Great Memories Great Connections

Prof that connections make the difference

Counsellor Talk : Creative Collaborative Connections


Image source: CC BY 2.0 Catherine Cronin

Connections on line … they really do matter. Thanks @rljessen for putting together this great memory that I will treasure. ETMOOC ANNIVERSARY storify

Want to stay connected . Look here for how you can connect with ETMOOC’ers.

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Dr. Alec Couros- continues to inspire me


January 14, 2014

To Whom It May Concern:


As a former student participant in #Etmooc2013 I would love to nominate Dr. Alec Couros for the Teaching Award of Excellence for Flexible Learning. I joined #Etmooc in January 2013 as a relative rookie to the field of educational technology. As a high school counsellor from Calgary, I had no formal training related to educational technology but had wanted to learn how to connect with my students in a meaningful manner. I was very nervous to jump into a world I had never known, and wasn’t sure if I belonged. Thankfully I entered an environment where we were encouraged to ask questions. We could go back and review videos, Google Hangouts, Blackboard Collaborate sessions and Open Source course notes as often as we wanted and on our own time lines. This helped individuals like myself who were full time professionals and parents, explore their new environment on their own terms. Dr. Couros and the rest of this team had a very approachable demeanor which was always patient. The key phrase was “take what you need, when you need it”.



They say that a manager directs and a leader encourages those around them to stretch their wings and become all that they can be. By this definition I would definitely say that Dr. Alec Couros is a true leader. Dr. Couros encourages all of his students to take what they learn from the experiences he facilitates online and go out into their worlds and apply their skills. Since the end of #Etmooc I have continued to connect with my colleagues through a number of off-shoot projects which developed based on connections I made through #Etmooc. First I am a regular vlogger for the Fellowship of the Openspokes . A community of vloggers from around the world who ask questions and offer support to each other around teaching and learning.
Second I was involved in the planning committee for another cmooc the Open Online Experience OOE13 This project was inspired by #Etmooc with many of the participants being both former students and professionals recommend by Dr Corous.
Finally we, the students of #Etmooc, have maintained an active Post #Etmooc community which has continued to connect through twitter chats, hash tags, Google + and Google Hangouts. We organize both twitter chats and Google Hangouts to continue to maintain and facilitate the personal connections that Dr. Couros modeled were so critical to educators during our #Etmooc experience.


My connections with Dr. Couros continue to impact my career. This year I have taken a position as an English teacher and coordinator of international relations in Tarui, Japan. The PLN (professional learning network) that I developed under Dr. Couros’ tutelage, continues to provide me with support and suggestions on the other side of the world. I am truly grateful that I was able to learn the skills to connect online before my move as I can not image how much more isolated I would feel without them.


Dr. Alec Couros is a leader, a visionary and a role model. I am truly honored to have participated in one of his courses and I feel that he has demonstrated exemplary skill in providing flexible learning.




Erin Luong

Sunshine Award Post


This is my second time being nominated for this type of meme, however since I found the first experience intriguing both in my reflection on answering the question, and connecting with my PLN I thought I would do a second round.


Step 1: Acknowledge the nominating blogger:

susanvg nominated me for this post. Susan was one of the first people I ever interacted with online when I joined #etmooc last year. I was initially drawn to her posts because she was from Australia (my dream destination) and she was willing to ask questions and push thinking, but always in a respectful manner. I also admire her passions for music, photography and she has some great pinterest pages.


Step 2: 11 random facts about me:


I will try to think a 11 new ones…..

1)    My husband wanted to name my first born Arwyn from the Lord of the Rings, I named our first rabbit that instead.

2)    My cousin Dacia `s experience with CP and schooling inspired me to start my career as a special education teacher.

3)    I love reading books more than I enjoy watching movies.

4)    I`ve coached highschool girl`s rugby.

5)    I`ve coached junior high boys basketball.

6)    I`ve walked along the Great Wall of China

7)    I`ve parasailed

8)    I`ve shot over 1000 shots on my son in the basement while he practiced his goalie skills

9)    I am very proud of both of my children

10) I chipped my C4 vertebrate, falling from a horse, just 2 weeks after getting married

11) If I start a novel I feel compelled to finish it even if I don`t care for the content


Step 3: Answer the nominating blogger’s 11 questions:

1. What is something you would really like to learn? I wish I was more fluent with my Japanese… especially Kanji

2. If you could live somewhere else – where would it be?
3. What led you to blog?
#etmooc- I took up the challenge
4. What is your biggest concern about the world today?
I am concerned that we are moving so fast we don`t slow down and teach our children to appreciate the little things.
5. What brings a smile to your face?
Watching my kids play.
6. What is one way your teaching has changed since you started?
I have a plan but I`m more in the moment with what my students need now rather than rushing to meet the deadline.
7. What is one piece of advice you would give to a new teacher?
Breath, everything feels strange the first year and that is normal. We all learn from feeling uncomfortable.
8. What book have you read recently that you would recommend to others?
Rosie Dunne…. Not deep but helps you to understand priorities and missed opportunities through the use of letter writing.
9. How do you de-stress?
I do jig saw puzzles
10. What is one place you think everyone should visit?
Okinawa Japan
11. Favourite social media tool?

Google +

Step 4: Ask 11 questions:


  1. How many careers have you had?
  2. Favorite Song
  3. Favorite childhood memory
  4. Favorite recipe
  5. Favorite way to spend the weekend
  6. Hardest part about being a teacher?
  7. Best part about being a teacher?
  8. How did you pick your career?
  9. Who in your educational path inspired you most?
  10. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
  11. What would you do with your last 24 hours on earth?


Step 5: My nominations for 11 bloggers:

Not sure who has already done this. I hope you all don’t mind being nominated (again if that’s the case), and I truly look forward to reading your responses, if you decide to do this! Please don’t feel any pressure – we all have our own priorities!












My Meme Homework task

I was tagged in this homework meme post by my Fellowship of the Openspokes pal Jeremy Inscho (@jeremyinscho).  I thought it was a great way to learn more about members in my PLN as well as share some new information about myself. 

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

11 Random Facts About Myself

1. I was originally named Aaron but found out it was the `boys way` to spell my name in elementary and begged my parents until they legally changed it to Erin when I was 10.

2. This year I am coordinating a homestay program between Tarui Japan and Calgary… the same program I was a homestay family for when I was in grade 8 and 9.

3. My favorite colour is indigo.

4. I say my favorite fruit is kiwi… because I`ve always said that not because I really like them.

5. When I was 12 I won the grand prize on a kidsTV gameshow `Kidstreet` with my little sister.

6. I find the sound of the ocean very relaxing.

7. My second toes are longer than my big toes…

8. So far I have been to 15 countries in this world and I would love to keep them number rising.

9. I love talking to other people

10. I wanted to be a koala rancher when I grew up

11. I am still learning every day


  1. What was your favourite class in university? I have been out of university of so many years…. I liked any class where I felt connected to my professor. I remember taking a stats course one summer with the most amazing man. He would always call us by our last names, he let us resubmit before the deadline until we got it right, and he would make comments to me like `it says you sent this to me at 5 am, shouldn`t you be in bed right now?!`- Lately my favorite MOOC was etmooc.
  2. If you could only read one blogger next year, who would it be? I like George Curous
  3. If you could have your choice of career changes tomorrow, what would you choose? Koala Rancher or International Relations
  4. What is your favourite way to relax? Spending time in the sun, either by trees or the ocean.
  5. How do you burn off energy when needed? Ride my bike or walk
  6. Who is your favourite author and book/series? Love a variety of books…. this year I do not have access to many so I`m extending my genres… ie reading anything English in my house.
  7. Introvert or extrovert? Extrovert…. but still need some alone time or I`ll get going to fast.
  8. Mac, PC, or other? Both.  Mac at home, PC at School. Believe it or not, I don’t have a preference.
  9. Which is your favourite social media? Facebook is the most international one for me right now…. but when back in Canada twitter
  10. Who is the most influential member of your PLN? Susan Spellman Cann always makes sure I`m in the loop
  11. Do you have any quirky habits? I like the big picture… my husband is great at the little details therefore we make a good pair

Now it’s your Turn:

  1. @tina_p

  2. @HaikuDeck

  3. @connectedtchr


  4. @rljessen
  5. @Kadriblaster
  6. @trilia
  7. @whitneykilgore
  8. @JanWeb3
  10. ???????
  11. You. (this includes all the people I didn’t name because I figured they thought  they were too cool to do this as well as those I never even thought, which could be you. Either way, I’ll read what you write)

Questions from me:

  1. What is the best field trip you have ever been on?
  2. What is your favorite song?
  3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”? What are you now?
  4. What inspires you?
  5. Favorite way to spend a Saturday.
  6. Best vacation ever?
  7. What do you love about your job?
  8. What is challenging about your job?
  9. What is your comfort food?
  10. Where in the world would you like to travel?
  11. What is your hope for 2014? Go  on, you have homework to do.