Beyond the Glass

Reflections on education in a connected world. Jackie Sakatch

Final Reflections on Creating a Digital Identity with Children


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Tim & Selena Middleton

A final reflection is a bit of a misnomer because the work of creating and supporting young learners in digital spaces will be part of my teaching practice from this day forward. My learning journey has begun but by no means have I reached the end of the road.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by daveynin

I am proud and comfortable with the steps that I have taken to become more aware of resources available to support young people online and the actions that I have taken so far to make their learning activities a success. Highlights of these step and blog posts that reflect and document the growth are below:

Updated classroom blog that includes a Twitter account

Teach children to Tweet and comment on blog post.

We made a beautiful painting on canvas. We are proud of our painting. We painted the picture using team work. pic.twitter.com/jgLG1zY20Z

— Jackie Sakatch (@MrsSakatch) November 13, 2013

Develop and maintain a YouTube channel with my son.

Curate Digital Citizenship Resources for parents and teachers


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by David Goehring

Next Steps

I plan to continue to use Twitter in my classroom.  I want to expand the number of blogs that my students comment on and work with them to create entries for our classroom blog.  Eventually I would like to connect with other classrooms through Skype.  I am hoping to visit Kathy Cassidy’s classroom in the new year to see first hand how she supports her learners with technology and individual student blogs.    Cory Antonini, our consultant stopped me in the hallway last week and mentioned that he had another teacher who would like to start to connecting their  classrooms through Twitter and that he had another idea for me to try.  I am excited to explore other learning opportunities.  In the future I would like to explore creating individual student blogs or learning portfolios.

My son has numerous plans and ideas for his YouTube channel.  I feel it is my job to support him but to also stay out of his way and allow him to create his own learning path.  He has mentioned that he would like to create a playlist for his videos and wanting to create more videos where he interviews people.  Perhaps he will create his own blog.

The Digital Citizen Resources LiveBinder that I have created is easy to use and I plan to continue to add content.

Final Thought


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Bart Everson

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Summary of Learning

My goal for this term was to develop an understanding of how to use social media and open education with children in grade one and two  and to begin to use the material I was using in my classroom and at home with my son.  When I thought about creating my Summary of Learning, I felt that it was important to stay with the theme of working with children online so I decided to have my son interview me about my experiences in #eci831.   Below is the interview outline that I created.

Today we are going to about my mom’s social media and open education university class. 

What did you learn about social media? 

What did you learn in your class that you can use in your classroom? 

  • Updated the classroom blog, added Twitter, and have started tweeting with my class.
  • I am thinking about how I can experiment with the Makey Makey in my classroom.
  • I talk to kids about Mindcraft and other games that are important to them and try to include the things that kids learn from games in my teaching.

How do you help your kids stay safe online? 

  • Model how to be safe
  • Talk about being a good citizen – on and offline – you need to be the same on and offline.  Both interactions are real.
  • Monitor students activities
  • It is important not just to create content but also to comment on other people’s content.
  • Computer equipment stays in an open place in our house.
  • Monitoring and posting Ben’s videos on YouTube

What is open education?

  • Sharing and using materials that have been licensed to be used.  You need to look at the license that a picture or song is put online and be respectful of the person that posted it.  You need to be aware of copyright.  Creative Commons Search
  • Do you know when you brainstorm – and one person has an idea and then the next person adds to that idea – being an open educator means you are part of a community where you add to the ideas of others, you might reuse their materials in a different way and you let others use your materials.  You use pingbacks in your blog to build on and support ideas in your blog.  You are generous with your ideas and materials.
  • MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – Two types – One that focuses on teaching you content from a prescribe course outline and the other where you work as a community to generate and support each other.


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Mary St George

My Commitment to Further Learning

  1. Continue to use Twitter in the classroom.  Develop a 140 square grid to help my children create tweets.  Add a Twitter job to our classroom jobs so that tweeting becomes an embedded part of my instructional practice.
  2. In my classroom follow and comment on other classroom blogs and learning.
  3. Continue to work with my son to develop his digital identity and YouTube channel.  When he is ready, I would like to help him develop his own blog.
  4. Be respectful and mindful of copyright.  Search for and use materials that are licensed through Creative Commons.
  5. When I upload material, I will use a Creative Commons license so that I communicate my intentions for that material.
  6. Continue to be an active community member on Twitter by adding members to my Professional Learning Network, contributing materials and ideas, and participating in chats.
  7. Explore and experiment with new online tools and ideas using my PLN for support if I require help.
  8. Continue to follow and read blogs created by other educators.
  9. Continue to blog.
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Blog Renovations and Improvements

tools of the trade

This weekend I started to make this blog my blog instead of a blog that I am creating for a University course.  I started by adding a tag cloud and a widget that shows the blog I follow.  I also personalized the blog by adding a Professional Development page.  All teachers in Regina Public Schools are required to document their Professional Learning and Development.  In the past, I have completed a goal form that I have shared with my administrator and colleague.  I wanted to show my learning in a digital format.  I have added the University classes I have taken and the Provincial Math Learning Community that I am a member.  I am thinking about the format that I want to use to add my Professional Development goals to the page.

Another decision I made was to add a digital citizenship resources page.  I thought it was important to compile some resources for teachers and parents to help them feel comfortable having their children become members of the connected world. While I am helping my son develop his digital identity through his YouTube channel and I work with my students to send out Tweets and comment on blog posts I often thought about what I needed to say to make sure that the children and I had the necessary skills to be good digital citizens.   I created a blog page for this and started to embed videos and links but I found the list complicated and hard to scroll through so I decided to try livebinders. I have had a livebinders  binder posted on my literacy links page of my classroom blog for the last number of year.  I had never created my own livebinders binder.  As I was reading blogs, I noticed that Greg, Lyane, and Rochelle  all mention using it to organize resources.   I liked the tutorial livebinders provides when you first create your account.  I found them helpful but not too complicated.  I embedded the binder into my digital citizenship page and deleted all my other links that I had added earlier.

I would love to hear any comments you have about my blog improvements.
Children at school

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Creativity, Play, Technology and FUN!

This summer I had the pleasure of participating in The Play, Art and Narrative Summer Institute at the University of Regina.  In The Creative Arts:  A Process Approach for Teachers and Children Wallas stages of the creative process are outlined.  Wallas’s stages include preparation, incubation, illumination and verification.  Balkin’s idea of the “re” factor is added to Wallas’s model.  The “re” factor is

The creative person must continually rethink, reconsider, replace, refine, redo, reaffirm, reprocess, rewrite and re conceptualize.  What better lesson could children learn in coping with life than the importance of the “re” component? (1990, p.30).

This first video examines how concern of parents for their children’s safety leads parents to have their children play inside more frequently and participate in structured activities reducing children’s access and time for free play activities. The video shows how parents use technology to keep track of their children.  If we build a society that is based on mistrust how do we teach our children to trust and to be trustworthy.  I watched the Sext up Kids video (Warning:  Adult content) and I wonder if by placing technology in the hands of my child to act as a watchdog replaces trusting them to make decisions about what is safe.  If I do not allow my children to walk home after school and go to the park to play without a monitoring device  do I as a parent fail to teach them the necessary lessons of making good decisions?   Do I make them  vulnerable to using their devise to share pictures of themselves in ways that they later regret by not teaching them to make decision?   In the video Elaine Raakman discuss her work with children in organized sports.  She describing how when children are given a task outside of a structured setting they do not know how to think for themselves and they lack of creative problem solving skills.  Elaine lists the skills learned through free play as cooperation, communication, creative problem solvers, and conflict resolution.   The leaders on the playground were the risk takers and children were much freer to take risks when adults were not around.  I would hypothesize that the same principals could be applied to the use of technology with children.  If we give children the opportunity to explore with technology with some guidance, expectations and support but trust them to make decisions about what is appropriate content to view.  They will develop the skills necessary to navigate digital literacy in a safe manner or know when they need to ask for help.

In the following TED talk Lawrence Lessig discusses how children naturally play with the digital tools that are available to them.  He discusses the societal shift from a Read-Write culture to a Read Only culture and back t a Read-Write culture with the development of the internet.  The internet provides opportunities for “usg” user generated content.  People produce amateur content for the love of being creative not for the purpose of making money.  This content is what children produce all the time by taking songs and remixing them.  The tools of the film industry have become tools of digital literacy that children are naturally drawn to.   Lessig goes on to say that our current laws should be reevaluate to give artists the freedom to allow amateur to use their content and remove the stigmatize of piracy from what children naturally due with their digital knowledge.

I am reminded of my own remixing experience this week when I was experimenting with iMovie.  I read the help screen about adding music to a movie and was under the impress that I could use anything in a movie from my iTunes account that was not blocked.  I  added a soundtrack to my movie project from my iTunes account which I believed I had permission to use because it was not blocked like some of the track.  I then added photos to the song to create a slideshow.  When I tried to upload the iMovie to Facebook I received an email notification and a notification in Facebook when I opened my account that I had violated copyright.  I believe that I could create the slideshow in iMovie using the soundtrack but once I tried to share it I had violated copyright  law.  An honest mistake.

Kirby Ferguson in Embracing the remix shares his idea that everything that we  create is a remix.  We take the ideas of people that come before us and remix it to create new content that we share and that in turn is remixed by someone else.  Ferguson points out the irony of Patent Act of 1790   which was developed “To promote the progress of the Useful arts” and how by patenting technology will impede the progress of the arts.  I think back to the work of Balkin and the creative process that parallels what Ferguson is saying about everything being a remix.  One way that children play today is through digital means.  They create, share and consume content through play.  I wonder what new discoveries children will find through digital play?

Related content

http://ashleybeyoung.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/sext-up-kids/

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Creating Channel Art for Awesome Tube 2

This week I worked with my son to post videos to his YouTube channel.  He was very excited when someone subscribed to his channel.

Once I figured out a routine to upload videos to YouTube the process became less frustrating.  Creating the channel art for the YouTube channel was a challenge.  The YouTube help page provided some support.  Channel art is the banner on your YouTube page.  My son wanted a red background with a title in white font.  That seemed easy enough.  We created a page in word and printed it out, took a picture and tried uploading it.  This method didn’t work because I could not get the picture to be the correct size.   aawesome tube

Then I signed up for Custom Design page that was recommended on a YouTube video I watched.  I had trouble being able to modify the designs.  I watched another YouTuvbe video which suggested that you use paint to create the channel art.

Attempt one after watching this video created this banner.  Benja1  The banner was not the right size.

Attempt number two with a lot of help from my husband created this  aaaaa channel art that was the right size and looks wonderful.

I am wondering if anyone else has experience with creating Channel Art and if you have found an easier method?

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Frustrated and Inefficient

I retweeted this link this morning. I thought that 100 Twitter accounts for Teachers would be a wonderful way to build my Professional Learning Network.  I did find a few people that I was already following like Sue Waters  , Alec Couros, and George Couros.  I found a number of interesting people to follow on twitter including Angela Maiers and Chris Wejr.  As I was going through the list of suggested Twitter accounts I must admit I became frustrated by the process of clicking on a Twitter account listed on the website, following them on Twitter and then returning to the Tweet to get back to the website to click on the next account to see if I was interested.  I wished a subscribe to all accounts option was available and then I could have looked through the new followers and unfollowed accounts I did not want to connect to.

Today I started to work with my son to develop his digital identity.  He wants to create a YouTube channel so that he can post videos and share them with the world.  I decided to create this channel through my Google account so that I would have control over the comments and the content that he is able to post.  Before doing this we discussed the possibilities that someone might leave a mean comment and what we would do about it and how it would make him feel.  We talked about the possibility that if the comments made him uncomfortable we might have to change the settings on the account so that he felt safe.

Once I felt he was prepared we started to create the YouTube channel.  He had specific ideas about what he wanted to call the channel he has been talking about this for the last two months.  I went into my Google account to create a channel for him.  Then I started to upload the first  video from dropbox to  YouTube.  It uploaded but it was not full screen.  I then tried editing the video in iMovie and then sharing them on YouTube.  That did not work.  So I saved it to my Camera Roll on my phone and tried uploading from there to YouTube.  That got the video to my account on YouTube but not into the Awesome Tube 2 channel.  After some searching I tried downloading the video from my channel to my computer and then uploading it from my computer to Awesome Tube 2.  The video is still processing.

I imagine there is an easier way.  I hate this feeling of having a bunch of steps to follow but in the end I still don’t end up with the information where I wanted it.  Why is it so difficult to move a movie from my phone to YouTube?

138/365 Frustrated.

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