Alan’s Optional Article Assignment ED 366

A Facebook ‘like’ and your name can reveal a shocking amount of info.

I chose to speak about an article i just read on privacy.

This article should be a concern for all of us because of the amount of easy to access information we readily give away. It may not seem like a big deal. What if you gave your first name when ordering coffee and discovered that the barista knew your birth date, where you worked and your home address? That’s just for starters.

In the article they only took three minutes to find that info out. Imagine what they could have got if they spent a little more time and their motives were not so innocent. The flow of our own personal information is up to us to protect. After all, Information is power in the wrong hands. Knowing where we live, work, and play can say a lot about us. With that information and a few personal details like mom’s maiden name, someone could access your identity and cause serious headaches for you.

The group devised a stunt involving a coffee shop in London, England. Last March, a sign outside the coffee shop promised a free coffee and croissant to customers who liked the café’s Facebook page. Customers were asked for their first name when they ordered their coffee. This is a good example of ” Nothing is free”.   “The likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other online platforms are much more than just social media sites — they are now a hunting ground for identity thieves,” Simon Dukes, chief executive of Cifas, said in the news release. “We are urging people to check their privacy settings today and think twice about what they share”. That’s great advice. Most of our privacy settings by default are very weak.

The video ends with the words, “Don’t make it easy for fraudsters. Set your privacy settings,” and refers viewers to its website for more information.

I found this article interesting and I plan on going to all my online accounts and checking my privacy settings.

“Smartphones and social media expand our universe. We can connect with others or collect information easier and faster than ever.” Daniel Goleman

Have a great night all.


Alan’s reflection on ED366

Hi Everyone,

My final reflection on this course is that it was well worth my time. I found that tackling a new technological subject each day was draining at first. I wasn’t really sure what was expected of me. I decided to look at myself as a learner with clear goals and objectives. I learned a great deal about new and different tools I will now use in the classroom. Google Docs, Powtoon, Jing, Prezi, Slack and Khan Academy were not part of my vocabulary two short weeks ago. I will definitely be using Google Docs to organize my document folders, files, videos and my ideas. I had a big problem with organization before. I am excited to get back to my work computer on Monday to begin to organize my desktop. I will be talking to my program manager about purchasing a licence to use Prezi. I can see it having a place in my classroom.

I’m glad this is only my second CAE course. I feel this one will help me with all my upcoming courses. I feel a lot more comfortable researching different tools that I didn’t even know existed before. Two weeks ago if you would have told me I would have a Twitter account I would have laughed at you. I now see the benefit of instant communication with many different people from many different backgrounds. The real time communication impresses me a lot.

I enjoyed our class time. Our group was serious and focused. Even though I started ED366 on the first day of my desperately needed vacation, I feel I’ll be going back to work refreshed and eager to apply some of the new ways I learned how to turn the light bulbs on in my students’ heads.

“Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid” John Wayne

Stay safe all! See you on the Internets.

Alan’s post- Digital Slackers

Good Evening,

This is a subject i can sink my teeth into. I had this problem for years. I would take the time to research something, then forget where i put it. I used to have everything on my computer at work, bad idea. One day i came to work and saw a nice shiny new computer sitting on my desk and nearly *&%$ myself. Thankfully it hadn’t left the building yet. Shawn, our awesome IT guru showed me how to store everything on our F drive at work. I also have a lot of space on our H drive.

I learned to simply name my files by subject, ie: Advanced firefighting on tankers. I found it was much easier to find and enhance that information if it was all in one file folder. Every time I had a thought, I just dropped it in there. I have two file folders for each subject I teach copied on each drive so I have backups. This works really well for me, but it took some discipline to stay at it. Now it’s just second nature to save a copy of everything i think would be relevant to my class.

I am very impressed with google docs. I will be starting another Gmail account, since we lose access to ours after one year. I never thought i would ever be on Twitter. I now see the positives with a site like that. I like finding out whats going on in real time. Twitter is great for that. It was also neat watching Dave post questions out there on the internets. The story about the berries was pretty cool. I was wondering how much time it saved to be diagnosed right away.  Having a network of like minded professionals is priceless. I will definitely be using it after this course.

“They have the Internet on computers now?” –  Homer Simpson December 13, 2003

Have a goodnight.



Alan’s Day 5-Self Assessment and Self Remediation

Good Evening All,

I’m finding this one was really tough to get started on. I’m going to try and hit all the points. Self assessment in my opinion is a great way to evaluate our own performance. If we think about it, most of us do this everyday. We want tomorrow to be better than today, so we reflect and self assess.  It also helps us identify our strong points and weak ones. What we need to work on more for example. A self-assessment is also the perfect opportunity for Students to show their Instructors that they understand where they can improve. No one likes to point out areas of weakness. It would reinforce the students learning more if they could see value in what they were learning. Making it their own.

The first thing i think of when i think of Self Remediation is we have a problem and we need to remedy it. I’m beginning to see why the terms go together so easily. Self Assessment and Self Remediation. In order to work on a solution we need to first identify the issue at hand. For example: Sometimes we are so close to the trees, We don’t see the forest.

Overcoming Isolation- With all the tech available to use and different ways to communicate, It is now easier then ever. Find out how the student prefers to do this. If they are comfortable using a certain tool, then we strive  to adapt.

Active Learning- Preparing to write this blog i researched different articles. I took control of my own learning.

Controlling Learning Behaviors-  By the Students controlling their own learning behaviors, They have the power over their own learning. The instructor is then more of a guide.

Diagnosis and remediation- This is a great idea. To allow the student to understand whats wrong and how do we fix it. This again puts the power to learn with the student.

Student Responsibility for learning- This one allows the students the choices of how they want to learn. If we encourage them to set realistic goals and reflect then they have no choice but to feel responsible for their learning. It allows the students to focus on the learning path in front of them. Focusing them on the learning instead of all the work it will take to get there.

“You cannot teach a person anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” – Galileo

Goodnight All.



Alan’s Day Four Perspective

I thought today we started to go down the rabbit hole regarding self grading and our contract. Everyone had strong opinions which was great. I personally like the idea of knowing what’s expected of me. As far as evaluation goes, There are lots of ways we could gauge our learning. We have already started: Discussions, Presentations, Debriefings, Twitter Chat, Development of documents, Self-reflective documentation(our blog posts) We also provide readings and resources in our google docs.

I think it is very hard to put a specific number on a student. I personally like the pass/fail. You either meet the standard or not. Like Carl said ” Can he hit the target or not” Not only must he be able to hit it, he needs to do it consistently. As i said in my Twitter post. I’ve met some people who could score top marks every time on a test. That same student fails miserably though when asked to do the skill associated with the mark. In other words, he studied for the test. He did not study for the knowledge. I have also met people who could not read,  that could take apart an engine and explain each part to you better than any Engineer. That is because he saw the value in taking that engine apart so he learned it. He didn’t just study for a numerical score. He wanted to know.   How do we assess that?

Self-directed learning can be challenging, even for the brightest and most motivated students. I think I need to understand myself as a learner better instead of an instructor  in order to understand my needs as a self-directed learning student.

I think this was\is a great discussion. Have a great night all.

“When you take the free will out of education, that turns it into schooling.”
John Taylor Gatto


Alan’s Day 3 Post

Good Evening Everyone,

I thought today was the most informative day yet. I had a little frustration this morning with my connection but Aaron helped me work through it quickly. Thanks Aaron! That’s another bonus with this course. It is refreshing being in a room full of so much brain power! ” In the entire history of the human species, every tool we’ve invented has been to expand muscle power. All except one. The integrated circuit, the computer. That lets us use our brain power”.  David Gerrold  January 24, 1944  Author

One of my biggest problems is organizing all my work in one place and knowing where and how to find it. Hello Google Docs! I am really starting to see the benefit of this tool and how it will help my instructing. I’m also not as nervous blogging as i was on the first night. I  enjoyed our twitter chat last evening. Although, it did feel as if we were trying hold a conversation in a crowd. I can definitely see the networking possibilities with Twitter.

I was impressed with all of the presentations and how quickly we all seemed to adapt to the various tools we were using. I could see a use for most of them in my class. As the group was presenting, i was not losing interest at all. As Dave said on day one ” Teaching has to be a bit of entertaining as well as informative. I think that statement is so true. When we stay entertained, we stay engaged in the topic. Therefore it’s impossible not to learn.

Of all the tools shown today I think Powtoon and Prezi would be an easy fit for my class. However, they all had a little bit of something i may be able to use. I will explore them more for sure. The only one I don’t think i will use is Slack. Although i could see some use for this tool in certain settings, It reminded me of the old MSN or like Dave said ” Like Twitter but like a clubhouse as well” I’m paraphrasing there. Jing and Khan are promising as well.

I enjoyed my self today and am looking forward to more.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school”.   Albert Einstein   March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955


Alan’s thoughts on cheating. Blog 2

This subject could go so many ways. Cheating?.Cheating in education has been around at least since the first standardized exams were used to select civil servants in ancient China (Whitley & Keith-Spiegel, 2002)—even though the penalty at the time was death!  Most Humans will always try to gain the advantage over each other. I think this can be a dark rabbit hole to go down if one starts to “Cheat” Where does it stop?.. Who decides the rules? That’s why we have laws.

I agree with Mr.Gustav (love that name). I tend to look at cheating as a dirty word associated with dishonesty and deceit. However, the context, intent, frame of mind cannot be ignored. For example, If a student passes of someones work as their own, that is clearly not right. What if the same student gave credit and simply added a few visuals? Starts to get  blurry. Was it cheating that i had the advantage of reading all the others posts before i wrote my own? I never intended it to be that way but had FD training. It certainly helped me by understanding everyone’s perspective.

In the field, you either know it or you don’t. Whether its performance based or academic is irrelevant. It’s just as important to know how to do a quick stability calculation as it is to put on your breathing apparatus quickly. Make a mistake with either and your life could depend on it. It quickly becomes clear who the students are that are trying to bluff their way through. Out of the four questions asked in Daves article, two resonated with me. What mistakes have others made? Are their good/ best practices? I certainly make lots of mistakes and absolutely learn from them. It is out of the mistakes that we learn the good/best practices.

As educators, we should answer the question. What defines cheating in education? I’ll leave that one open for discussion.

I’ll sign off with a personal story from a young students experience regarding cheating. If i don’t tell you the back story it won’t make much sense. So here goes; I was 14 years old when my step-father died suddenly of a cardiac arrest in front of me. His name was Cpl.David Johnson. He was 42. He was an RCMP officer. I loved him, but yet i was helpless to help him. I knew nothing of first aid. It shook me to the core. I decided in that moment i would never feel that way again. So I started studying first aid on my own. Fast forward to two years later. In health class the teacher accused me of cheating on a test because i scored 98% and said i never opened a book ( i had the same manual at home). He accused me in front of everyone. I got angry and told him to ask me any question he wanted. He said “you would know the answer anyway because you cheated! WTF? (hope that’s ok)…is all i remember thinking. He ended up giving me a different version of the test in a room with just him and I the next day. I scored a perfect 100. I will never forget the look on his face after i told him how I knew the material. He was shocked that i learned it on my own. He made a big deal about apologizing. He told the class and me , he would never accuse anyone again. He turned it into a teaching moment that i never forgot. In closing, because of this experience I always try to see a problem from all angles before i rush to judgement.


Alan’s first blog post

  1. Hi All,

I came into the course today not knowing what to expect. I was excited and very nervous at the same time. This is my second course towards my CAE. I am normally a procrastinator when it comes to writing about myself. I’m hoping this will give me an opportunity to be more relaxed about all the available ways to communicate.

I enjoy new challenges and am looking forward to expanding my brain over the next seven days. I had started a Twitter account before, however I never sent a single tweet.

I’m not entirely technically illiterate though. I do have a YouTube channel with a lot of course related videos that I use to illustrate some of the points I’ve made in class. It has been a great resource that the students seem to relate to. I’m hoping I can expand on that. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this little fact, I also have hundreds of hours logged playing my PlayStation.

At the end of class today I was relieved. Not because it was over, but because I was still excited and a lot more relaxed. It’s been along time since I left a class as a student and had a smile on my face. The way we did the introductions I thought was great. It is much easier to describe someone else than onesself.(spellcheck)

I am already seeing the ways I can use some of what I learned today in my classroom. I normally don’t care much for PowerPoint however I enjoyed Daves PowerPoint on the simple, complicated, and complex challenges we can be faced with.It reminded me of some of the challenges we have in teaching adults as opposed to children. Adults bring a lot more life experience into the learning process. Some more complex than others.

It was a pleasure learning about my fellow classmates and our Professor Dave. I’m looking forward to the networking opportunities and am thrilled at the chance to bring back what I will learn to my classroom.  My main goals for this course are to stay current with the advances in communication and to ultimately become a better instructor. In closing I would like to point out that my laptop was not cooperating with me in writing this blog. I hope it will come out formatted and not one big jumble of words as I’m writing this on my iPhone.