Tech Task #9: Are you Well Googled?

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This image is of my name typed into a Word document with the suggested spelling of my name. I included it to show that no… my name does not have an H in it! and also to demonstrate that this might be why I was able to easily find myself on the first page as Stepan (no H) is not a very common spelling for my last name.

Results for Googling…

Click on the link or the picture to view the screencast I created (with Jing) on my “google me” results. (Thank you to Kendra K who I got the idea from to create a screencast rather than just screenshot!)

Google me!

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 5.56.15 PMAs I explained in the video, I was not surprised by what I found when I googled myself. What I did not mention was my previous feelings about my digital footprint. I wanted to be unsearchable… mainly because I was afraid of posting anything that might affect me in the future (not that I ever post anything crazy).

I also “YouTubed” myself to see what I would find.. Here are the 3 videos I have uploaded. Not much on there at all!

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Hopes for future Googling…

More of my work in the classroom being found – perhaps with a classroom blog (original.. I know) or with work that my students have done in the community (a major goal for me is to have my students out in the community doing things that “matter” to them and others).

Communication with George Couros

After watching last week’s live session, I tweeted this to George (but forgot to add the #ecmo355, woops!)

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Modern Designing: Murphey Beds?

I just watched this video, and although the purpose of the video is to promote this furniture, I was more excited about the design aspect. As they explain, creating these products requires input from furniture designers, mechanical engineers, and a hardware company.

Essentially, very cool engineering and design ideas. I could see myself setting up my students with such a challenge.

Tech Task #8: Mobile 2

For this tech task, we are to find a way that we want to use QR codes and then make one.

I had many ideas about what I could do with this:

  • When sending out invitations, create a code that links to a site where people can RSVP. (But I don’t have any events requiring invitations at the moment)
  • Have my students create a QR code that links to their “about me” page of their blogs (which my students will have once I have my own classroom… always dreaming). They would put this QR code on the front of their daily bell ringer books so I could easily access each one. (But I don’t have a classroom yet)
  • Create a QR code with my location on it and tattoo it inside my dogs ear for if he gets distracted by a squirrel and takes off… (good idea.. wouldn’t want to implement it though)
  • Create a QR code to put at the top of my syllabus at the beginning of each semester so students and parents can easily access my information/website/e-mail etc. (again don’t have a classroom yet).
  • Create a QR code that links to an interesting science YouTube video. Again, as I am always thinking about education and how I can use resources in the classroom, I picture myself doing this with fun facts or other material in my classroom as something to get students “going” for the day. (again…. no classroom)

Because all of these (especially the dog one) didn’t pan out as ideas I could use (ever).. or just not at the moment, I decided to create a QR code that links to a page of my blog where I will have resources I have collected for the Science 10 Saskatchewan curriculum. For my post-internship science class, I am presenting a collection of resources that can be used to teach the Science 10 curriculum. As part of my presentation, I plan to hand out the QR code that links to this page so my classmates can easily find the information. I will be presenting this on March 28th so I will post an update after that, detailing how it goes! So stay tuned…

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Tech Task #8: Mobile 1

For this tech task, we were to create a blog post from our phones.
Last Thursday in our Ed science post-internship class we had a Biology teacher join us from one of the high schools in Regina. Although the main reason for him coming to speak to us was to discuss the new science curriculum (which is super exciting), I find myself thinking more about one point he brought up about assessment. He suggested that there (possibly) won’t be structured units in the section of the curriculum that he is writing and this may act as a gateway to getting us to think of different ways of setting up our grade books.
Rather than having something like this:
•20% final
•40% projects
•20% tests
•20% daily assignments
We would have a grade book that puts a different weighting on each of the outcomes so we are directly assessing each outcome and stating student understanding of each outcome:
-Science 10 example-
•10% explore motion related technologies
•15% investigate human impact on ecosystems
Now, for science 10 there are currently 20 outcomes that would need to be individually assessed which seems a bit overwhelming. This can be changed by grouping like outcomes together and creating meaningful projects for these. I personally like the challenge that this would bring, as it would force me to think in depth about the connections I can make.
I think that setting up our grade books in this way challenges us to meaningfully assess our students’ understanding and it allows us to reflect back on specific areas of strength and weakness both in our teaching and in our students.
Furthermore, assessment with more of a focus on outcomes gives us more of an opportunity to use various assessment strategies that don’t have to “fit” into a predefined category.
I look forward to the challenge of setting up my gradebook in this new way.

Tech Task #7: If this, Then that

This is something very cool! I decided to create 2 of my own recipes using this tool:

First: if I post to my blog, it will tweet the title of the blog post and a URL link for it. (We’ll see how it works when I post this!)

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Secondly, I found many new tools through this site (Zootool, Pocket and Box being my favourite … for now). I am trying out 2 of my new tools with a recipe I created that saves a link for me to read later when I bookmark a page and tag it as Education. I think that this will be useful as after I bookmark something I often forget about it. This will be the reminder I need. Also, Zootool is a visual bookmark site (rather than list) which is perfect for me.

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Virtual Mentorship

An update on how things are going with the classroom I’m working with from Kelowna:

  • They have finished their infographics
  • Most have posted them to their blogs for me to see
  • We’re still working on ways I can comment on their blogs (Weebly student blogs… :s)

Responses from the assignment:

  • Students liked the opportunity to build an Infographic and share facts in a more interactive way (than a paper).
  • It took students longer to build and share their Infographics than expected (as reported by the classroom teacher).
    • This was based on slow computers
    • Disagreeing with the proposed tool for building their Infographic
    • Not knowing how to embed their projects
  • Students liked that they got to choose their own topic.
  • Students said they would like to create an Infographic again (likely that the second time would go much smoother).


  • Here are some examples of student work:

Tech Task #6: About Me

I have started building my page… check it out!

Taylor Stepan

I love the idea of creating a one-page intro to who you are. It is a great way for students to introduce themselves and get connected. I imagine using something like this near the beginning of a semester to get to know students and also to teach them a bit about their digital footprint… using the web wisely.

Watch your Words

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This video is extremely powerful and should be shared with students. Shows the power of our words and reminds us that we should use them to help those around us… not take them down.