Summary of Learning

Embedded above is my Summary of Learning video that I created using iMovie, Animoto, Phonto, and PicsArt. These are my final thoughts and what I have learned over the past four months squeezed into six minutes. I hope that you enjoy this video even half as much as I enjoyed this class.

Here is the script in case you would like to read along or would like to use it as a reference:

Hello everyone! My name is Sydney Kawa and this is my Ed Tech 300 Summary of Learning. I will be sharing information that I have learned throughout the past four months through slides that I have created and combined using iMovie, Animoto and other editing resources such as Phonto and PicsArt. Both iMovie and Animoto are resources that were recommended to me through Ed Tech 300, and have been put to use on many occasions throughout my learning project. Back in January I began my time in this course and quickly gained an understanding of the importance of using online tools to the best of my advantage. Before this course I did not have Twitter, Slack, or use many online tools that could be beneficial to me in the long run as a future educator. Now I am able to confidently say that I tweet multiple educational resources a week, engage with my peers through retweets and replies, comment on classmates blogs through WordPress, offer my opinions and suggestions through Slack, and put aside time everyday to absorb educational resources that my peers have also shared through these platforms. Before entering this course I primarily found myself scrolling through Instagram, sharing posts on Facebook, and pinning home decor ideas on Pinterest. I will admit that that was not very educational, however in my defence I never actually realized how reliant and important modern education is on technology. Ed Tech 300 immersed me everyday whether we were directly in class or not, and brought multiple tools to my attention. Not only tools that I can use to further my own learning, but the learning of others as well. Let me break them down for you. 

Twitter, which took me by surprise when we were asked to create an account. is actually used for much more than just following and retweeting celebrities posts (who knew). Rather for myself, it is a platform where I am able to follow other educators within Saskatchewan, partake in SaskEdChats on Thursday evenings, be introduced to Ed Tech resources that I may have missed in my own searches, and meet other students in the education program. The resources and daily usage of Twitter were a huge part of my Ed Tech Journey. 

Next we have Slack which allows us to also share resources, post reminders, ask questions, and share our thoughts. Slack was very immersive and if you needed a question answered you could rely on your fellow classmates to answer within minutes. With Slack I was able to rely on others and classmates were able to rely on me, a great example of us stepping up and being educators before we are even in our own classrooms. 

WordPress was the largest part of my learning experience and take away from Ed Tech 300. My blog, Sydney’s Inquires, is where I posted weekly learning updates and used educational resources to help guide my learning project, I also responded to blog prompts such as digital citizenship in the classroom, my thoughts on a resource called Feedly, YouTube/internet progression, fake news, looking back at our digital footprint, and much more! Each concept brings positives and negatives to light such as the benefits of coding, but the downfalls of cyber bullying. Both very different aspects of technology, but both are just as important to talk about in the classroom. My blog is also a hub that provides the viewer with more than just learning project updates. Over this course I have learned to polish and make my blog aesthetically pleasing while also providing, possibly my future boss and anyone that comes across my blog, with the following posts: about me, my educational resume, my educational philosophy, my favourite education based quotes, examples of lesson plans I have created, achievements, and course work from over the past three years. 

Ed Tech 300 has provided me with multiple tools, I am talking dozens! These tools include: a better understanding of technology and how to appropriately apply this method into the classroom, how to find reliable resources through blogs and twitter, technology tools such as iMovie, Canva, Anchor (which I have been diving into on my own time), Kahoot, Quizzes, an Hour of Code, and many more. I could not think of a better semester to take Ed Tech 300 as we used Zoom to meet every Wednesday evening, chatted through Slack, shared resources through Twitter, and poured our ideas and challenges into our blogs. Every single project and communication made over the past four months have only been through education technologies, and look at the relationships that have been made. I have learned that connection is more than just being together in person. We were all communicating from the comfort of our own homes, yet I have never felt so connected to a class before. That is the prime example for how important educational technologies are in 2021 and how I need to stay up to date and specifically make time to learn about these technologies so that I can pass valuable information onto my students. 

A few topics stood out to me throughout this semester. Starting with digital citizenship and the importance of being safe online. Referring to Ribbles Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship I as a future educator must not only take into account everything I post online, think before I hit send, and understand that anyone and everyone can have access to my online presence, but also educate my students on the positives and negatives on using online technologies and resources. Through allowing our students the opportunities to use educational technologies we are teaching them to be strong digital citizens as well as helping them understand other sides of the internet such as fake news. Students will need to be able to understand the difference between what is real and what is fake on the internet, an internet lie detector if you will, which can result in a much safer and positive relationship with the online world. By enhancing examples of real versus fake and allowing for students to see different aspects of the online world is beneficial, this needs to be introduced into the classroom in order to sustain a safe and healthy environment and the ever changing online world.

Lastly, I would like to say a quick thank you to Katia for the passion she emits into this course, and all courses I have taken with her thus far. It truly resonates with me and enables me to push myself into new ideas and resources every single week. The learning does not stop here, Ed Tech 300 has truly been a course of connection. 

That’s a Wrap!

50 Motivational Disney Quotes About Dreams To Live By
Photo Credit: TheLawofAttraction.com

Welcome back to my blog for my wrap up post for my learning project. I hope that you all enjoyed following along week after week during my sugar cookie decorating process. From the first week of my learning project, to my very last I have felt so accomplished and pleased with what I have learned throughout the past ten weeks. I remember being introduced to the idea of our learning projects back in January and I never thought I would have come so far in such a short amount of time. The journey from week one where I created circular sugar cookies with polka dots and hearts that tasted absolutely awful, to creating buttery smooth unicorn sugar cookies showcases the skills and confidence I have gained. With the assistance of online resources, posting my own content on different platforms, and trial and error I have made it to the end with some pretty magical sugar cookie designs!

Reflecting on my Learning Project:

Week One: Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing

This week I outlined my plan for how I was going to complete my learning project week by week, as well as my inspiration for why I chose to learn royal icing cookie decorating in particular. Alongside with that information I broke down the steps and strategies I used to complete my first batch of cookies and my lack of proper tools. I also took my time to explore different online platforms for advice on how to make the best batch of dough. My first creation was a circle. The resources I used during week one were:

Week Two: Uncovering the Recipe for Success

During week two I ran on poll on Twitter to help me decide which cookie design I should dive into next, the winning results was a cacti shape. I reached out to one of my moms co-workers for her sugar cookie recipe as my recipe from week one was not edible. During this week I attempted to create texture with my royal icing. I also tried chilling my dough in the fridge before cutting it with the cookie cutter for the first time, which aided in the shape of the cookies staying firm while baking. The resources I used during week two were:

Week Three: Welcome to Cloud 9

On my third week of our learning project posts I continued along with the same royal icing and sugar cookie recipes that I used the week prior as it turned out the way I wanted and I was satisfied with the final project. However, I tried to make a thicker version of the icing recipe to create swirls on my cloud cookies but it did not turn out. It was also the only time within my learning journey that I used two tones of icing. My third creation was blue fluffy clouds. The resources I used during week three were:

Week Four: Mermaids and Meringue

Week number four was one of my least favourite weeks (alongside week eight) because of the final outcome. It did have a positive though as I got to try out a new creative online resource called Animoto. I outlined the steps and my personal thoughts on the editing application with support from screenshots during my time on the website. I uploaded my first video (of many) throughout this learning project onto YouTube, as well as another version of the video created with a different editing software, iMovie. It was also my first time ever using meringue powder, and my creations were mermaid tails! The resources I used during week four were:

Week Five: Sunshine, Springtime, and Ice-Cream, oh my!

Moving on to week number five, this was the first week I took my sugar cookies to work and was able to share them with others around me. My creation this week were ice-cream cones and I used four colours which is a much larger amount than my previous weeks. I was not staying at my own apartment during this time so I used ziplock bags instead of piping bags to flood the icing and tried a new royal icing recipe to broaden my horizon. I had a slight issue with the icing but I pulled through in the end using my own tricks to fix the situation. The resources I used during week five were:

Week Six: Make It Pink! Make It Blue!

On week six I went back to the royal icing recipe I had been using from weeks one to four. This was also the first week I began incorporating aspects of Disney into my learning projects which I think allowed me to be more creative and devoted to my decorating process, resulting in the creation of Sleeping Beauty’s crown. I added large pearl sprinkles for the first time as well as added links to other students blogs for the first time as recommended during my evaluation/check in! The resources I used during week six were:

Week Seven: Under the Sea

Week seven is where I carried through with the Disney theme, this time through seashells. I added more dimension to my posts through creating an Instagram reel which I learned how to create through both YouTube videos and articles on the subject. These creations ended up being my favourites up to this point and it was the first time I felt proud of my learning project as I knew I could continue pushing myself. The resources I used during week seven were:

Week Eight: Flower Power

On week number eight I was still feeling excited from my previous creation. I found an inspiration photo on Pinterest to help guide my way for this week, the goal to was make flower shaped sugar cookies. I ran my first poll using my blog itself by asking my readers what they thought my week nine sugar cookies were going to be. This week I made the most batches of icing throughout all ten weeks due to the fact that I needed different textures and thickness, I used a recipe off of TikTok to help me with the process. I also discovered a YouTube video to help guide my flooding and decorating technique. The resources I used on week eight were:

Week Nine: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I went into week nine thinking this would be my final learning project post, however I had more tricks up my sleeve. This week I used five separate colours of icing and used my most difficult cookie cutter (so far), a rainbow. I created a video that included the whole process on my YouTube channel that I edited using iMovie. I also used Twitter once again to create a poll, and managed to create my own version of a royal icing recipe that flooded perfectly without any bleeding of my pastel colours. For inspiration I dived head first into the cookie decorating TikTok world. The resources I used on week nine were:

Week Ten: Something Magical

On my final week of my learning project I decided to create unicorn heads. For the first time I used pearl dust in my icing to add a pearlescent/glittery finish to my cookies, plus tried a layering technique while decorating. I found my inspiration off of Pinterest, purchased my first decorating pen, and made my first TikTok. My last post for my learning project was full of firsts. I also uploaded two vlogs with the full process (including buying ingredients at the store) on my YouTube channel that I edited with iMovie. The resources I used on week ten were:

My Online Learning Experience:

Like I have said before, what a perfect time to be taking a class that focuses on educational technology and how to use technology to the best of our advantage. At this time, in a global pandemic, we are being connected through technology now more than ever and are expected to be able to use it for all things education. We are taking EdTech 300 through zoom after all! From the comfort of my own apartment I am able to learn how to use the internet to the best of my ability whilst also learning how to educated my future students properly and safely.

Throughout my learning project I learned a lot about myself and what I expect from myself week after week, I hold my standards and personal goals very high. Every week I received amazing feedback from my fellow students that made me feel good about my creations, and I found that engagement helped me feel more connected to them. I also enjoyed the independence aspect of the learning project to keep me motivated. I could only rely on myself and I was in full control of where I wanted to take my project every week whether I needed to slow down or look for more resources. I was able to depend solely on myself for it all.

Before I began my learning project I was not sure if ten weeks would be enough time for me to catch on to where I wanted to be in terms of royal icing decorating. I definitely reached some peaks and valleys, and landed myself on a grand peak on week ten. I am very proud of the progress I made, and definitely feel confident in my achievements. Ten weeks was enough time for me to see a large change in my skills, and I would not have pushed myself to learn these techniques without this learning project being introduced.

What I Am Going to Do With My New Learned Skills:

Throughout my learning project I shared my blog posts to my Twitter account where I received great feedback from my peers. Some of my fellow students have asked me whether or not I was going to sell my sugar cookies after I conclude my learning project or not. At this time I do not think it is something I will be able to do often. Although I have been asked to create sugar cookies for a baby shower as well as a young boys birthday party in the upcoming months, which I could not say no to! I want to continue to implement my new found hobby into my life moving forward. Creating and decorating is a passion of mine and helps fuel my inner motivational source. If I create I am able to propel myself forward in other aspects of my life as well.

I also do not want to loose the skills I have worked on so hard over the past four months. They say after twenty one days of doing something it becomes a habit, and looking for new techniques and ideas for sugar cookies has defiantly become a habit of mine. This learning project has also taught me the benefits of having patience and working through unforeseen circumstances which will aid me in my teaching career. By being able to take a deep breath and brainstorm different ways to approach an issue is a great skill to have, especially when working with young students who will need you to support them and aid in their problems.

When scrolling through my learning project from week one to week ten I cannot help but be proud of the progress I see, as well as know that I dedicated time to bettering myself both within and outside of my learning project.

Minecraft Treasure

My Minecraft coding certificate! Yay!

Going into our blog prompt this week I can honestly say that I was very intimidated. I have never even had a conversation about code in my life, let alone actually perform coding a game myself. However, Code.org laid out all the steps with video prompts that definitely made the process much more enjoyable and successful for me. I chose to take part in the websites Hour of Code option and ended up coding my way through Minecraft’s Voyage Aquatic where I was able to win Minecraft treasure! It truly was an adventure as I was halfway through the experience and thought I was not going to make it to the end since half the time I was not sure whether to turn my character left or right. I also learned closer to the end of my coding process that you can delete one singular step in the code setup rather than the whole thing, which made everything work so much faster and I was able to fix my mistakes with ease.

My first ever code puzzle completed.

The theme of the game as well as the video instructions between certain levels were very clear and helpful, I also found the differing codes within the ‘blocks’ space to be appropriate to each puzzle and each served a purpose. I did not use every code that was offered, but if I were to go back and use code more often I would find use for them. At this point I was just trying to get a good understanding on how to complete the puzzles in the most strategic way, but if I were to be more adventurous with my avatar I would have found use for more of the codes. I also found Code.org to be useful in the sense of entertainment and themes. Some of the themes you are able to chose from on the website are Star Wars, Minecraft, Flappy Bird, Space Invaders, Frozen, Angry Bird, etc. Making this coding source great for all levels of education. As someone who has never experienced coding I did find this slightly difficult even though it was an elementary/middle school level of coding. However, for someone who has never coded before this was the perfect level of difficulty for me to both learn and also not want to give up on the experience.

If I can code, anyone can code!

Code is important, in specific, for elementary education as it allows for children to be creative, have a sense of being in control, to learn to be strategic, and experiment with different ideas and ways of coding. Even as a student in University I found the certificate at the end of the hour of coding to be both rewarding and fun, so imagine the motivation and accomplishment that a young student would feel completing their own hour of code. If coding is an activity that a student finds particularly rewarding it could benefit their future and their decisions on a career as an adult. As technology continues to progress, the need for computer/software programmers are in demand and it takes both math and coding skills to achieve these positions. It also shows children that math is not just being able to use a calculator, rather, it is propelling students to progress and have a larger sense of math and what makes it so important.

Contributing to the Learning Of Others

Over the past four months I have been contributing to others’ learning within our class, Introduction to Educational Technologies and Media 300. How fitting that we all ended up taking this class during a time where we have never relied on social media more to both connect us as human beings, and connect both teachers and students within classrooms during a global pandemic. This blog post will be dedicated to the contributions I have put forth through different social media sources such as: Slack, Twitter, and my own personal blog on WordPress through both posts and comments. Breaking each source into its own category, here is how I contributed to the learning of others.

Slack:

I had never used or even heard of Slack before entering this class! However, once I was introduced to it during the first week of the semester I knew it would be put to use and was hoping it would be effective. Overall I found it to be very useful and engaging. Not only was it fun to see everyones thoughts and favourite gifs being shared throughout the last four months, but it was very practical in the sense that you could ask a question and be certain that you would get an answer or two within at least fifteen minutes. I personally always kept my Slack notifications on so that if I saw a question that I knew the answer to I would be able to jump on it as quickly as I could, or at least offer my help out to another student. Here are some examples of my contribution on Slack:

Helping my peers with video editing.
Helping with technical difficulties and suggestions.
Resource sharing a Twitter chat called #GoalChat.

Twitter:

I had attempted to use Twitter back in middle/high school, however, I did not know how to properly utilize the website and opted to use Instagram instead. This resulted in me deleting my first ever Twitter account and then starting fresh for the class. Over the past few months I have gone from zero tweets to a total of 140 tweets and counting. In order to implement Twitter into my daily routine I set aside time every afternoon to either tweet out a resource or release a new blog post and share it through Twitter, as well as reply to others tweets within the hashtag edtc300. I also took part in three #SaskEdChats that allowed me to both share and read the opinions of other educators across Saskatchewan. It was a way to both become educated and understand that all voices are heard and our opinions within the #SaskEdChat are valued. Below is a scroll through of my Twitter account as well as some pictures that allow for you to see the work I have implemented onto Twitter.

Participating in #SaskEdChat
Sharing educational resources with classmates.
Replying to other #edtc300 students’ tweets.
Scroll through of my Twitter account/all of my tweets so far.

My Blog:

My blog consists of posts based on my sugar cookie and royal icing learning project, my thoughts and journey throughout EdTech 300, comments on others blog posts, and online resources that I used to guide my posts. Throughout my learning project I was able to share my favourite learning resources, create ping backs to other classmates and their blog posts, and create YouTube videos as well as a TikTok and an Instagram reel to include into my posts. I shared and cited educational resources that were listed with our EdTech 300 reading list, while discussing key concepts and implementing the highlighted ideas/suggestions into my own learning and future classroom.

Above this text is a document that holds all of the blog comments I have made to other classmates throughout the entire semester, it is organized from week one all the way to week ten! In some comments I even added resource links to information that I felt would benefit other students based on their blog post for the week. I highly enjoyed reading their weekly blog prompt ideas, seeing their embedded resources, reading their personal thoughts and triumphs during their learning projects, and being introduced to new ideas and a differing perspective from my own.

Embedding YouTube videos into my blog posts to help others understand my learning project on a more personal level through watching rather than always reading.
Adding both links and explaining step by step how to use Animoto to make it easier for others who are wanting to use this video editing software.
Embedding links to all the resources I found during my learning project in order to potentially help readers learn the same skills.
Commenting on Ian’s blog post with a YouTube video link that I believe to be a good resource to go along with his yoga learning project.

Throughout the past four months I have learned how to use numerous platforms to both help myself and others through our learning journeys. Through Twitter, Slack, and my own personal blog I have been able to aid peers through contributing to their personal learning. Through online resources such as YouTube videos, TikToks, Instagram reels, educational articles, weekly zoom classes, the Saskatchewan education curriculum, Feedly, etc., I have been able to support both my own learning while contributing to others within EdTech 300.

Justin Left Hailey for Selena?!

Do I have your attention? Great! Because the title is FAKE NEWS!

As you may or may not know, I am in the Elementary program, so approaching the subject of fake news and digital literacy will be different from those of you who are going to be teaching high school students or even University classes. Beginning with children who are so impressionable and believe things that they read or are told (up to a certain extent) need to be taught about fake news and digital literacy so that they are able to differentiate what sources are trustworthy and which sources simply, are not. The best way to ensure that students from kindergarten to grade five are able to tell the difference between fake news and educational articles is to look at past articles that that particular media outlet has released, this way you can tell if it is credible. Also, look at local news sources to see their opinions on larger news sources, and of course simply read the title of the article. For example, the title I placed on the top of this blog post probably is not very educational as it is based on particular people and judgement towards others where we have no place as individuals to judge, and it is none of your business! A question or middle ground statement will most likely be a good article as it is based on trust worthy sources and input from others who do not sway the reader to think a certain way, it just brings important information to light.

Of course, five year olds will not be able to understand or even read article titles if they are lengthy or have large words in them, let alone understand what the article is about based on its title. This needs to be the job of an adult to help guide children in order to figure out what kinds of literacy are actually beneficial to read. The article titled How do we teach students to identify fake news by Dr. Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt exclaims “Bring real-world fake news examples that we encounter everyday into the classroom so that students can be challenged to apply their skills and techniques to authentic situations” which as a future elementary educator is the best point made within the article for young students. They will need to be guided in order to fully understand the difference between real world real news and “fake news” beginning with articles that are not political, scary, or too stimulating. In order for them to understand, students will need to be introduced to articles that are more neutral and deal with topics such as new play structures or children’s story books.

Another way to intrigue younger children and immerse them within the subject of fake news and digital literacy is to do an activity that allows them to work as a class to find the article title that consists of fake news out of a list of four, three titles being true and one being the fake news. There is an online tool called Can you spot the fake news headline? that would also work very well for this as the website already has headlines created for you. Now, after trying the educational tool out on my own I would have to lead an elementary class through the headlines, but it gives educators a great outline for a quiz they could create on their own to make it more age appropriate and understandable for students. Some fake news headlines are not so straight forward, especially since you are only seeing the headline and not the whole article which usually gives it away. However, with that being said, being able to spot the fake news straight from the headline will save both you and your students time and a better understanding of credible sources.

Since young students seem to be more visual and rely on visual aids I decided to incorporate a visual model into this post called “Beyond ‘Fake News‘”. This model is able to show children how and why it is important to be safe online, and to ensure that they understand the dangers of the online world without scaring them, rather, educating them. Overall, to understand how and why they are using technology and then how to use it appropriately. Through teaching children about the online world we are teaching them how to be safe, how to use a search engine, type, and educating them on their digital footprint. Why is this is important for children to understand? Because it nurtures responsible digital citizenship. These thoughts and statements support the NCTE Framework that states “delivering inaccurate information is dangerous. It’s not enough to be connected; we need to be accurate in our knowledge through these connections” by helping students both understand the dangers, but also the benefits of connection, which they have been experiencing at great lengths by using zoom to be apart of what would be their everyday classroom setting.

Digital literacy also ties into the Saskatchewan education curriculum specifically through the grade four English Language Arts outcomes and indicators as follows: CR3.2 View and respond to grade-appropriate visual and multimedia texts (including videos, cartoons, illustrations, diagrams, charts, maps, and posters) explaining reactions and connections as well as
visual features that convey humour, emotion, and mood. Indicator: d. Record facts and ideas from grade-appropriate visual and multimedia texts including DVD, television program, magazine, and reference resources. This example using both an outcome and indicator shows that even at a grade four level students are asked to look at multimedia texts, make sense of them, understand if they are true or false creations, and then record facts from resources both online and through other media such as magazines and television.

Something Magical

Hello everyone and welcome back to my learning project! I did not think I would be blogging about my sugar cookies again anytime soon but I made a mistake thinking we only needed nine weeks of learning project posts when, in fact, we actually needed ten! So surprise! I am back again with my week ten which is my last attempt at making sugar cookies before I wrap everything up in my next post. If anything, this week has been a roller coaster surrounding these sugar cookies and I got it on all camera. I decided this week to vlog a couple of days in my life with the main objective in the first vlog to be making the sugar cookies (mixing, rolling, chilling, baking) and then the second vlog about decorating the cookies. Within the vlogs I also added bits and pieces of my everyday live, struggles, thoughts, and opinions which you are free to watch, but do not have to. I just thought that I would let you all know that I vlogged these two days and posted them on YouTube. They are long videos, so I understand if you did not want to stick around for the whole thing, I just enjoy creating vlogs as well as the editing process and figured I would share.

I just want to make it clear that I am not trying to promote my YouTube channel, just that I have the process on camera and it is a little more personal than just reading the blog or going to class together through zoom. So skip if you would like.

First vlog including making the sugar cookies, Disney trivia, going to Starbucks, and my daily life.
Second vlog including decorating sugar cookies, enjoying the sunshine, talking about Instagram, and Disney apartment decor.

Moving on! Since I only thought we needed nine weeks of the learning project I had run out of cookie cutters, so I headed back to Bulk Barn (I am sure they are sick of seeing me) and bought three more cookie cutters so that I could have options, but wanted to choose one that would be difficult to complete in order to showcase how far I have come from week one to week number ten. The three cookie cutters that I decided to purchase were a butterfly, a unicorn head, and a pineapple. I overall decided on the unicorn head as it would take many different elements to complete such as the base coat for the head, the slim unicorn horn, as well as a colourful mane. For the first time I also incorporated edible pearl dust into my royal icing which I found to be quite fun and love the pearlescent touch it added to my unicorn horn. In my first vlog I have the whole process of actually making and baking the dough, so if you are interested the time stamp link is 5:27. In the second vlog I made the royal icing and decorating a couple of the unicorn heads with the white base coat at the time stamp 4:35, and then I show the final product at 9:00 (so if you do not want to watch both of the videos in full please click on the time stamp links)!

Unicorns final product! Do you think they are better than the rainbows?

I began with the base coat for the icing which is the white icing that you can see layered beneath the mane to create the nose, head, and neck of the unicorn. Then I began making the mane where I started with the pink and moved on to the blue and finished off with purple. After all four colours were hardened enough to not create dents in the icing if I accidentally hit it with my hand, I went in with yellow icing which is the portion where I added edible pearl dust to the mixture and piped it onto the cookie. If you look at the cookie on the very bottom of the photo to your left you will be able to see a slight difference in the pink portion of the mane. This is because I took the pearl dust and sprinkled it onto the pink icing after I piped it and rather than making it sparkle it turned into thick flecks of white. That is not what I wanted. So I finished piping the remaining colours of the mane, and finally when I got to mixing the yellow royal icing for the horn I came to the conclusion of mixing the pearl dust straight in to the mixture and it worked! It came out smooth and sparkly, adding a touch of something magical to my final cookie!

Close up!

After sitting for about half an hour I went in with an icing pen (which is a pen used for writing on cookies that is edible) and drew on the eyes and eyelashes to add another aspect to the finished product. This step is also new to me! Cheers to trying two new decorating techniques on my OFFICIAL final week of cookie decorating! The next blog post you will see in this collection of posts will be my overall learning experience throughout the total ten weeks.

I would also like to acknowledge the post on Pinterest that inspired the decorating process of my finished sugar cookie which was created by Angelica Made Me. I also made my first ever TikTok for something extra to add to this post. It is very simple as I had never used the app for anything other than searching for decorating inspiration so I hope that you check that out as well!

Photo and inspiration credit: Angelica Made Me on Pinterest.

A few more of my classmates are also working on cooking/baking-related projects that you should all take some time and check out as well! Branden Smith focuses on making a new meal from scratch every week for his family members, and then each member rates the meal on a scale from one to ten! Also, Shana Blenkin focuses her blog around baking beautiful confections from bagels, buns, and everything in between. I highly recommend checking out both of their blogs as I have enjoyed them each and every week.

My first ever TikTok (and most likely my last).

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Hello everyone and welcome back or welcome to my learning project where we have officially reached week number nine which in my case is the finale to my learning project! Last week on my blog post, Flower Power, I posted a poll where readers were able to vote on what they thought my final learning project shape would be. The three options I gave where a bunny and an easter egg, a rainbow, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Not one person voted for a rainbow but here we are! Spoiler alert: I LOVE THEM! Lately I have been super into everything pastel, the colours bring me so much joy and I hope they do for you too. Whether I am able to decorate my house with pastel blankets and vases, buy a pastel top, or even eat pastel cookies, I am there for it all! So, that is exactly what I did this week and without anything in particular being my inspiration I just simply went for it!

For the finale of my learning project I wanted to add something special to my blog post. Here is a YouTube video that I made about the process of my final project! Enjoy!

I was a little beat down from last weeks creation not turning out the way I wanted them to. It almost felt like I was back tracking since I thought my cacti sugar cookies from week two were even better than the flower cookies I created all the way in week number eight. This week I knew I had to bring it with everything I had and keep my confidence level up through every step. However, my cookies this week were not going to let me off easy as the dough did not want to roll out smoothly, rather it wanted to crack at the edges and rip apart when the rolling pin was flattening it. I rolled out the dough as lightly as I could and even though the edges of the dough cracked I knew I would be able to re-roll the dough and smooth it out once the first set of cookies were cut from the middle portion. Once the cookies were all cut, baked, and cooled it was time for decorating. The difference between this week and the past eight weeks is I was going to use five different colours of icing, but this time I was going to put all five on one cookie. The largest amount of different coloured icing I had used so far on one cookies was two colours. That’s it.

Ending off on best creation? I think so!

While I was mixing together a very large batch of royal icing, my hand mixer decided to give out and one of the beaters stopped spinning, the motor began smoking, and the beaters became stuck inside of the machine. So I drove to Walmart, bought a new mixer, came home and opened the box and the beaters that were in the box did not go with the mixer that I bought. With that being said I went back to Walmart, returned the mixer, bought a new one AGAIN, came home and by this time the icing I made was hard so I made a new batch. The new batch of icing was a little thick at the start and was not flooding evenly, so I added more egg whites to each colour and began creating my rainbow. I started with the top section which was pink and then moved to purple, blue, yellow, and then the white clouds. Rather than working on one cookie at a time I added pink to every cookie and then went in with purple after each cookie had a pink layer in order to ensure the icing was dry enough to add a different colour of icing without them bleeding into one another. This method worked out so well for me! When it got to the white icing for the clouds it seemed to vary in consistency at the beginning from sitting a little bit too long. This was due to it taking so long to add all the other colours to the rainbow, but after the first four or so cookies it became perfect for flooding and definitely added the finishing touches to the cookies!

The final product!

Thank you all for joining me on my nine week long learning project journey! I hope that you had as much fun as I did these past few months as I was able to learn and grow each and every time I was able to create a new design. If you want to see more content from me please follow me on Twitter! I hope that you all have a great week and try something new! Thank you for sticking around.

A few more of my classmates are also working on cooking/baking-related projects that you should all take some time and check out as well! Branden Smith focuses on making a new meal from scratch every week for his family members, and then each member rates the meal on a scale from one to ten! Also, Shana Blenkin focuses her blog around baking beautiful confections from bagels, buns, and even sugar cookies (and hopefully this week she will try out churros as per my recommendation hehe)! I highly recommend checking out both of their blogs as I have enjoyed them each and every week.

Until next time,

Sydney

Mission: Cyber Sleuth

Over the past week our focus has been the ideas and understandings of our own digital identities, as well as others. To ensure that we, “we” as in future educators, understand the importance of digital identities we were asked to dig deep into someone else’s digital identity. In break out rooms (groups of five or so) we were asked to focus on someone within the faculty of education for a total time of twenty minutes and write down the following information: professional, biographical, personal, where they are on the web/social media based, our overall impressions, our trust that we have within the person based on their digital identity, and lastly what we would change about their online presence. Within a twenty minute timeframe we had information of all kinds ranging from a photo of their drivers license to what school they teach/coach at. It truly is a lot of information to have on the online world and can also be dangerous when you think about it. This information can be dangerous if it finds its way into the wrong hands. In a TED Talk given by Monica Lewinsky she states “There are no perimeters around how many people can publicly observe you and put you in a public stockade”, which really made me stop and think about how everything that is posted online can be accessed at any given moment by any given person, and they can do anything with that information. Key word: ANY.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

The point of “cyber sleuthing” in this particular case was to see what our digital identities look like from a different perspective. This assignment helps us see and understand from a fellow peers point of view what our future bosses, family members, students, students parents, and the world have access to and are able to see solely based on us as individuals. Personally, I have many forms of social media, including: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, a YouTube channel, Twitter, a blog (which you are currently visiting of course), Snapchat, and VSCO. In an article released by ESPN titled Split Image, the sad truth of social media and the affects it has on humans who face the negatives of social media and even, lose the fight. The article states “Everyone presents an edited version of life on social media. People share moments that reflect an ideal life, an ideal self”, which personally reigns to be true. I post photos that are posed, colour edited, and that show highlights of my life. I never post photos of me on my bad days when the past haunts my memories or when I am feeling down about body image. Rather, I post my highlight reel.

This week I was partnered with Presley Allen to “cyber sleuth” and in reality, I did not find much. In a quick Google search of Presley I found her Twitter account after scrolling over half a page down, I was also able to find her blog but I had to do so through the blog hub that is located on UR Courses, it was not something that Google helped me find. I also found her Facebook account but since I am not her friend on Facebook I am only able see when she changes her profile pictures which the last time was all the way back in 2018. Lastly, I found her YouTube channel which has nothing posted on her feed and her “about” section is left empty and unedited. I also ended up finding her VSCO, sadly it has been inactive since her last post back in the summer of 2019. I could not find an Instagram or Pinterest, my best guess is that the usernames are different from just her first and last name making it difficult to pinpoint. Leaving her digital footprint beyond clean, but also, does not tell me very much about who she is as an individual. I do not know her interests, where she graduated high school, the relationships she finds to be the most important, or what kinds of vacations she enjoys. The most insight I have on her life is her VSCO where it looks like she has a boyfriend, went out with her friends who appear to be holding an alcoholic beverage, and a little trip to Calgary back in 2017. However, since all of these posts are dated, her relationships and ideas may have changed by now. Two years can change a lot and she may have picked up a new hobby during the pandemic but we are not able to confirm this through her social media. I did also take a scroll through her “collection” on VSCO to help me understand what intrigues her enough to push the republish button and I found lots of quotes and images of her and friends on nights out, but the “cyber sleuthing” ends here.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Sadly, I feel like I did not learn a significant amount of information on Presley as an individual. Whether she is purposely trying to keep her online presence slim to none, or if she simply does not enjoy using social media is her story to tell. I truly enjoyed trying to find information about Presley as a person as it became difficult at times and allowed me to think harder and try to dig deeper. Thank you for giving me a run for my money, Presley!

Digital Citizenship in the Classroom

First off, what exactly is digital citizenship? Personally, I had not even heard about digital citizenship until two weeks ago when I was checking the weekly outline for Educational Technologies 300. To break it down for you, digital citizenship is ones presence online and understanding that everything you post online can be seen and acknowledged by anyone and everyone who has access to the internet, and educating others based on this context. Making sure that you are making appropriate and smart decisions before hitting ‘post’ is a very important step. Not just your words but all the images, videos, comments, and shares that you are mindfully take part in everyday, is part of your digital citizenship. Now, it is not bad to have an online presence. In fact it is important in this day and age to have some social media platforms especially those that allow for your employer to get to know you and for others to see what you are essentially bringing into your workplace and your everyday lifestyle. Are you sharing photos of you going to the bar? Slightly problematic and may result in your losing a job. Are you sharing a #selfie at home while doing school work? Not-so problematic and no harm is done to yourself or others. Oversharing can also be a problem too. Your employer or your students parents (if you are an educator) will not appreciate you sharing your schools name, location and ESPECIALLY not your students anywhere on your timeline. Not only is this oversharing but it also impacts lives that are not your own.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

I would also like to introduce Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship, as they are both important and informative. The nine elements are as follows: digital access, digital commerce, digital communication and collaboration, digital etiquette, digital fluency, digital health and welfare, digital law, digital rights and responsibility, and digital security and privacy. So, with these nine elements being introduced to you, and allowing for you to read about what digital citizenship is in a small paragraph, let me ask you a question. In regards to everything you share, post, and the comments you make on other posts, would you be okay with all of those things combined to be posted on a billboard with your name and face next to it? Seriously think about it, and not just the posts you have made now but what about the posts and comments you made as a 13 year old? Always remember to think before you post and before you hit send! Would you want your grandma to see the posts you make on Instagram? Or would you be embarrassed? Again, think before you post! It may seem small once you post it, and you may only have thirty Twitter followers but in this day and age anything you post can be seen by thousands of people around the world.

Now, let’s connect the Saskatchewan Curriculum and Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship. I am in the Elementary Education program so here are some outcomes that I found in the Kindergarten to Grade 5 curriculum.

English Language Arts, Grade 1:

CC1.1 Compose and create a range of visual, multimedia, oral, and written texts that explore and present thoughts on:
• identity (e.g., Feelings)
• community (e.g., Neighbourhood)
• social responsibility (e.g., Plants and Trees).

Indicator: a. Use words, symbols, and other forms, including appropriate
technology, to express understanding of topics, themes, and issues
related to identity, community, and social responsibility.

Social Studies, Grade 3:

RW 3.3 Evaluate the ways in which technologies have impacted daily life.

Indicator: a. Recognize that technology includes more than electronics (i.e.,
paper, forging steel, manufacturing, vehicles, making cloth,
products created for construction).

English Language Arts, Grade 4:

CR4.2 View and respond to visual and multimedia texts (including graphs, charts, diagrams, maps, multimedia DVD, websites, television programs, advertisements, posters), explaining the creator’s technique and the
impact on viewers.

Indicators: a. Discuss visual experiences (e.g., what was seen and the
effectiveness). h. View a multimedia presentation and identify how the language, visual, and multimedia features (e.g., sound, colour, movement) are used to persuade.

Flower Power

Hello everyone! Welcome to or welcome back to my weekly learning project blog where I am able to document both the highs and the lows of decorating sugar cookies. To start off, lets recap on what cookie designs we have created so far just to remember how far we have come! From week number one to week eight I have created a circle, cacti, clouds, mermaid tails, ice-cream cones, crowns, seashells, and this week our shape is flowers! Next week will be my final week of the learning project meaning that I only have one more design to prove how far I have come when it comes to decorating and creating the perfect consistency when it comes to royal icing.

So this week did not go as I had originally hoped it would, I was so proud of my seashells from last week and was ready to get back in the kitchen to decorate my floral shaped cookies. However, that was not the case. The cookies baked perfectly as the dough was nice and soft and easy to cut and shape. They baked without any cracks on the surface and cooled overnight in my cookie tray. I knew that I wanted to take a bold approach to the cookies and create four different colours of icing so that there would be more variety. I found it especially important to change up the tone of the colours I chose so that each batch of cookies would be able to stand out from week to week rather than having a pink shade or pastel blue every single week. I made two batches of royal icing and split each batch in half to make four different bowls of icing. For the colour palette I ended up deciding on a deeper blue, orange, green, and a darker purple tone then I would usually opt for.

My week eight blank canvas!
Base coat is on, and dried.

I started out with my base coat for each cookie where I applied a basic flooding method, and allowed them to dry for about an hour before I decided to continue the decorating process by adding some extra details and fun elements to my flowers. I found an image on Pinterest a week prior to baking my sugar cookies so that I could have an outline of what I wanted to do and what I had hoped my final project would be. I knew that I wanted to do centres that did not match the base colour as well as create a ribbon/lifted effect on the edges. I put all four colours of icing into the piping bag, turned on some YouTube videos to play in the background, and began to pipe the ribbons and centres onto my flowers.

My final product hopes. Photo credit: Pinterest

Sadly, the final product did not turn out exactly how I wanted them to. I knew that the shapes of the flowers were different of course, but my finalized centres and some of my ribbons were not standing out the way I had hoped. If you look at the image of what I wanted them to look like you are able to see how to icing looks more puffed than flat. But my icing did not want to stay as puffed in the centre. This week I was also watching tons of compilations of cookie decorating on YouTube. I truly want cookie decorating to be something that I am able to take pride in with each and every batch I create. As well as being able to use an airbrush, stencils, brushes, stamps, etc.

Cookie decorating that I hope to one day perfect myself.

My final product is not my favourite, but not my worst creation. Having this week not go as well as I had planned for, makes me want to watch even more videos on both YouTube and TikTok and practice multiple times this week so that my final product is one to remember!

Final Product!

If you are interested in sneak peeks of my weekly learning project, educational articles, and picture of my small shop finds, then follow me on Twitter.

A few more of my classmates are also working on cooking/baking-related projects that you should all take some time and check out as well! Branden Smith focuses on making a new meal from scratch every week for his family members, and then each member rates the meal on a scale from one to ten! Also, Shana Blenkin focuses her blog around baking beautiful confections from bagels, buns, and even sugar cookies! I highly recommend checking out both of their blogs as I have enjoyed them each and every week. A word of caution though, they will both make you hungry!

See you all next week for the finale of sugar cookies and royal icing!