Steph’s Day 4 Blog-Holy Cow Mind Blown….

Soooo, I read Dave’s article and thought to myself…”What the heck is rhizomatic learning?” So I googled it. Here is the definition…

“Rhizomatic learning is a way of thinking about learning based on ideas described by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in a thousand plateaus. A rhizome, sometimes called a creeping rootstalk, is a stem of a plant that sends out roots and shoots as it spreads”. -Nov 5, 2011

I thought to myself, YES! This is totally the way I love to learn. I am a creeping root stalk. This is great, now who said this quote? Where did this definition come from?

Guess what? it was our own Dave Cormier!! I think that’s pretty cool.

As a student I like having the choice a scaled rubric provides. I like to know “If I do (x) amount of work, I’ll receive a grade in the 90’s”. It seems to work really well in adult learning. Many of us have other commitments with jobs and kids etc, and a course we’re taking may not be priority #1 everyday.

My first experience with this style of grading was with a course I took last summer. There was a lot of work to be done if you wanted to land near the 90’s. Most opted for a comfort zone of a decent grade while still having some evenings free and a little less stress. I chose to challenge myself and aim high. Basically if you attempted the upper levels you’d get there. It meant an additional research project and presentation in front of the class. Fortunately it paid off. But what stuck with me was, some people were kicking themselves later for not having tried the higher level.

At the high school where I work, teachers are beginning to co-construct rubrics with their students. It’s a collaboration and negotiation, much like we all experienced today in class. Now I’m finding that some students who have a history of struggling are finding it much easier, now that they know what is expected of them.

In closing, I liked this lil pic…

Steph 🙂

Journey Through Disequilibrium

I had fun learning about the tools that were presented today—I especially liked Powtoon. That seems like something I could have a LOT of fun with, because (in case you hadn’t noticed) I like joking around and making light of things. I think this tool would really jive with my sense of humour.

Honestly, my brain has been in overdrive for the last couple of days. This is a LOT of information for me to process, since I have very little prior knowledge to draw on. Last night I found myself thinking about Piaget and this little diagram:


I feel like my schema for technology for a few years now has been: I know I don’t know enough about it. I can see the value in it but I’m going to tell myself that it is minimal because the learning curve is too steep and I don’t have enough energy or interest to engage beyond what is absolutely expected of me.

In the last month, I’ve had 4 experiences contribute to the disequilibrium I am currently experiencing (SAM training, PD on Smart Tools, PD on Digital Dialogue and now this ED366). I am trying hard to adjust my schema–I’m just not sure where everything fits. I’m grateful for the wonderful teachers and classmates who have been my teachers. I don’t feel completely lost or alienated.

After today, I find myself wondering the same sorts of things as other people are, like “would Slack really be worth the risk management efforts, when SAM offers a seemingly safer discussion forum?” or “what do I think about making videos that I don’t get to edit?” I’m glad I’m asking myself these questions though. A couple of years ago, I probably would have given all of these tools a try without any sober second thoughts, not even knowing what I didn’t know. I think it so important for me to remember that I should only really try one tool at a time in my teaching, and really get to know it well. I think if I stick to doing that, I’ll be less likely to become overwhelmed and more likely to stay on this journey. On topic of journeys, I feel like I’ve come so far in just 3 days. I’m proud of myself for not shutting down and for choosing to see this experience as an adventure.

Let Me Entertain You!

I throughly enjoyed today’s class. New technology always excites me. Carl and I demonstrated the Powtoon application, and the little we were able to dig into was excellent.

In a classroom setting I can see this being highly popular. As a teacher I think this would be super fun to use, mix things up and keep most engaged with the material. As a student the utter ease of use would be easy to explain to anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of Power Point or similar presentation software.

We are an increasing visual society, which is why apps like Snapchat and Instagram are so widely popular. In 1960 three billion photos were taken a year. In 2015 over one trillion photos were taken. Every two minutes we are taking more photos than the whole of humanity in the 1800’s.

While Powtoon might not be suitable for every subject – given it’s seemingly light-hearted nature, it could still be be used, in those cases, as an introductory piece at the beginning of a course or class.


We’ve all had the experience of attending a class so dry that you could almost see the air being sucked from the room. I don’t remember much about those. The material I almost always retain are those classes where I was immediately pulled in to the good time that the instructor seemed to be having up in the front of the room.

“Let me entertain you
Let me make you smile

Let me do a few tricks
Some old and then some new tricks
I’m very versatile”



Steph’s Day 2 Blog- Article Response

While reading Dave’s article titled “WHY WE WORK TOGETHER – CHEATING AS LEARNING” I found myself thinking about Bloom’s Taxonomy. Specifically as it pertains to recalling information as opposed to understanding it and being able to apply and analyze it.

If you’re not familiar with Blooms old or the new revised version I’ve included a pic which helps to make sense of it.  Basically the lower on the pyramid the smaller the likelihood of students using it in the future in a meaningful way. PS The pyramid on the right is the newer version used today.


The further I read down the article, the more I began to challenge my preconceived notions of what learning “should” look like. In my brain, there’s like a stock photo of a student at a desk with a textbook and a teacher at the front of a room at the chalkboard. (How dated is that?!) When in real life, the “Aha moments” that have stuck with me throughout my education are of times when I was having fun, challenging myself, working either hands on or in collaboration with other people.

This thought lead me into “Learning Styles”. I know I’m very auditory, when I’m engaged and hear what is being said, I’ll recall that for a very long time. Whereas on the flip side, I can remember virtually nothing I read out of a textbook. I’ve included a link to a quick survey that determines ones learning style. It only takes a minute so feel free to check it out and see if it applies to you.

In the article Dave also mentioned the term “student centered” which is a term I hear a lot within the school system. I think this concept must be increasing challenging for teachers to meet all the various needs and skill levels of learners, all while recognizing everyone learns differently.


I enjoyed today’s class far more than I expected I would, given my limited technological abilities.  I was happy to find “my people” so soon into discussions.  I look forward to learning with/from everyone, especially since the environment feels safe, respectful and fun.

After having attended the Digital Dialogue workshop at HC in June 2016, I’d anticipated that as part of my self-directed study in this course, ED 366, I would pick up where I left off with my goal of creating an online identity.  This was something I’d identified as a preliminary (complicated) task associated with my bigger (more complex) goal of becoming “connected” enough to converse with other professionals in the field of disability from around the world.  In June, I “looked into” and made a few feeble attempts at building a personal/professional WordPress blog site as a launching point for my online self.

Before long (basically after choosing a theme in WordPress) it became apparent to me that I lacked understanding of some (most) of the digital jargon that seems necessary to understand in order to “fill in the blanks” of the blog site template.  For instance, along the sidebar of most templates/themes it asks questions about “daughter, parent etc.”  I found myself wondering aloud: Are they really asking me about my family or is this some formatting lingo that I’ll have to familiarize myself with?   This led me to ask myself whether I’d bitten off more than I could reasonably chew, let alone digest.  In other words, I wondered…is this really a smart place for me to start?

In preparation for ED 366 (in keeping with the theme of trying to create an online identity) I decided instead to try something more user-friendly and manageable (simple) like setting up a Twitter account and then trying to find like-minded people/organizations in the field of disability that I could follow.  Even at that I’ve run into some difficulties, like some of the people I’ve asked to follow sending me messages asking me to “validate” using TrueTwit.  Because I chose to follow the link that they provided, I’ve discovered that TrueTwit is a validation service that allows Twitter users to “stop wasting time with spammers.”  It basically wants to know whether or not I am a bot, which can supposedly be determined if I can properly re-type the message in the “captcha.”  Holy frig—Am I a bot?  Will I become one?  I’ve had to ask myself…(already this has gone from simple to complex).

All of this to say, that I’m not sure I’ll get back to my WordPress blog just yet.  As is, it’s looking pretty weak (my page).  I might even step away from efforts to represent myself online temporarily.  The reason is that with each digital footprint I create, I feel a growing uncertainty about the terrain that lies ahead.  Since I am not someone who wants to become paralyzed by fear, I am asking myself some personal questions about “internal barriers” that stand in the way of my wanting to forge ahead.  I think that gaining some more knowledge about digital safety and security would help.  According to this wheel, which was shared with our PD group in June by @bonstewart, I’m looking at increasing my ‘DQ’ in the areas of digital safety and digital security.

digital skills

My thought is that I might try to explore what “terms of service” really means for things like Twitter or Slack, which I see as tools that I would consider using in the classroom, but not without due diligence (further investigation/finding out what I don’t know about the risk(s)).