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.

Distance Learning it Helped me Grow but Please No…

The best tools for blended and online learning that I have used or are aware of is Wacom, Zoom, Google meet, Kahoot, Edpuzzle, Remind, and Screencastify. When COVID-19 happened, we were forced to go online very quickly with a few tools and keep our students engaged and learning just like before. This was a huge undertaking. I survived but only because of a few wonderful tools. Zoom was a great way to still teach with some contact with students. Without scheduled classes, I think no work or fun would have occurred. The Zoom classes made it feel a bit more normal; we could still discuss, and students could ask questions but in the comfort of their home. I even did work out classes with the students over zoom for my Wellness 10 and Physical Education 9 courses. Through Zoom and Screencastify I made lesson videos for my math and science classes. It was great if students missed class or just wanted to go back and see how we worked through questions together; it was all there for them on google classroom. The Wacom tool made it possible for me to write like I do on the smart TV in the classroom. Therefore, we could work through problems in math as we always did and my videos reflected what it was like in the math classroom regularly. Collaboration and teamwork was more difficult though, as I couldn’t supervise the groups in breakout rooms well. I still use these videos on my google classroom. Some of them wouldn’t fully match my content as I adjust my program all the time but is so helpful for when students miss. The complete notes to how to work through questions never seems to be enough. Students have trouble figuring it out with out a visual or explanation. This type of independence seems to be rare hence the videos was a wonderful tool that came from the terrible COVID-19 pandemic. I learned about a lot of great online tools during the pandemic.

For assessment I used google forms and moodle multiple choice assessments, but also posted written assignments because it was hard to change it all to digital platforms. There was a lot of issues with cheating with certain assignments unfortunately. Photomath is a great tool to help you find answers and learn backwards but also a bad one for online education cheating. Google meet and remind kept parents and students informed about changes, reminders about assessments or to support students and guardians with the technology issues. Google meet was great for students to be able to access support from me and again I could use my digital writing tool to demonstrate how to do a task.

I mostly spoke about the positives and how these tools supported me through these difficult times, but how would I feel if I had to teach in this blended learning way or full online with Moodle through distance education? I would hate it. I didn’t like it during COVID and I wouldn’t like it now. Regardless of being more prepared if I were to do it again, it still removes my favourite aspect about my job. I enjoy interacting with students, discussing new ideas, debating, having conversations, building relationships, supporting them with the “hidden curriculum” and having fun. In my opinion I couldn’t do this at all in a full online platform and only partially in a blended online class format. Not only would I hate it, but as far as I learned through COVID it wasn’t beneficial for students either. I see many issues with online and blended learning for public education for grades K-12.  I mentioned a few times how some of the tools I used made it feel more normal, like we were in the classroom again. I was trying to recreate the classroom because this is the best place to help students be involved and excited about learning. Most students don’t have the maturity to stay focused, be involved in discussions, or complete assignments and learn in an online or Zoom class environment. There are a lot of distractions at home, and it was a lot easier for students to disengage. I am guilty of this myself. I would NEVER touch my phone in an in-person lecture in a university class. But I have in my online zoom classes.

Trust me, I tried to engage my students on zoom. Although, without parental guidance of getting students to school, a lot of students opted not to turn on their devices to sign into class. To foster engagement and get them to want to come to class, I tried Edpuzzle which takes youtube videos and allows you to pause them and ask multiple choice or discussion questions as you move through the video. I also used Kahoot for practice games before quizzes.

Students need, and most enjoy the face-to-face interaction in the classroom; online there is a lot of isolation and according to Martin and Bolliger these in-person interactions create a “dynamic sense of community”. The Edpuzzle videos I created during that time, I still use in the classroom to foster discussion. If that video with the questions was on an online moodle platform, the student could create their own opinions and ideas with those questions however it doesn’t give them the opportunity to hear other opinions or a new perspective.

I personally have an issue with the lack of movement and connection to our physical world due the technology shift in schools and not everyone has access to this technology! The government would have to provide all students with device and a proper wifi connection. Other funding is hard enough and I don’t think this will happen. Physical manipulatives and activities with peers foster appropriate relational knowledge and teamwork. There could be a similar activity online but then it is done individually on a school device. Learning with physical objects outside in the real world is a more authentic experience than virtually. If it is not possible to experience something in the real world due to funds, or distance or accessibility than virtual is the next best thing.

I don’t want to teach online and I think it is the best option for K-12 education but for graduate students it has shown to be a wonderful way for many people to increase their education. Those that don’t live by a university can continue working and going to school with this shift in remote learning. Martin and Bollinger said in one study student to student interactions were least important for graduate students and they preferred online communication tools. This makes a lot of sense, they have the maturity and drive to continue their education and engage as much as they need to be successful.

I would rather use every classroom management tool in the book to try to control an excited, chaotic, talkative, loud classroom than never get to discuss and just assess written work by students. Physical togetherness is better, and evolution has shown that is how people thrive.

Productivity Suites – Get them when they’re young and sell their data.

Productivity Suites are programs to help people create, organize, and present items. In education teachers use these to create documents, activities, presentation, and worksheets. Students in high school anyway, use these programs for very similar purposes programs like presentations, and differently by writing papers, answering questions, making visuals and more.  

I only thought of these tools as supports for my students and I; tools for success! I am finding more and more students are struggling to write with paper and pencil. Hence, some students do the work digitally by typing or using speech to text on google docs. When they are creating, I love how they can use google slides or docs and all have access to the same document. Makes for more efficient collaboration and group work. Google forms have been a wonderful program I use for exit slips or reflections. They don’t lose their reflection book! It is all saves automatically on their drive. I can upload their reflections onto a google sheets and see them all in one area. It makes it so much easier to mark; I am not hauling around 30 journals. Google classroom has also been wonderful how students can access the material at home when they miss school. The responsibility can be put on them to watch the lesson video,or read the material and try the worksheet at home. It helps me organize my semester as well! One issue is those kids that are already missing school because they don’t have a lot of support at home, or they have a lower economic status don’t have these privileges. They don’t have devices at home or wifi. So, these expectations are too much.

Wow that was a lot of mentioning of google programs. It has engulfed my classroom. Is this a bad thing? Are there issues?

Most definitely, is what I learned after our class this week. I have always wanted to work for people, serve the public and try to make a difference. I chose to be a teacher. I do not have a business-oriented mind, so I never thought about how even companies focused on making products to help people are still just trying to make money. They may disguise this but it is their number one priority. Hence, we need to be weary of Google and Microsoft companies’ intentions, as well as the fine print. A very smart ploy for companies is getting young customers for products. I recently have realised that the reason Scotiabank has great deals for university students, is to get them signed up right out of high school.  I remember liking that I could get points for free movies just for spending money. Twelve years later I am still with Scotiabank; they got me.

Google & Microsoft have been the front runners in technology suites for a very long time. In high school I still was writing mostly on paper, but into university all I had known was Microsoft, so I bought a Microsoft suite for my laptop. I created things on Microsoft publisher and wrote papers on Microsoft word. When I became a teacher, I still use these products for creation. My students as you read above are google users. Google was very smart to get themselves into schools. Kids will only know google moving into the workforce, therefore this is most likely what they will use into adulthood and pay for their products. A technology analyst, Mike Fisher stated for the New York Times “If you get someone on your operating system early, then you get that loyalty early, and potentially for life”.

As of now, I don’t believe Microsoft or Google has ill intent creating products to help students learn and grow, but at the end of the day they are a corporate company. Therefore another concern was around student data. New York Times said that Google says they don’t sell the data. The gmail and information is only collected to use the services . But, Google declined to provide a breakdown of the exact details the company collects from students use of its services. So many parents are concerned and think google should be more transparent about the information collection of their users.

Is it more helpful than harmful? I think time will tell.

Cailen Tribier

My view of Knowledge and its effects on My Teaching Philosophy

I am a reflective teacher, hence I do think about how I am teaching, facilitating or running my classroom and if it is effective around student learning. But to define what theory or theories underpins my teaching philosophy, I am forced to dig deeper than just what I do but what I feel is right at my core. I need to look at who I am as a person, and how I view knowledge. Anthony Bates explains our “epistemological position has direct practical consequences for how we teach.”

At my beginning of forming my own ideas I believe I would have named myself a positivist. In school I was trained to find the right answer. The academic classes I enjoyed were math and science which had right, or wrong answer and I was praised if I figured it out. The creative classes I did not enjoy, it was too arbitrary. I was and am still very motivated by solving complex problems and finding the answers.


However, into my adulthood I started to learn there were multiple answers and multiple experiences and these are all valid types of knowledge.  Even with an objective reality there are mysteries and unknowns. Knowledge is ever changing but I believe it is objective in the idea that what we know now is true until we can prove it is different otherwise. I also realize in certain subject areas experiences do shape our knowledge and this is also valuable. This is why I have developed to be more post positivist as I am moving through university, teaching in a classroom and my masters. I believe there is objective truth but I think this truth is individualized. We all have bias and background experience. This will influence our world view. This won’t affect objective scientific truth most of the time but when it comes to the discovering , and analyzing new ideas this will affect learning. It is important to explore different perspectives, abstract ideas and unique processes. Hence in a classroom to have intellectual conversations and abstract thinking we will need multiple theories of learning for success.

Firstly students need their basic needs met, feel safe and feel like they belong. This is Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs which is involved in the Humanistic Theory of learning. Learning will never occur without these basic things. Students need to have drive for learning, have structure and organization, feel safe, enjoyment, and praise. All of these things I accomplish through the Behaviorism theory. This means we need to use behaviorist techniques to teach students how to behave. A specific one I use is “Tribier tickets”. They are little cards that give students privileges if they complete their personal goals. Goals could be completing work in class instead of being distracted by friends, or handing in assignments on time or getting a certain grade on an assignment.

With some support, motivation and organization we can move to teaching concepts. This is a cognitivist idea. It is the process of learning, connecting, explaining, and applying information. This still has the idea that there is right answers and we go through a process to find or explain these answers. In my classroom I do this through direct teaching different processes, activating prior knowledge to make connections between ideas, science labs to experience concepts, and problem solving real life math questions. The cognitivist theory uses Bloom’s Taxonomy which explains at what level students are learning. I find it to be a very thin line between high level concepts of thinkings such as creating, and evaluating in the cognitivist theory with the constructivist approach to learning.

“For a constructivist, even physical laws exist because they have been constructed by people from evidence, observation, and deductive or intuitive thinking, and, most importantly, because certain communities of people (in this example, scientists) have mutually agreed what constitutes valid knowledge.” . I love this quote, we wouldn’t have science without people who have tried to make sense of our world when there were unknowns and no right answers. Hence why forming your own thoughts, through experiments, trials, proofs or exploring new ideas is so important in education. It just takes a long time and effort to get there. The constructivist approach is about creating ones own ideas, and forming opinions. In the classroom I have used debates, inquiry research, interactive gizmos, manipulatives, experiments, discussions and videos that provoked opinions and feelings about a topic. This has all been successful to get students to develop their own ideas around science theory.

However, it can be unsuccessful when it is used alone. I remember when I was first introduced to inquiry learning, I would send students onto the world wide web to read and interact with new concepts without giving any background information. The depths of knowledge they obtained was minimal. They could not have deeper discussions about the topic because they didn’t understand first. Students need guidance from the teacher to find appropriate knowledge base. This includes teaching students how to find information, credible sources, fact check, find evidence before they can create. I will continue to use a blend of these theories as this is the bests practice in my opinion. Is this the best practice? As time will tell new theories, and new knowledge will arise. So true best practice is to continue to be a lifelong learner and keep trying new ways to grow as a teacher.