EDTC 300 · Learning Project

Pipe Your Way to Creativity

I have decided to make a how-to video using imovie. I have worked with iMovie a few times and I thought it would work the best for what I wanted to do. Using iMovie I was able to use my laptop and have the camera on me. This allowed for me to have the tools in front of me without having to try and hold a camera. I was also able to talk as I was doing this and point the screen down so you could better see the cupcake. Using my laptop to film allowed me to easily change the view as I was making my video. I really enjoyed using iMovie as it was easy and straightforward. I also liked how it was already on my laptop so I did not have to worry about paying to get the extra features, which can be a problem when using an app. The one problem I had with using iMovie was getting it onto YouTube, as it was taking a long time to download or was not wanting to work. Other than that small problem it was very easy to use. I have enjoyed learning with the use of technology as it has allowed me to use new apps along with what I already had but never used before. I have also been able to find blogs to follow that have many recipes that I hope to be able to try. I have also started using Pinterest in different ways. As I have mentioned before I used to only use Pinterest by looking at the picture and never going into the website or blog. I have wanted to create a timelapse video for some time now but have not been able to find an easy one to use without having to pay for it. I am hoping I will be able to find one to use for my next post. If you know of any good timelapsing app please let me know!

When starting my learning project the first thing I had to learn was what I was able to do with the piping tools I had. I ended up getting a kit that gave me many tools to work with, there were also some doubles of some – meaning it was the same tool tip but just a different size. To help me figure this out I started by just looking at pictures to see if I could tell what tool they used. Some were very easy to see what they used but others not so much as they can look very similar. I believe when decorating cupcakes there are two important things you need to help yourself be successful. The first is finding a buttercream to work with, as you may have seen in my earlier posts this took me some time to find one. The next is know what you can do with your piping tools. Once you learn what you are able to make with each tool you are then able to let your creativity take over and attempt any design. The designs I was using were not from any picture, rather just something I made up as I went along. This week I decided to make chocolate bourbon cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream. Once again I have used the same buttercream recipe I have used in the past. If you wish to find this recipe you can find it in my Flower Cupcake SlideShow post. I got the chocolate cake recipe off of Pinterest. I have used this recipe many times and it really is the best chocolate cake recipe. With this you are able to make 24 cupcakes, I did not want that many cupcakes so I decided to half the recipe. This recipe does not have the bourbon in it, that was something extra that I added. I added 2oz of bourbon to the cake batter which added a really nice flavour to them. The reason I did not make the full recipe and save half for next week is because when looking on The Cake Blog I found another recipe that I am wanting to try next week! 

EDTC 300 · Learning Project

Shoe Cupcakes

This week I decided to make the caramel vanilla bourbon cupcakes again. I also decided to use the same buttercream recipe I have been using the past few weeks. I once again used all 12 cupcakes and did not get to freeze any. I am okay with this, as I have so many other flavours I want to try to make. The problem with this is that I end up with so many cupcakes however, good thing I have friends that are willing to help eat them! All week I was not really sure how I wanted to decorate my cupcakes since I have gone away from my original cupcake themes for each week. My mom was helping me look on Pintrest and she found shoe cupcakes. Being that I love shoes I thought this would be fun! When using pinterest in the past I would look at the first picture and never go into the actual website or blog. This has since changed, as I have started to dig deeper into the pictures I have found on pinterest and see where they are coming from and if there is more information that can help me. I found this to be very helpful when making my shoe cupcakes as there was actually a video on how to make the shoes. Without using the site and watching her video, I would not have really known where to start in making these shoe cupcakes. In order to make them I have to get a cookie to use for the sole of the shoe and then a cone for the heel. I ended up cutting the top of the cone and making it on an angle so it would attach easily. I started by piping the cupcakes and then attaching the cone to the cookie and carefully placing it to the cupcake. I needed to add more icing to help keep the heel standing. Overall they were not too hard to do. I am happy with how they turned out but wish they would have looked a little neater. I am thinking that I used the wrong piping tools for this, I should have used the same tool as in the picture but I wanted to change it a bit. The tool I used worked okay but it did not allow for enough icing to go on the cupcake. I needed a thick amount of icing to keep the heel attached. If I was to try this again, I will definitely be using a different tool to help make them look neater. 

Blog · EDTC 300

Digital Identity

This week I ended up cybersleuthing Sydney Vogt. She is a very good friend of mine, so I already know a lot about her, one being that she does not have any social media. This made things a bit harder as I could not really find much about her. Before this class Sydney did not use social media, until she started using twitter and a blog. When it came time to see what I could find I knew I would find information from her twitter and blog account, but I was not sure what else I would be able to find. I was also able to find an old twitter account from grade 10 but that was pretty much all I could find. The good thing is that everything I could find on Sydney was good and there was nothing that was making me question her. Sydney’s digital identity was pretty small as she did not have much information that appeared about her. This is a good and bad thing, as people are not able to find information on her. She also does not have to worry about inappropriate photos being posted on her Facebook or instagram. When I looked up “Sydney Vogt” I got many other accounts. If someone did not know what Sydney looked like and they were searching her up, they could find information that is not even about her which can become a problem. Future employers could be finding information that is not true or even relevant to her. Having a digital identity is important so people are not able to find false information about you. When you apply for a job or have your own classroom there is a good chance the employer or parents will look you up. Even when you go in for your pre-internship and internship your cooperating teacher will be looking you up, I know this as my cooperating teacher looked me up on Facebook. I knew what I had on my Facebook and what people would get when they searched my name so I was not concerned about what she would find. This is why it is important to have a professional digital identity. It does not have to be big but just something so if people look you up they can find positive information.

I believe that everyone has some form of digital identity even if they do not use social media. I found this to be true when searching Sydney. Digital identity is everything from Facebook to the images that come up when our name is searched. A person needs to know how your name is being presented on the internet. To monitor this it is good to google yourself from time to time. It is also important to talk to your friends and family about what they post about you or tag you in and insure that it is appropriate and presents a positive image. Your digital identity can say a lot about you so you want to try and control what is being portrayed about you and remember that once it is out there it is there for good. 

People need to be aware and conscious of what they are posting and what others are posting about you as well as what is being said, as anything can be taken out of context and what you might think is just a harmless joke can be one of the biggest mistakes you make. This was pointed out in Jon Ronson’s TED talk How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life. This video points out how everyone is watching you if they want to and how easy it is for society to get a hold of something and use it to ruin your life. It is so easy for people to sit behind a screen and shame others and because of that it can happen easily and with little to know effort. Not everything should and needs to be posted and some things are better to keep to yourself. What is posted can say a lot about who you are but it is also very easy to fake what you have. Madison Holleran’s instagram portrayed a typical happy girl who loved life,  but this was not the case. People post on instagram acting like it is real life. “Yes, people filter their photos to make them prettier. People are also often encouraged to put filters on their sadness, to brighten their reality so as not to “drag down” those around them.” – this is a quote from Split Image. I liked this quote as it points out how as much as people try to pretend instagram is like your real life, people still and always will try and make it look better in order to please their followers. People believe that life should be instagrammed – that is not the case. I myself don’t have instagram. When people find this out they are always so shocked and ask “why”. I do not see the point in having to post my life for a bunch of followers in whom I might not even know. I would rather live my life not through a screen and for “likes”. Yes, a digital identity is important to have and monitor but it should not be taking over your life. It does not matter if it is a picture, post,  or comment, it all makes up your digital identity and you always need to be actively aware of your activity online.

     

EDTC 300 · Learning Project

Cupcake Bouquet

This week I reached the end of the frozen cupcakes I had so I needed to make another batch of cupcakes. My first idea was to just make chocolate cupcakes again, I then remembered the blog I found on feedly. I decided to go back to feedly and look at the recipes on the Cakeblog. I found a caramel bourbon vanilla cupcake recipe, I thought this would be a fun one to try! This recipe was very easy to make with clear step by step instructions. Unfortunately this recipe only made 12 cupcakes so I will need to make another batch next week. I am okay with this though because the Cakeblog has so many recipes I want to try! When making the cupcakes and it came time to add the bourbon I was worried it was going to be too overpowering as it had a very strong smell to it. This was not the case, the bourbon added a really good flavour to the cupcakes without taking over! I decided to just use the same buttercream recipe I used last week, as it was a simple flavour and was easy to work with. Since I have found a buttercream recipe I liked, I finally got to try and make the cupcake bouquet that I was talking about wanting to make! I got this cupcake bouquet idea off of Pinterest.  My first step was to place the styrofoam ball into my pot and determine how many cupcakes I needed to fill the pot. I needed to use all 12 cupcakes. I started by placing empty cupcake liners to help get an idea of where they would go. I then added the toothpicks and placed the empty cupcakes liners on that. This allowed me to have a better idea, I could then go and move them around to fit better. I did not want to do this with the actual cupcakes as I felt if I started poking too many holes in the cupcakes it would be harder for them to hold. For my last step I added the undecorated cupcakes, I only needed to move 1 or 2 very little. I then removed the cupcakes to decorate them. Since I had a pink pot I kept my icing white with only the green leaves. I decorated the cupcakes with one big rose in the center and then smaller flowers around it. I added a few green leaves, along with some pink candy balls to help tie it all together. After decorating them I put them in the fridge to set before adding them to the pot. Once they were all added I still had some open space, to fix this I got some green tissue paper to act as leave. Overall this was not hard to do it just had lots of little steps. I am very happy with how this turned out! I’m not to sure what I am going to do next week, let me know if you have any ideas!

            

 

Blog · EDTC 300

What we See in SeeSaw

* This conversation takes place during a three-way conference between a parent, student, and teacher to introduce a new tool being used in the classroom. *

Teacher – Welcome, to our Grade 1 classroom. This past week I have introduced SeeSaw to the class to give the students a chance to get familiar using it. I’d like to start this conference by giving you an introduction to how SeeSaw will be used in our classroom. After I have given the introduction, I will give you the opportunity to express any questions or concerns you may have about this new form of technology.

Parent – Sounds great! 

Teacher – In our classroom, SeeSaw will be used to document and share the progress of your child’s learning journey. You will be able to view pictures of what we are doing in our classroom from any device as well as interact with the posts, including commenting on different posts that your child is involved in. I have a video here that gives a brief overview on what SeeSaw is, after the video is finished, I will open up the floor to you! 

Teacher – After viewing the video, what are some questions, concerns, or just general comments that you have about SeeSaw? 

Parent – I love how I will be able to see pictures of my child and her progress throughout the day, but I have many concerns being that this is a form of social media. The biggest concern I have would be if I or another parent didn’t want my child to be included in the pictures/videos, how will this impact your use of SeeSaw? 

Teacher – In order for a child to be included in any form of media at school, we require their media release form to be signed by a parent/guardian. If that form is not signed, your child will still be included in the process of taking the photos, but she will be “blurred out” so that you can’t tell who it is. Something I want to stress about SeeSaw is that the only people who will be able to see the pictures/videos, are the people within our classroom, as well as their families.

Parent – If only the student’s and their families can see the media, who will be able to post on SeeSaw?

Teacher – The teacher, parents, and students will all be able to post, but the extent to what they are able to post varies. I will be able to post announcements, pictures, etc. to everyone, where as parents are only able to comment on those posts as well as message the teacher directly. Students will also be able to post pictures and comments, but for the most part in our classroom I will do the majority of the posting. Everything posted on SeeSaw must also be approved by me, but I think now would be a good time to focus on your child’s view of SeeSaw. 

Teacher (directly to student) – What do you like most about SeeSaw?

Student – I like being able to share my work with my family. It is a lot of fun to take pictures on the iPads. 

Parent – Okay, I like how it seems like my child’s privacy will be protected. How do you want me to communicate with you from now on? Should I be using SeeSaw or continue to email you?

Teacher – Personally, I prefer SeeSaw as the line of communication, but you can email me as well. SeeSaw messages go directly to my phone, so I get your message right away. The message you send will be sent directly to me, just like an email. No other parents will see it.

Parent – Will I be able to contact other parents through this app?

Teacher – No, this is specifically for the teacher to be able to share what we are doing at school with families, as well as important announcements. This will help to keep this platform specifically for in school learning, not extra-curricular “chat” between families. 

Parent – What type of information will you, as the teacher, post on SeeSaw? Aside from pictures of what my child is doing throughout the day.

Student – I think the teacher should post pictures of her dog!

Teacher – Not necessarily, remember how we talked about making sure that the pictures we post, relate to what we are learning in school. So, do you think we should post pictures of our pets? 

Student – No, maybe you should post a picture of something we learned in class.

Teacher – Yeah, that would be a much better idea. I will also post information such as progress updates, classroom celebrations, events that are happening within the school, etc. 

Parent – If you are using SeeSaw as a main form of communication, what happens if there is a family that doesn’t have access to the app?

Teacher – Important messages will still be sent home through agenda messages and newsletters, but most families do have access to technology, whether it’s a cellphone, public library computer, home laptop, etc. 

Parent – The last question I have is will SeeSaw take away from my child’s learning?

Teacher – If anything, SeeSaw should add to your child’s learning as it will be easier for you to connect with your child about what they are doing at school. I will also use SeeSaw as a way to check in with each child during certain assignments. As for when I will moderate these posts, that will be done during my own time. You and your family will be able to have access to SeeSaw through different accounts, as SeeSaw allows up to ten family members per child.  

Student – Will Grandma be able to join?!

Teacher – Yes! If your parents are willing to set your Grandma up on SeeSaw, Grandma will be able to see everything you’re learning at school.Parent – Grandma will love being able to see everything you’re doing at school! I understand now why you want to use SeeSaw in your classroom. Thank you so much for allowing me to address my concerns about this new form of technology.

Blog · EDTC 300 · Learning Project

Flower Cupcake SlideShow

When it came to finding an app to use I knew that I wanted to find some kind of time lapse app so I could take pictures of me making the cupcakes and add it together in one video. It took me quite some time to find an app that was free of charge and easy to understand. I ended up downloading about 5 different apps before finding the one I used. I thought I was going to use an app called Splice because at first look it allows you to do everything without having to purchase the pro version. Unfortunately I was wrong, after making my video I went to save it and was notified that I needed the pro version to actually save my work. As such, I was not happy about this discovery. I finally found an app that satisfied all my requirements called SlideShow. This app allows you to make a slideshow of both pictures and videos, you can then add effects and music. Without getting the pro version you can only make a slide of ten pictures. When I found this out I was a bit worried, but it didn’t end up being a problem because I could fit all my pictures on three small slides made up of ten pictures. I was then able to go and make a new slideshow using the three small slideshows together. I was worried this would leave a chopped look, but the end result was aesthetically pleasing while keeping it simple. Overall, SlideShow was a very easy app to use and perfect for making simple videos. I would definitely recommend this app! 

I was very happy with how my cupcakes turned out this week! I finally found a buttercream that worked. After failing for 2 weeks to find a buttercream that was not too sweet and would hold its shape I was very excited about the successful outcome. I got the recipe from my moms friend, it was ½ cup crisco shortening, ½ cup margarine, 4 cups icing sugar, 3 tbsp milk (I ended up using 4). This recipe ended up making a lot of icing and I only had nine cupcakes to decorate, so I had a good amount leftover. I ended up throwing so much of it out thinking it would go bad. I have since learnt that it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a month. Storing it in an airtight container in the fridge is convenient for when I am ready to use it again. I will definitely be doing this next time! This week I decided to practice making flowers. How I decorated them I mostly just made up as I went but I did look at the blog Veronica Cupcakes for some ideas on how they should look. I focused mostly on roces and I was very happy as each one I did got better and the more I did the better they got and the more I got into it. As I was sitting there decorating them I got to a point where I was wishing I had more to decorate. I think that was because the look I was trying to achieve was working so it became less stressful, but a very relaxing task. Next week I want to go back and try the flower bouquet idea I had, I am looking forward to trying this again! I have also run out of all the cupcakes I made so I am going to need to make more cupcakes as well. I am still trying to decide if I should make chocolate again or try something different. Let me know if you have any ideas!

Blog · EDTC 300

My Thoughts on Twitter

Before this class, I was not a user of Twitter. I also did not think about getting it, so this was all new for me. I have always thought of Twitter as just a social media app for meaningless interactions, never for professional use. My opinion of twitter has since changed. I am now able to understand the benefits of having it and using it to connect with other teachers. It can get overwhelming with having new tweets and articles coming up all day, but I like how I am then able to go through and find what interests me and can add to my education. 

I have not yet used Twitter in the classroom as this semester is my first time using Twitter. I have since learned how you can connect with other educators from all over with the use of Twitter. When using Twitter you are able to find a range of topics and can search for new ideas with the use of hashtags. Before I just thought hashtags were something young people would use to look cool, I have since learned the benefits of them. If you are wanting to find something related to grade one you can search #gradeone this will then take you to a range of posts related to grade one along with some beneficial pages. When doing this it allowed me to find a community of practice page for Regina Public School. @GradeOneCoP.

This past week we got to take part in a Twitter chat. When I was first told about this I was very concerned about taking part in this as I was not yet fully comfortable actually posting a tweet. This turned out to be a very engaging experience as once again we got to connect with other educators and it was not as fast past and overwhelming as I originally thought. I really liked being able to hear others’ opinions and thoughts on the questions. I enjoyed seeing what people had to say especially on the questions I was unsure about. I hope I get the chance to be part of a Twitter chat again as it was an amazing learning opportunity, especially as a student that is getting ready to start their teaching career! 

 

EDTC 300 · Learning Project

Valentine’s Day

This week with it being Valentine’s Day on Friday I decided to make some Valentine’s Day themed cupcakes. My original ideal was to get fondant, but I decided to use chocolate instead. I got pink and red chocolate candy melt to make hearts and X’s/O’s. I started by melting the pink and I used this to make different sizes of hearts and X’s and O’s, then did the same thing with the red. To make this task easier on myself I ended up getting a piping bottle, this was a lot better then just using a bag as I was able to control the melted chocolate. Once I had the chocolate piped I put it in the freezer to harden. I then needed to find a buttercream that would work better than the one I used last week. I ended up trying this recipe that I got from Pinterest. Once again this buttercream did not turn out and was even worse than the one last week, so I had to throw it out. I decided to just make a simple cream cheese recipe and I will find a different buttercream for next week. The cream cheese recipe I used was not from any recipe, it was just 8oz soft cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and a bit of milk to make it not as thick. Since I had the pink and red hearts, X’s/O’s I kept the icing white and used just one simple piping tool. Once I piped the cupcakes I gave them a minute to set on the cupcakes before adding the chocolate. Overall I am happy with how these turned out, and they look a lot better than my other cupcakes I made last week. I hope that next week I can find a buttercream I like. Thank you to those who have sent me buttercream recipes to try, fingers crossed they work! If not I will just continue to use the cream cheese frosting as it was easy to work with and always tastes good!

EDTC 300 · Learning Project

Monsters Inc!

This week was my first time actually decorating my cupcakes. I decided to use the cream cheese buttercream recipe which I got off of Pinterest. This week I decorated my cupcakes like flowers, which I thought would be something that is not too difficult. I have seen this idea on Pinterest where you make a bouquet of flowers with cupcakes, so I decided to give it a try. How this worked was you got a flower pot, styrofoam ball and toothpicks. You then place the toothpicks into the styrofoam ball and the cupcakes on top of the toothpicks. When decorating the cupcakes they needed to look like flowers for this to work. I decided that I wanted to decorate my cupcakes and let the buttercream harden before putting them on, that way the buttercream would not slide off and I figured it would be hard to decorate a cupcake on its side. Since I had both big and small cupcakes I wanted to decorate them a bit differently and spread them throughout to add more to the design. I wanted to make the big ones look like roses with some having one rose on a cupcake and some having more than one rose. I would use a different tool for the small cupcakes to make them look like different flowers. 

At least that was my plan… When I went to make the buttercream it did not work at all. I used almost two packs of icing sugar to try and make it work but I could not fix it. This also made the buttercream way too sweet. At this point I gave up trying to fix it because I was wasting too many ingredients. My plan to make the bouquet of flowers was not going to happen as the buttercream was not holding the shape that I piped and would just blend together. I decided to switch my plan to Monsters Inc cupcakes. This was an idea that I wanted to try at some point. This design was pretty easy to do however I was very disappointed with the outcome. The buttercream would just slide off and I was not able to make them look how I wanted since the icing was not holding the shape that the tool made. Over all they did not turn out as bad as I thought but I feel if I can find a better butter cream to work with I will be able to improve my outcome! Next week I am going to need to find a better buttercream that will hold its shape and not be as sweet. I still want to go back and do the bouquet of flowers but I will need to wait till I find a proper buttercream. 

Blog · EDTC 300

The change in Technology

Previously, I never thought much about how technology changes, but after watching an anthropological introduction to youtube by Michael Wesch it was crazy to see how much youtube has changed in only 15 years. I have always been aware of how fast technology is changing as it is all around us. This video really put it in perspective for me. Youtube has become a place where you can upload videos, connect with people all around the world and spend hours watching a range of videos. Today it is not only used for music and entertainment but it can be used for educational topics like learning about something new, finding an educational song to help young students move or video that can be used to help students relax and prepare for the day through brain or movement breaks. 

The internet is a great place to learn, get information, find entertainment and connect with loved ones and people you may not know. That being said, the internet can also be a scary place. It can be a place where people can hide and make up a completely fake identity for themself. It can be a place used to hurt others through cyber bullying or scamming. People aren’t afraid of the internet because they can hide behind the “safety” of their computer screen. With the society we live in today everyone is going to use the internet and that will not change but it is important that people understand how to be safe, especially kids. 

As teachers it is important that we do our best to teach our students about safe and unsafe internet use and how they can protect themself. Technology is such a great way to teach students and really get them involved when done in the right way. It is important that we stay up to date with the technology that is around us and our students so we can connect with them and provide new and inventive ways that we can use the technology to learn and locate new information.