I, Robot?

AI has been a fun experiment or toy for me to play with until the last few months. Generative AI came across my TikTok feed last school year and I quickly realized that my students were already ahead of me. They were using ChatGPT. I instantly tried ChatGPT and several other AI sites to see how they worked, but also how we could teach our students to use them ethically. It was clear to me this tool was not going away!

The first assignment we gave our students was to use an image generator using descriptive language to illustrate a story they had written. Our students loved this assignment, for a variety of reasons: they were allowed to use AI in the classroom; the images created were spectacular; and they were learning something new!

We also showed our students a few drawbacks of AI, such as, the information it relies on is often wrong and stereotypical; therefore, this is not a good way to research. Secondly, using it as a writing tool is unethical. 

In my own teaching practice, I have used AI in several ways. EDUAIDE.AI offers a variety of different ways to help teachers including “Lesson Seeds”. When I was struggling to plan Health within the new parameters set out by our government this year (and within a strict timeline), I used this tool. While it gave very specific ideas, I used it as a jumping off point and made the unit my own. I have also used AI to create rubrics and offer feedback for writing. It should be noted that I still need to read the writing, the feedback was for grammar only. 

AI can save us so much time if employed properly. But we still need a human connection. I do not think that people will be replaced. While humans make mistakes, AI makes more mistakes. And it learns from us.

This a prompt I gave ChatGPT to write blog post about AI.

In an instant the ChatGPT gave me three paragraph blog post! I could have used it; but is that ethical? Cheating? I will include it below with the prompt for you to read…


Write a blog post the pros and cons of generative AI. Make this post three paragraphs long.



Generative AI, with its ability to create content autonomously, has brought about a paradigm shift in various industries, from art and entertainment to healthcare and finance. One of its most significant advantages is its capacity to streamline creative processes, enabling artists, writers, and designers to generate ideas and prototypes swiftly. This acceleration in creativity can lead to increased productivity and innovation, as individuals and businesses can explore a broader range of possibilities without being hindered by traditional constraints. Additionally, generative AI has the potential to democratize creativity, making it more accessible to a wider audience by automating certain aspects of content creation.

However, with its promises of efficiency and accessibility come several challenges and ethical considerations. One major concern is the potential for misuse or abuse of generative AI, particularly in the realm of misinformation and fake content generation. As generative models become more advanced, there’s a growing risk of deepfake videos, forged documents, and other forms of deceptive content being produced at scale. This poses a threat to trust and authenticity in digital media and highlights the importance of implementing robust safeguards and regulations to mitigate these risks.

Furthermore, generative AI raises questions about the role of human creativity and expertise in a world increasingly driven by algorithms. While AI can assist in the creative process, some argue that it lacks the depth and emotional intelligence that humans bring to their work. There’s also the concern that widespread adoption of generative AI could lead to job displacement in certain industries, as tasks traditionally performed by humans are automated. Balancing the benefits of generative AI with these potential drawbacks requires careful consideration and a proactive approach to addressing the associated challenges. Ultimately, while generative AI holds immense promise for enhancing creativity and productivity, its implementation must be guided by principles of responsibility, transparency, and ethical use.

Summary of Learning!

For your viewing and learning purposes, my summary of learning for EC&I 833!


This was a very reflective process and I enjoyed going back to the beginning and thinking through the material. This was another chance to read other students’ blogs as well as my own. I enjoy the blogging process each week as a way to review and think about the material.



Makerspaces are not a new concept to me. However, I have never tried to implement this in my own teaching practice. I have watched from afar as other teachers in my school have successfully used Makerspaces and was jealous of the creativity and imagination that came from the students! The idea of pulling together all of the supplies, resources and storing it was intimidating to me. Looking back, this was a mistake.

This article outlines the benefits of having a makerspace, such as hands-on learning, problem solving, and collaboration and an opportunity for students to try new things in a risk free environment. Many students have a fear of failure in the classroom; however, in a makerspace, students feel that they can try in a trial & error fashion. 

In makerspaces, students have shown to be able to benefit from improved self regulation and reflection. As they are building and problem solving, they are able to look objectively at the problem and try several different strategies for success. Makerspaces boost motivation for students to continue, and help to develop a growth mindset.

I think that all students could benefit from makerspaces the same way that all students benefit from math. Problem solving and logical reasoning is applied. This helps our brain to continue to think in this way, “rewiring” ourselves. Makerspaces clearly enhance learning, keep students engaged and motivated, fostering the desire to learn. During the presentation, it was mentioned that the University of Regina had a Makerspace under the Riddell Center! As a student of the U of R for MANY years, this was brand new information to me! I am very curious and would like to visit this. 

Assistive Technology: How does it help?

For many years, in my division, assistive technology really meant that students could be issued a laptop that was designated for only their use. While this is a great use of technology, I did not realize the amount of other assistive technology that was out there! Students that were issued laptops were typically issued headphones that had microphones attached or two separate pieces. As we have advanced our technology and as students grow older, the headsets and mics have been phased out. Students usually have their own sleeker versions. 

I have often used many different programs for students as part of best practices; however, they are considered Assistive Technology. For example, Google Read&Write is an extension on Chromebook that I teach my students to use. This extension has the ability to make web articles accessible to all students. Students can enable the text-to-speech function so they can listen while reading along; text and picture dictionary for words that need explaining; word prediction when writing; speech to text to dictate writing; collect highlights from documents or the web when researching; and copy summarize text to new page without ads that can be distracting for students.

In the school I am in now, each of our classrooms is equipped with a sound system, including two different mics. One is to wear around your neck like a necklace, the other is a headset, like Madonna or Britney Spears wear. We choose the one to wear around our necks as it is the easiest to wear. However, this is one of the best Assistive Technologies that I have been able to use. I also teach in a double classroom with another teacher and 57 students. Using the mic eliminates the need to speak loudly all day long; all students can hear me, no matter where they are sitting in the classroom; and for the sake of fitting in, no student needs to feel different from anyone else because of a piece of equipment.

With many, many EAL learners in my school and classroom, I have noticed students bringing their own Assistive technology that our division has never provided. Several students have brought to school Cpens. They have shown me the functions and how they assist them everyday. Knowing the number of EAL students in our school system, it would be great if more students could have access to these. Several students also have their own phones with apps installed that will allow them to take a picture of a document and translate immediately to their native language. 

Assistive technology helps to level the playing field for students, like glasses do for people that need them. As it is evolving, software, apps and cheaper hardware is making assistive technology more accessible to students and school divisions. On the other hand, computers, FM systems, sound systems and newer tech like Cpens are expensive. It is up to the student and teacher to work together to find out what is needed and works best.

Does the Assessment Pass the Test?

Assessment is defined by the University of Alberta as “the state or condition of learning. An instructor assesses learning through both observation and measurement in an attempt to better understand students’ learning in a course. This includes collecting evidence, both graded and non-graded, about a students’ progression in the course.” As educators, we know that good assessment lets the student show, explain, demonstrate to the instructor as much as they can about the concept being assessed. However, as educators, we are also aware that this is not always possible given the number of students in each class, and the differentiation needed in each class. As a result we use assessment techniques that are quick and convenient, and hopefully give timely feedback to the student.

As a high school student, I often took finals using Scantron. Filling bubbles for multiple choice exams or maybe a few true and false questions. While there may be some value to multiple choice and true and false questions, in the end, it assessed my ability to suss out the question that was worded best, related best or I was guessing.

Even after studying, wording questions to trick students or ‘needle in a haystack questions’ is not a true assessment of students’ knowledge or abilities. As a student, I often left those exams feeling as though I did show my teachers what I knew. While I do not feel good about Scantron as a final exam assessment, this is a good way to give students quick feedback as Exit tickets, mid semester or as a check-in.

The new version of Scantron is called Zipgrade. It is still filling in bubbles, using multiple choice and true and false questions. Rather than putting the card through the scanner like you would for Scantron, Zipgrade is an app. You simply load the answers into the app and use your phone to scan the students assessment. The assessments can be analyzed by question, mean scores can be given, and grades are immediate. While this is very fast feedback, the same pros and cons exist with Scantron.

As I looked for new and fun ways to assess students, I was quickly turned onto Kahoot! I used this several times to the delight of my students. Kahoot! is still a hit with students as they feel like it is a competition and a game. However, this is not an assessment I value as it relies on the speed of the student entering their answers, it is multiple choice or true and false questions, and many students guess to ensure their speed is the quickest.

Speed matters for Kahoot! This is a ‘fun’ way to review with students before the end of a unit. Students that enjoy this way of reviewing or assessment already have a solid grasp of the content. Students that are struggling or need a moment to process the questions, do not like this game. It creates high stress levels and anxiety. They rarely see their names on the leaderboard and does not reinforce their learning.

I have tried many different ways to assess students during my career. When looking for quicker feedback, I like to use Google forms. There is an opportunity for multiple choice and true and false questions. However, I can ask students to make false questions true in a follow up statement. In the same assessment, I can also create short answer and long answer questions. I find these questions much more valuable as they give more insight into the students’ learning of the concept I am assessing. One of the most valuable questions I have been asking students during assessment recently is “Is there anything else you would like to tell me about __________ that I did not ask?”

I have found that letting students show their work, write their answers down and explain their thoughts has been the best way to truly assess their knowledge. As students get to understand my assessment process, they also understand that I really do want them to succeed! 


I am old enough to remember life before Web 1.0 became a useful tool in education. 

I am old enough to remember when my high school first got the internet and we could sign up for 15 minute time slots. But we had no idea what to do once we were signed into the internet! What were we supposed to do? Look for? Search for?

I am old enough to remember when Facebook was new and controversial. And we could download free music on Limewire or Napster. It took FOREVER but it was FREE! Once Facebook and Twitter became a part of most people’s lives, new apps were being introduced quickly. Some apps were more prevalent or popular than others such as Instagram and Snapchat. But what they have in common is the social aspect. These apps were a different way for people to socialize through social media. Suddenly people could keep in touch with one another all over the world. Or could meet new people with seemingly minimal risk.

This technology quickly entered the educational world. Teaching in a Web 2.0 educational world has been fun, challenging and diverse. Students have gone from textbook learning to the world at their fingertips! If we do not know the answer, Google it. It’s an adjective now. Google it. 

Students and teachers are learning together rather than teachers being the sole owner of knowledge. The teacher’s role has changed to become the facilitator and guide in the classroom. This creates independence in the student and takes the ownership of learning from the student out of the teachers hands and gives it to the student. While this sounds wonderful, in theory, there are drawbacks. 

  • Not all students have equal access to the same resources. 
  • Not all students are mature enough to handle the responsibility of “owning” their learning. They need someone to tell them what to do and be more than a guide in the classroom.
  • Discovering information together is ok, but sometimes students need an expert in the field they are studying. They need a strong point of reference so they can question. The internet can only provide so much.

Web 3.0 will expand our knowledge and our boundaries regarding technology in the classroom. Students and teachers are already taking advantage of Generative AI in very creative and useful ways. We are already connected to the Internet of Things; however, how we use this in an educational setting will be something to explore. Web 3.0 seems like it will take the commodification of education to the next level as it relies on a ‘token’ system. The idea that teachers could potentially share their knowledge and resources with each other on a token based marketplace is wonderful; however, it relies on the permission of the community!

Using Web 3.0 in the classroom relies on an expansive skills and knowledge set from the teacher to be passed to the student. Students no longer just need to know basic computer skills; rather, they need to be able to understand and potentially build Blockchains! Also, students will need to understand that digital citizenship is critical. Students will need to keep their personal information PRIVATE! In Web 3.0, compromising your personal information could be devastating. It is also important to remember that there are people on the internet with bad intentions. Using Web 3.0 is a decentralized network and this will make cyber criminals even harder to stop and catch.


Teaching online is easily one of the hardest moments of my teaching career. 

I had developed strong teaching skills and strategies that were based on best practices. I had excellent classroom management skills and techniques. I was great at developing relationships with my students. Suddenly I had to throw this all out the window and experiment with many new techniques, tools and strategies that I was not familiar with. I did not know if I would be able to engage my students. They ALL felt like a risk. I was really out of my comfort zone!

I had developed a Google Classroom and was already skilled in using this platform. But I needed to be able to expand what I was posting to the Classroom. Not all students were coming to designated meeting times. I needed a way to teach students at any time of the day or whenever was convenient for them. After speaking with my colleagues, I began trying new things such as recording our lessons on our phones and uploading them. This method worked, but was clunky. 

We tried recording a Zoom meeting as we taught and uploading the meeting to Google Classroom. This was much more effective, especially because it captured student questions and answers. But this also raised privacy concerns as we have now recorded students names,  and faces and posted them to Google Classroom. While this was effective it was not something we could continue. 

Next we tried recording our teaching without the students being present and using Screencastify.

This was a game changer for myself and my students. It allowed them to watch and rewatch as needed. It instantly gave them the flexibility to access lessons when they were available.  And it also allowed students to work at their own pace. As I made and uploaded videos, students began working weeks ahead while others needed more time to work on previous lessons.

As an educator I have used Seesaw and I have used this as a parent as well. I really found this effective as a parent of very young children, especially during online learning. This was easy for them to navigate, and it was easy for me to help them find and upload work. This is an easy to use app. However, the computer version is easier to use than the mobile version.

In 6.2 A Short History of Educational Technology – Teaching in a Digital Age, social media is referenced as a subcategory of technology. I have already referenced how valuable Zoom has been during online learning, but several other social media platforms have also been helpful.

“Social media cover a wide range of different technologies, including blogs, wikis, YouTube videos, mobile devices such as phones and tablets, Twitter, Skype and Facebook. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein (2010) define social media as

a group of Internet-based applications that …allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content, based on interactions among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.” 

Teaching older students has enabled me to use several of the social media platforms such as Twitter (now X), wikis, blogs and especially YouTube. Students are able to create and find content that is valuable to them and engaging.

Googlification of Education

Fifteen years ago, when I first began teaching, the division I work for gave all of their teachers Apple laptops. Schools were piloting Apple computer carts for a short term lease. As an Apple product user in my private life, this felt like a dream. For those first few years, I was very creative with my students using the apps that Apple provided on those laptops. But alas, the lease ended, the pilot project was over. Our Apple laptops were suddenly gone and replaced. And replaced again and again. 

Soon we entered the Chromebook generation. For better or worse. As the Chromebooks were first introduced, teachers were not instantly in love as they were with Apple. The first round of Chromebooks were glitchy and were easily broken. Students had difficulty staying connected to the internet. These were not a suitable replacement! However, as the Chromebooks were rolling out, so was G Suite for Education. I have to admit, that while I might have complained about the Chromebooks initially, I was hooked on G Suite!

I instantly loved that students could collaborate on documents and access them from home. This immediately changed how I assigned work and communicated with families about school. As I gained more experience and familiarity with the rest of G Suite, such as slides, sheets, and calendar, rumblings of a new app were being talked about at my school. Google Classroom was so exciting for our students and teachers. A group of us began using Google Classroom and supporting each other as we figured out how to best use this new app. 

As G Suite continues to grow, I continue to integrate the new apps into my daily routine and planning. All of my students, even those that move from other schools, school divisions and other countries, are familiar with G Suite Education. They know how to navigate Google Classroom, have a GMail address (they are assigned one at school), can easily complete tasks on Google Forms, Google Slides, Google Docs, Jamboard, and check the Google calendar. Google is a part of their everyday lives! So much so that several students have bought their own Chromebooks. They are familiar with Chromebooks and teachers can help troubleshoot if there is a problem. 

When our division initially moved to G Suite for Education, we sent home letters to families explaining how the platform worked, where information was stored and also asked for permission for students to use this platform. In reality, parents did not have much choice, our division did not offer an alternative. The biggest hiccup at the moment was that all information collected by G Suite for Education was stored in the United States and they have different privacy laws than Canada. This hiccup is just overlooked now as school divisions K-12 have become so reliant on G Suite for Education. 

As an educator, I appreciate the way I am able to reach more students, how flexible G Suite is, and how easily I can differentiate programs for students that need it. As our classrooms grow in size and complexity, G Suite has made it possible to offer entirely different math programs to students by simply creating a Google Classroom with their material in it while maintaining their privacy. Or let students use Google Read & Write to adjust the reading level of a piece of text.

Gimme More Grouch!

I loved Sesame Street! I loved the characters, especially Guy Smiley, Count von Count and Maria. I loved the theme song. I loved that really long slide at the start of the show. I loved the songs. I would watch Sesame Street every day while at my babysitter’s house. This was my first exposure to letters and numbers. And this was my first exposure to kids and grown ups that looked “different” than myself. 

Sesame Street is such an engaging and memorable show for children as they build foundational knowledge. Postman wrote: “…We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” However, Sesame Street can be viewed in a similar fashion as the technology that we use in a classroom now. Sesame Street is fun, mostly lighthearted, engaging, and designed to be memorable. Who doesn’t remember the Pinball Number Count song?

Similarly, the technologies we are using in schools creates a more exciting and engaging lesson. And likely more memorable when we can combine audio and visual technologies. For example, students love to play Blooket. The games on Blooket are exciting, visually stimulating and the music fun. Most of the games also include zapping noises that go along with the games. Kahoot is also engaging in a similar fashion, as students play, music is played.

In my own classroom, we daily use an interactive projector, chromebooks and most students have their own devices such as cell phones. This allows for a student-centered learning approach. I am able to use Google Classroom to tailor programs specifically for students’ learning needs, students are able to work and turn in work at their own pace, and at their fingertips is a wealth of information. I am also able to provide immediate feedback within Google docs using the ‘comment’ tool or the ‘suggestion’ tool. 

This has been a great way to assess students and ensure students are keeping up with assignments.

One of the coolest AV technologies that I have used to keep students engaged is virtual field trips. There are several different ways this can be done; however, through VR or YouTube have been what I have found most. My students love these, remember these and talk about them for a long time. This is such an exciting way to visit places that we would otherwise NEVER see!

The technology that we have at our fingertips is constantly evolving and is exciting. Just as Sesame Street was fun and exciting as it was evolving. School should be engaging and memorable.

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My Own Applied Knowledge and Theories of Practice

I think that as we begin our teaching careers, we are adventurous and feel as though we can try anything. During our internships, we are encouraged to experiment and if lessons fail, it is okay! Internship is the perfect opportunity to fail, we have a safety net. I took that opportunity to try out different ways of teaching, including direct instruction, simulations and inquiry projects. It was fun and I learned so much about myself. As soon as I was assigned my own classroom, I instantly felt a different pressure, suddenly the freedom to try new things and experiment was gone. What happened?

The moment I had my own classroom, my own students, reality set in. Hard. I knew that I was responsible for my students’ learning. I had more responsibilities than I did during my internship. My instinct was to fall back to what I was familiar with and teach the way I was taught. Suddenly my students were sitting in rows and doing worksheets. I needed several months to settle into a rhythm before I looked around and realized that I needed to think about how my students learn best.

Of course I looked at Bloom’s Taxonomy first. As a teacher of 15 years, I still refer to this and find value in Bloom’s Taxonomy, including the new level of Creating. 

Interestly, as I reflect on my teaching experiences, what I learned in university was very valuable; however, what I learned during my first two or three years of teaching was likely the most applicable to what I use each and every day. This applied knowledge cannot be gained in universities but only in internships and while working. It was during this time that I realized I am most interested in a Constructivist way of teaching. I am sure that most teachers favour subjects over others, and mine are Social Studies and English Language Arts. According to Chapter 2: The nature of knowledge and the implications for teaching,  Constructivists prefer less quantitative subjects, “Although constructivist approaches can be and have been applied to all fields of knowledge, they are more commonly found in approaches to teaching in the humanities, social sciences, education, and other less quantitative subject areas.”

Each class has different needs and I am able to explore, learn and grow with each class. While I prefer a Constructivist style that includes Inquiry Based Learning, not all classes have the same needs or benefit the same way. I have had to adapt to meet their needs. Furthermore, I have been able to include technology throughout my classes to benefit my students in many different ways. Most students appreciate and use technology to learn. Not very often do I need to monitor student technology use when they are engaged in an Inquiry Based Project. 

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