After a busy two months of edtc300 Aurora and myself have decided to come together and form our summary of learning project together! Being that we are both going into our second year of education, we had very limited knowledge of many of the topics discussed throughout edtc300. But, now at the end of the course, Aurora and I are happy to say we have learned many valuable resources, and knowledge that we will carry with us for the rest of our careers. For our summary of learning we wanted to do something creative and out of the ordinary that incorporated not just our thoughts but our classmates as well. We thought about it, and Aurora came up with the amazing idea to do a one time Twitter chat! We organized our questions, date and time. #edtc300sum took place on Thursday, June 21st at 9:00 pm. We were a little nervous we weren’t going to get much of a turnout, but we were wrong. We are so happy how the chat turned out!

We decided our five key takeaways were:

  1. The benefits of having a PLN
  2. Incorporating technology in the classroom and what you want your technology to do in the classroom (SAMR/TPACK) *this sounds weird*
  3. Positive and safe digital identities
  4. Coding and the importance of learning how to code
  5. Digital citizenship and if we will ever have one set of laws and regulations  

The video below is our Tweetdeck with us having a conversation about memorable tweets given throughout the chat! Enjoy! If you want to read all of the awesome answers from our participants here is the link to the chat!

We are so happy with how this project turned out and would just like to thank everyone who helped us make it happen. We have both had a great experience throughout edtc300 and have learned so many valuable lessons that can’t all be recognized in our summary! Hope you all enjoyed our video and this class as much as we did! Good luck in the rest of your studies and we hope to see you guys around the University and maybe in future classes (we are usually always together so if you find one of us, you will find the other as well)!


Online Formative Assessment Tools

Ever looking for an online assessment tool that will work in your classroom, check out the links below that give some possibilities!

  • Mentimeter: Resource that allows feedback from your students. You ask a question and on their device, they then go and answer those questions. You can have multiple choice questions, bar graphs and many more!
  • Edublogs: A resource that allows for classroom blogs, that the teacher can supervise there students work and comments!
  • Seesaw: seesaw is a student ran digital portfolio that allows them to document their own work that they did in the classroom and share it with their teacher and guardians.

These are just some examples of many possibilities for online learning!

Google Extensions in the Classroom

Google extensions are a lifesaver in and outside of the classroom. Check out these awesome google extensions that you could incorporate into your classroom today!

  • Grammarly: Helps students fix grammar mistakes made on documents!
  • Google Translate: Help your students translate words on the internet with the use of google translate!
  • uBlock Origin: Wanting to show a website to the students, but are afraid of what ads may pop up? Install uBlock Origin and no more worrying!
  • Distraction Free YouTube: Say goodbye to the comments and videos on the side with distraction free YouTube. Allow your students to watch a YouTube video with no longer worrying about what they will see on the page!

These are just a few examples of great Google extensions to incorporate into your classroom!


Contribution to my Classmates Learning

Throughout EDTC300 we had the opportunity to help each other learn! Here is a short slideshow presentation that gives a summary of how I have contributed to my classmates learning! Enjoy!

This slideshow only gives a few of many examples in ways I contributed to the learning of others. The link found here will take you to google docs that give some more examples of learning. This doc includes links and more screenshots! Again these are just some more examples, to put every comment, post, and tweet into this post would be substantial! So here is just another sneak peek!

Along with helping my peers with their learning, I would also like to thank all of them who helped me with my own learning. You guys truly made edtc300 a memorable class which I will never forget!

Do not Fear, The Music will not Disappear

Two months really flies by when you’re having fun! And what a crazy two months it has been! However, as EDTC300 comes to a close so does my learning project, just kidding! I have enjoyed learning piano so much I plan to continue my learning for as long as I can!

This blog post is just a little overview of what I have learned throughout my learning journey!

Let’s Begin!

Where I was before starting my learning project:

  • Had a piano sitting in my house collecting dust
  • No knowledge of piano except knowing that there were white keys and black keys
  • Not tech savvy at all! Did not know how to upload my videos to Youtube (this took awhile to learn and remember!)
  • Very little confidence when it came to showing my progress to others!

Where I finished:

  • My piano no longer collects dust (my mom is very happy about this).
  • Now know there is much more to piano then the color of the keys, For example; I know the notes, key terms, how to read sheet music, how to make a beat, chords and much more that will be discussed later on in this post!
  • I can now successfully upload my short videos onto Youtube, and even crop them before posting.
  • I have gained confidence in performing, not only on the piano but overall throughout my everyday life!
  • I can now say I have grown a love for playing the piano!

Now let’s look at my progression throughout the course:

Week One: Time to dust off those old keys!

During week one, I decided on what I was going to teach myself for my learning project. When first deciding what to learn it was a toss-up between learning how to play the piano or learning how to make bread. I am very happy I decided to play piano instead!

  • Introduction post to learning project
  • Discussed why I chose piano
  • Looked broadly at possible sites I may use to help my learning
  • Making an overview of my lesson layout
  • Challenging myself to try and practice each day

Week Two: Lesson 1: Getting to know my Piano

This was the first week I started actually learning piano, and what a busy week that was! This week I focused mainly on the very basics of piano. This week was also the first week I decided to film myself playing! The big lessons this week were:

  • Posture and hand positioning
  • Learning each finger numbers
  • Learning the home position notes on the piano
  • Exploring my primary source, Flowkey
  • Learning to play with my right hand, then my left hand
  • Learning to combine those skills and play with both hands

Here is the short little video of my final results from week one!


Week Three: Lesson 2: Those finger stretching chords…

As you can tell by the title, lesson 2 of my learning project focused on chords! The big lessons this week were:

  • Learned my fingers are very very very small!
  • I learned the basic piano chords such as; C Major, F Major G Major, and A Minor!
  • After learning the basic chords, I incorporated my learning into short little tunes

Here is a short clip of my end result from Lesson 2!


Week 4: Lesson 3: There is more to piano than just making noise

This was yet another big week for learning in the McGrath residence, although my dad was a little happier because this week did not include as much noise as previous weeks! This week was based around basic terminology and technique! The big lessons this week were:

  • Crossing over and under technique to reach farther on the piano!
  • The basics to sheet music
  • Treble clef and base clef notes
  • Note value and Rhythm
  • Rest indicators on sheet music
  • Dotted notes
  • Ties

All of these terms listed above are found on the short tune I played for my final video of this week’s lesson which is shown below!


Week 5: Lesson 4: Repetition is Key 

What another fun week of learning lesson 4 brought! The main focus for Lesson 4 was learning the basic scales! The big lessons this week were:

  • Learning the C Major Scale
  • Learning the introduction to the black keys and incorporating them into my scales
  • Learning the G Major Scale
  • Learning the D Major Scale
  • And many other basic scales!

Below is a short clip of the D Major Scale, the highest level of scale I learned for my learning project!


Week 6: Lesson 5: Joining Together Through a Song

My final lesson for my learning project was learning the first half of a song! The big lessons this week were:

  • Learning the first half of “Stay” by Rihanna step by step

The video below shows the final product of the song and of my learning project!

Incorporating Social Media into my Learning Project

Throughout my journey with my learning project, I tried to post things on different social media platforms to get some feedback. I always posted each of my learning project posts to my twitter account, I put up polls to get my twitter followers opinions, and I put up progress videos on both my Facebook and Twitter account. I often didn’t get much of a reply, but oh well it was worth a shot!

Some big takeaways from my learning project:

  1. Learning projects are not meant to be intimidating! When first starting EDTC300 I was very nervous about this project, I didn’t know if I was going to find time for it or even do well in it. I quickly learned that having a say in what your learning is huge and that if I have the opportunity for my future students to do a personal learning project I will be sure to jump at the chance!
  2. Be open to suggestions, one of the biggest things that helped me throughout my learning project was having my classmates, friends and families support throughout the whole thing! Just having their reassurance or feedback helped me continue my learning and I thank all of them for that!
  3. The internet is endless! Don’t get stuck using the same sources. I got a little stuck at the beginning of my learning project, however, once I broadened my horizons I saw improvement in my learning. Turns out I was getting bored in the same structure and wanted a different visual or a different type of learning!
  4. Lastly, have fun. If I would not have enjoyed the piano lessons I am not sure what I would have done!

I would like to send a huge thank you to everyone who helped me throughout my learning project. I would also like to thank EDTC300 and Katia Hildebrandt for helping me open up to this new way of learning! It truly was a wonderful experience! To close:

Do not fear, the music will not disappear!


Coding? That Sounds Complicated!

For this week’s EDTC300 class we learned about coding. Now, what is coding? To simply put it coding is used to classify something; more specifically coding is what creates a computer program! If you are still having some trouble understanding what coding is, check out this great visual below! This video really helped me understand the term coding in a technological sense!

Now that I have a basic understanding of coding, I am able to understand, like mentioned in the video, how every kind of device we use has a coding mechanism that allows the device to do it’s normal function!

Now onto the fun!

Once I was able to understand the basics, I can now learn how to code! From beginning yesterdays class without having any idea of what coding really was, I decided to introduce this new concept gradually! The best place to learn was using Hour of Code, a website that walks you through step by step of how to do both block codes or Javascript! Below is a screencast of the home page of Hour of Code!

hour of code home

There are over hundreds of possible activities for all ages to learn coding! I decided to start off easy and make my own game! I used the Make a Flappy game as my template for my learning! This activity was really good because students would be able to learn about coding and follow instructions while putting their own creative touch to the assignment! Check out my progress throughout the game!

Starting at step one I went through the instructions given to learn at my full capacity. Below is an image of the second step I did when I was creating my Flappy game.

start of code

As you can see from the picture above, Hour of Code likes to start their learner off with simple tasks to get them used to the program. This website gives inciteful directions which allowed me to fully understand what they are asking for!

I continued working through my activity, with each step adding new blocks. The more blocks, the more I was able to customize my game to the way I wanted it to be! Watch the short screencast I took of my final game! I was able to fully customize how I wanted it to look, sound and much more just through simple block coding! (Don’t judge me, I have never been good at these kinds of games!)

Overall, I really enjoyed this app and would use it in my future classroom when it comes to teaching codes to my students. I learned the basics of block codes, and coding in general, along with the importance of teaching codes in the classroom.

I also received my certificate so that was super exciting as well!

Certificate of completetion

So, why is it important to teach or learn codes and how to code?

Discussed in last night’s class, coding helps more than just understanding how our technological devices work, it also helps individuals form a sense of logic and problem solving through these activities. I know my logic was sure tested in some of the code activities I have done over the past two days! Here is an awesome link that explains five great reasons why now is the time to learn and understand how to code! This article is a broad sense to why it is important to understand coding, however, why should we incorporate coding into our teaching? As mentioned before coding allows for logic and problem solving, but coding specifically to young students helps prepare them for jobs, build teamwork skills, allows them to create content online and not just consume content and coding can just overall be lots of fun! Here is a great article that talks about why coding in classrooms is a must going into the school years to come!

To conclude, I was very happy with all I learned about the coding world! It was great information that I wish I would have been taught in my earlier years, but now that I have this new knowledge I am excited to take it into my future classrooms! I really enjoy coding and understanding the process of coding and think it is super beneficial for our students!

Linked below are some credible posts my classmates did on the topic if you need more reasons to fall in love with coding as I did!

Lauren Sauser: Coding in Wonderland

Raegyn Fulmek: C?o?d?i?n?g? AKA. What?

Now go learn to code yourself!

Lesson 5: Joining Together Through a Song

Another busy week of my learning project has come and gone again! At the end of last week’s learning project, I said I would be focusing on the pedals this week, however, due to time I decided to skip right to learn a song for my last week before wrapping it all up next week! This week I decided to put a poll up on my twitter account, to see what everyone wanted me to play.

twitter poll

After reviewing the results, the obvious winner was “Let it Be” by the Beatles. I was very excited to begin learning how to play the beginner version of this song, however, when I went to start I realized the song did not focus on all the important skills I have been learning throughout my learning project. I rethought my song choice and decided I would learn “Stay” by Rihanna instead. I have always loved this song and was very excited to start my learning!

This song incorporates most of the lessons I have been focusing on throughout my progression through my learning project and I am excited to put it all together into one song! Understanding, that the original song is quite long and challenging even at the beginner level I focused my learning on the first half of the song and hope to continue learning the song after this class is finished!


For this last lesson of my learning project I have switched up my learning process a little bit, instead of following tutorials using many different resources I have used in the past, I decided to get the sheet music from Flowkey and teach myself, now that I am able to read the different notes and understand what each note means, thanks to Lesson 3! I did, however, use some other resources such as youtube tutorials to help me with the rhythm and flow of the song, one resource that was super helpful can be found here!

Now let’s get to the learning!

This type of learning that I decided to do for my learning project this week was hard, in the sense that I could not just follow along, I had to find my way of learning, a true self-learning! I decided to break up my learning step by step. I first started doing each hand separately. Below is a video of the right hand!

The left hand is made up of chords that were introduced in Lesson 2. I decided not to videotape this hand, just because it is very boring to listen to alone!

Once I perfected both hands separately, I decided to then break up the song into two parts. By breaking up the song I was able to focus on a section by section which allowed me to practice short increments at a time! This really helped me learn muscle memory that allowed me to play through the finger transitions easily. I used skills that were learned in Lesson 3. The videos below are the two sections I divided the song into! Check it out!

Above is the first section of the song!

Above is the second section of the song!

Once I felt comfortable with each section and the finger transitions I was able to put it all together, this is where it got really tricky! Although the video is just short of a minute, it is a lot longer than all the other exercises I have been doing throughout my learning project! As mentioned in Lesson 4 repetition was truly key here! It took much practice throughout the week to get where I finished today. I noticed that doing short sessions of practice helped me the most to keep me relaxed while learning. Playing an instrument is supposed to be relaxing and good for the soul when I was stressed, I was never successful!

I took the video below half way through the week on my progress. It is a little choppy, but was a huge improvement from where I started! Check it out!

The final video posted below is my final results of learning the first half of the song “Stay.” It is not perfect, however, through many hours of practice and hard work I have to say I am pretty proud of how it turned out! I still need to work on my fluidity, but mentioned previously throughout my learning project posts, that will take time! Check out the video below and let me know how I did!

To conclude, it has been a very busy week on the piano. I am happy about my improvement not only from this week but from my whole learning project journey! Stay tuned next week for my wrap up post when I do a full circle from where I started to where I am now!


Twitter in the Classroom: The Great Debate

This is a collaborative work completed by Lauren Sauser, Sydney McGrath, and Aurora Lay-Street.

This week, we teamed up to stage a parent-teacher email conversation around the topic of using Twitter in a grade 4 classroom.

Ms. Johnson: A 4th grade teacher who is hoping to introduce the use of Twitter in her classroom.

Caroline Mitchell: An enraged, newly-divorced mother who is reluctant to allow her young daughter to participate in this new form of digital education.

Mike Mitchell: Newly-divorced, a technologically illiterate father who is curious and willing to be educated on this new form of digital education.

Please follow this link to view our email conversation between the three parties and how the issue was addressed. 

Here is a little preview!

In this situation, the teacher was able to successfully diffuse the situation by listening to the parent’s concerns and providing adequate resources to support her reasoning and give them a better understanding of her motives.  

Although this story may have ended without a huge controversy, not every situation in every school will turn out this way. Teachers must be willing and prepared to adapt to these different opinions and understand that not all parents will be so understanding. There will come days where you have a student who for some reason cannot participate in these forms of technological education and you sensitive to this fact.

We feel that creating and promoting positive digital citizenship in the classroom is something that all teachers should work to achieve. This is something that we will keep in mind as we pursue our degrees in education and can embrace in classrooms of our own one day.

Here are the links that were used throughout our email conversation. We encourage you to check out some of these sources, as they are extremely informative and provide various points of view!

“What is Twitter?”

“The Dangers of Using Twitter”

Twitter Security Risk

“Why Children Should be Taught to Build a Positive Online Presence”

“Ribbles Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship”

“13 Reasons to Use Twitter in the Classroom”

“Sixty Inspiring Uses of Twitter in the Classroom”


Lesson 4: Repitition is Key

Another busy week at the piano has flown by! This weeks focus was learning elementary scales and learning the black keys, which I then learned some intermediate scales! Keep reading to see how I did!

Let’s begin with the basics:

To start, I want to explain to my reader what a scale is; a scale is a series of notes that are played one after another to make a melody. A more in-depth definition of what a scale is can be found here. I have to say after learning a lot of scales throughout the week, I think they are my favorite thing to play! I love fluidity in piano and that is exactly what scales are!

This week I have decided to take a step away from my primary source, Flowkey. To successfully learn, I must broaden my horizons and find more resources that will help me with my learning. This week my primary source will be Piano Scales, which is exactly what it says, teaches you piano scales. I really enjoyed this website because it gives you both the sheet music, pictures, and tips to enhance my learning. This website also helped me with finger transitions as mentioned in Lesson 2 of my learning project. I also use different websites for the learning of the black keys, but that will be discussed later on in this post!

Lesson 4 1

lesson 4 2






Now that’s enough background information, let’s get to the learning!

I started this weeks lesson by learning the most basic scales in the piano repertoire. Starting with C Major that does not use any black keys.

C major scale

The hardest part about learning this scale was not the notes, but the transitions. It took me awhile to get my fingers comfortable moving across the piano as you can see in the video above! I used the technique over and under crosses that I learned in Lesson 3 of my learning project! Having that new skill helped me a lot this week! After continuing to practice what fingers did what and went where the rest of the scales I learned was much easier!

After learning the C Major scale it was time to move onto learning the black keys so I could learn the more intermediate scales. To learn the black keys and their names I used the resource key-notes. This resource was very helpful to understand the very basics of the black notes. After knowing the basics I resorted to various different videos that I found on YouTube.

Here is a quick video that taught me to read black notes, or accidentals on sheet music!

Short YouTube videos really helped me when I needed to understand something to continue with my planned lesson! Learning the black keys will be an ongoing learning process when they come in songs and different scales.

After I learned the basics of reading flats and sharps, I was able to move along with my lesson. The next scale that will be displayed is the G Major scale that has one sharp note (one black note).

g major scale

Notice the sharp sign in between my treble clef and the time signature, the line it is on is telling us that everytime that note is played it must be played as a sharp! In this case, all F notes must be played as F sharp (#F).

Now that I am starting to get the hang of my transitions and black keys I decided to go a little farther with my scales, incorporating both black keys and tricky transitions. The last scale mentioned in this post is the D Major scale. This scale has two sharps (#F and #C) and some tricky transitions that took a lot of repetition to somewhat master!

d major scale

Check out the video below and let me know how I did with is tricky scale!

Well, that is another week of my learning. It has been a very busy week with me practicing every night because repetition is truly the key to learning piano. I am very pleased with how my learning project is moving along and hope all my readers feel the same way!

Stay tuned next week when I tackle the pedals!! Very excited to start!

Creating Positive Digital Identities

In a society where digital identities are a huge part of one’s self-identity, I, as a future educator must understand the good and the bad of social media and know how to teach my future students the importance of creating a positive digital identity.

To start this assignment, I decided to do a quick google search on cases where digital harassment led to death. The number of cases that popped up was huge! But, sadly I was not surprised.

digital harrassment examples

This one simple google search gave me 12,400,00 results. I flipped through lots of the pages to see how accurate the sites stayed to my search and it was sadly accurate. This simple google search really puts things into perspective for me. Education of social media and digital identities needs to be taught in the classroom!

I grew up with technology, getting my first social media account at the age of 14, the prime age where uneducated teens start posting. At the time I never thought of the dangers, or the positives it was to have a social media account, I just got it because that’s what all my friends were doing. I am now 18 years old and understand how important it is to keep a positive digital identity, even when you are just a young teenager. In my school and at home, technology was rarely used, so it was rarely talked about. We never took a class or a unit on the safeties of digital identities, I mean I did not really fully understand what a digital identity and digital footprint were until starting EDTC300! My lack of knowledge could have caused some serious consequences to my young self, luckily it never happened, however, who is to say it couldn’t?

Teaching positive digital identities can not just come from the child’s home. Teachers and schools must also incorporate these safe teachings throughout their subjects and the school years. We can not solely depend on the parents to teach their children, because we need to recognize that all children come from different homes. Some will be taught the importance of a positive digital identity, and some will not be taught! In the article, “How to Help Your Child Build and Maintain a Positive Digital Identity,” Devishobha Ramanan gives some key strategies and points to help you successfully teach your children to have a positive digital identity. A key strategy that she suggested that I really liked was the strategy of creating a positive image of your own digital identity. Children learn by watching, and as a parent or educator students constantly are looking up to you. If we want to successfully teach our children how to build a positive digital identity, we must also listen to our words and do the same!

I personally do not think we can ever fully protect students from social media and digital harassment. There are people out in the digital world who look for a target and take action, no matter how protected your social media accounts are, no matter how positive your digital identity is. However, like mentioned in yesterday’s class educators can teach their students how to keep a positive digital identity and educate them that you still have control over your account, and there are ways to keep your online presence safe. Instead of discouraging the use of social media to our students, we need to embrace all that an online presence can do for our students learning and future!

“Facebook doesn’t curtail the offline but depends on it. What is most crucial to our time spent logged on is what happened when logged off; it is the fuel that runs the engine of social media. The photos posted, the opinions expressed, the check-ins that fill our streams are often anchored by what happens when disconnected and logged-off. The Web has everything to do with reality.” ~Nathan Jurgenson~

The quote above was pulled from one of the assigned readings for this week’s class, “The IRL Fetish.” This quote explains the importance of understanding that the physical world and the digital world are interrelated. They are combined together, so when you think you are getting away from online, your not. This is another important lesson children must understand. Once logged in, you lose a sense of privacy that you once had before your social media account.

My first thought when I was introduced to digital identities and educating your students in the classroom about creating positive digital identities I thought to myself “oh I don’t have to worry about that, I will be teaching younger kids.” I was wrong, mentioned by Alec Couros in a presentation he made to our class, Couros stated that many children have thousands of pictures uploaded to the internet before they reach the age of 5. In an article, I found that studies the importance of a positive digital identity, they suggest that the best time to start teaching about digital identities is the last two years of primary schooling, my teaching will still fall into that position! Understanding now how young children get involved in the online world puts things into perspective that in this society, we are all connected to the world wide web!

To conclude, throughout this assignment I have had my eyes opened regarding digital identities. I have not only learned about my personal identity but also the importance of educating my future students on the importance of digital identities! This was a very rewarding and informative lesson!

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think” ~Margaret Mead~


Check out my fellow classmate’s thoughts on this topic!

Amber: A Cautionary Tale of Digital Identity 

Aurora: The On- and Off-Line World 

Crystal: Digital Identity in the Age of the Internet