done by Dr. Ruben Puentedura.


During the discussion, I really liked a point that Amy Snider made when she stated that “pencils and sharpeners were once new technology”. Can you imagine!?! Do kids even know what that is anymore? This really put things into perspective for me.

Overall, I think that I am on the “agree” side of this debate, and would say technology enhances learning in the classroom. After this weeks debate, class discussions and the readings, I would have to say there is a lot to think about and consider in our classrooms and how we are using technology to enhance teaching and learning! Looking forward to the next debate!