Making Ripples Around the World


I am working in Japan this year and I have chosen to take a MOOC on Social Psychology while I am away. Now I chose the course before I decided to move, but I think that fate stepped in because the content of this course seems so relevant to me right now.

Every little positive thing we do, no matter how insignificant it might be has the power to create a powerful change. The following TED talk clearly demonstrates this.

Life is about more than forcing your own position, its about trying to find a clearer view of both sides. I often tell students that as a counsellor I am a helicopter flying above their forest of trees.

This week I am helping a Calgary student start a ripple right here in Japan. Before I left Calgary I was told about the Marisa Project and given a book to bring with me. The theme of the Marisa Project is: Dreams aren’t only for sleeping. This morning I shared the book with my staff at Fuwa Junior High. They have agreed to participate and help me fill a book of dreams to bring back to Canada.

I am excited as this little ripple will strengthen the bond staff and students feel between Calgary and Tarui.


Taking a Chance Through Open Education – I’m All In

Throughout #etmooc I have been influenced by many people. Although these are not my only influences over the last few months, at this time I’d like to acknowledge:

Susan Spellman Cann- my mentor, friend, colleague, haiku guru and the one who asked me if I wanted to try something new this year…..

Sam Boswell– Aussie connection, inspirtation, and first person I ever connected with during #etmchat

Susan van Gelder for starting the no-lurkers pack with me in week 2.

Alec Couros my moderator, the first person who invited me to speak in a blackboard collaborate session, and the man who jumped into my first google hang out.

Rhonda Jessen for showing me the Alberta connection.

Christina Hendricks for being willing to share the post secondary perspective with me.

Ben Wilkoff for showing me the power of the vlog- and the fellowship of the ning.

Dave Cormie for teaching me that every movement starts with a transplant of an idea… then it takes off. Also, guided me to improve my presentation technique.

Doug Belshaw for showing me that even I had a certain degree of digital literacy.

Karen Young– informed me that I could continue my passion around anthropology through coursera

Tina Photakis my Aussie connection

Lee Graham for producing her paper-Li

Paul Signorelli My non-academic connection

JudyArzt and Amy Burvall who invite me to explore my creativity

Lisa Noble my kindered filing cabinet.

Sherry Hegstrom – sparked the conversation which inspired the Etmooc wiki.

I hope that I’m able to maintain these connections as well as many others as my #etmooc adventure moves into the next realm. The converstation is definitly not stopping here. Check out my animoto for a preview of where my journey is taking me.

Taking a Chance Through Open Education – I'm All In.


Today’s Students Need Authentic Experiences… Not Just Lectures

If we want to connect with our kids we need to really listen to what they are saying. I enjoyed this TED talk by a very well rounded kid.

A quirky, reflective vlog by a university age student:

I hear what these guys are saying…. but do the masses?
This RSA Animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert. He recently was a key-note speaker at the Southern Alberta Teachers Convention…. Does this mean that change is in the air?

When I coach I always try to teach my students a new skill by referring to something they are already familiar with.
This technique inspired my conversation with Amy Burvall during tonights #etmchat
‏@amyburvall to me Remix= play. Don’t we all want more play in our lives? DOn’t we want students to play? (lots of crit thinking goes into it) #etmchat
‏@EHordyskiLuong to @amyburvall I agree… in art we allow students to do a collage. Isn’t a remix a digital one? #etmchat
@amyburvall to @EHordyskiLuong great analogy, but #remix need not be digital I guess #etmchat

If I had to wrap up my current view on mashup and remixing I would have to share the following: Inspired thought of my evening: RT @EHordyskiLuong: nice quote @librarymall MT We all stand on the shoulders of giants. The ideas are important not the writer

A Reflection on Digital Literacies and Me

Digital Literacy image

Does literacy = comfort level with communication? It depends on who you talk to.

Traditionally there are two definitions for literacy. The right side is more active.


There are also differing ideas on how we develop literacy



Digital literacy needs continuous maintenance. It is not just a leveling up experience (gold, silver and bronze users).
It is important that we do not view digital literacy as just one area but multiple facets: Digital literacies are PLURAL, SUBJECTIVE and highly CONTEXT –DEPENDENT @dajbelshaw

What are the Essential Elements needed for digital literacies?


This is how I see myself currently working to develop my digital literacies, during #etmooc.
Cultural = working in the context of the current culture.
I work with high school students and they are very much connected with their phones. Part of my cultural competence is to make myself familiar with apps, tweets, chats, meme’s and other areas which they will use to access information.
Cognitive = problem solving to be able to work with new technologies.
I demoed this during the digital story challenge when I worked with 14 new tools. Although each tool was different, as I moved through the challenge I found each new application easier to work with based on my previous experience and comfort with tinkering around.
Constructive = being able to use technology to create social action
For example Susan Spellman Cann and I noticed that there was not a general twitter forum for Canadian School Counsellors to connect so we developed #cscchat which was modeled on Dr Erin Mason’s #scchat for American counsellors.
Communication = a systematic awareness of how digital media is constructed.
For example learning to use RSS feeds, hash tags and scoop it to syndicate information on the web.
Confidence- your belief that you can solve and manage your own problems.
Since starting #etmooc I am less likely to call my tech up to my office to “fix” things. Remembering to use tools such the “help” function, or look up ideas on Youtube or Snapguide.
Creative the adoption of new technology requires teachers who are willing to take risks…. Allowing students freedom of choice for project formats is the key.
I experienced this with the pd session I co-facilitated with Susan Spellman Cann on Feb 1. We offered the counsellors in the session a variety of examples but then allowed them to take responsibility for their own learning… rather than prescribing the tools to learn.
Critical Thinking being aware of messages on the internet such as sources and context.
I reflected on this aspect a few weeks ago in a twitter chat with @susanvg and @jeanninestamand where I stated that I think that it’s important to teach kids about both giving and receiving constructive feedback. My favorite starter I teach my students is… an “I like (paired with an) I wonder” Susan also shared the following link with me for examples of other constructive criticism starters:

Blogging Comments

Civic- being able to use technology for everyday tasks such as employment opportunities, entertainment, education and learning more about what is going on around you.
I have developed this both through my Linked In account, RSS feeds, Huffington Post subscriptions, Following feed on Twitter etc..

I hope to continue to develop my various literacies as well as my reflective practice through the rest of #etmooc and beyond….


This post is based on T3S1 Digital Literacies with Dr. Doug Belshaw @dajbelshaw
Feb 18, 2013
• Slides from this session:
• About Doug:
• Contact
• Doug Belshaw (Mozilla Foundation) – Northumberland, England
• Doctoral thesis (and really interesting and entertaining read, I can attest):
• Doug’s Ted Talk:
• Mozilla Foundation blurb –
• Webmaker (from Mozilla) –
• Towards a Web Literacy Standard:
• Web Literacy White Paper:
• The digital natives debate: A critical review of the evidence’ (2008):

First impressions for topic 3 Digital Literacy – Information, Memes & Attention

Well time to move past my digital story challenge and begin to refine my focus to digital literacy. Phase 1, I checked out wikipedia for a general overview of the new literacies:
What are new literacies?
I realized that this was about more than just recognizing the words on the page.
I found that the following two videos helped me to visualize the evolution of communication, which helps me to understand how my students may be gaining knowledge today.

The value of making connections in an online environmoent

As we move into this new version of learning, I feel that it is our responsibility as educators to make sure that our students are not only comfortable with technology, but that they are also practicing responsible digital citizenship. As I am a relatively new member of the online community I will be using the following resources to help me mentor my students to become responsible digital citizens.

Educational Techonology and Mobile Learning

!0 Must Have Resources to Teach Students about Copyright and Fair Use

I am looking forward to exploring this topic further over the next two weeks. As my impressions mature I hope to be able to blog about my new ideas.