Final Project Summary

Sitting down to summarize and compose all of my learning has made me aware of a few things. First, I learned a lot! I was eager to take on this project but yet at times felt I was trying to go in too many directions. As I wrote about in my first update I had many questions which were leading me in many different directions. Add in all of the topics from our class each week which then led me down other paths, I now know it was not possible to do it all. Second, I learned a lot about myself. This was a semester like no other which presented many unique challenges. Looking back, I wish I would have blogged more about my progress in order to get feedback and responses from EC&I 832 community. I kept notes and information but waited as I felt there was still a lot of time left to work on putting things together. How wrong was I! However, I am happy with what I learned and I put my project together based on the initial questions I developed to guide my personal journey into media.

Here are the links to all of my previous posts that document my learning:

I started with really diving into the Procedures and Policies that exist within my school division. While I was aware the administrative procedures existed I will admit I had not read them all from start to finish. After reading through many, I pulled out the eight that specifically deal with technology and social media. It was interesting an informative to read the procedures my school division has developed. In particular Admin Procedure 118 – Online Communication and Interaction/Social Media. This speaks to many of the topics we discussed over the semester and the stance my school division takes:

  • 4.6 – Personal online interactions with students and parents, except those for instructional and or school related purposes, are not permitted.
  • Guideline – Staff/students are encouraged to maintain separate online accounts if they chose to maintain professional and personal online interactions.

Examining all of these procedures led me to a closer look at the procedures that are in place for using software, apps, and online services. While I knew about the approved/not approved apps I had never taken a close look at the list that exists. I know it can be discouraging for teachers to not be able to use an app or website they discover because it has not been approved. By taking the time to examine the criteria that is used and then looking at the terms of service and privacy policies it is clear why some would be denied. Prior to this class, I really had never taken the time to read a terms of service or privacy policy. While they can be difficult to get through, they hold very important information. Just because we see something has educational value is not enough to warrant giving away personal information for our students. It is reassuring to know that procedures and policies are in place to checking security and privacy. While this is done by individuals based out of the school division office, I believe that more teachers need to be aware of the approved/rejected list and why it exists. This became very apparent when we moved to online teaching. Many had never heard of it and began signing students up for accounts on all different types of websites.

After looking through all of the procedures and polices I used that lens as I looked at Wakelet, TikTok, and Seesaw. I was pleased to be introduced to Wakelet and found it useful in my own learning during this class. Currently Wakelet is not listed on my school division’s approved/not approved list. As mentioned in my review, students under 13 cannot have an account on Wakelet. Therefore, using it with classes in elementary school would require the teacher to create collections so that students could collaborate through the teachers account. Regardless of how it used, I see value and hope that it would be a site that my school division would approve. One of the questions that is required on the request form asks if a similar product is already approved and available for use in the Division. By looking at the list I feel the answer is no and therefore it fills a void that exists.

It was fun exploring TikTok. While I was not brave enough to make and post a video (but who knows what this staying a home will bring!) I did enjoy seeing all of the very creative people that are out there. While I can appreciate and see the value in creativity and creating videos I’m not sure that it would be an app that could easily be used. Based on privacy policies and the mature content that is easily accessible I don’t believe it would receive approval for use in my school division. As I stated in my review, aside from privacy issues, I feel that there are other products already approved and available for use in my division that would provide students with similar tools.

SeeSaw was the one I knew the most about. I left it to the end for that exact reason and therefore my exploration was cut short. While I was familiar with the functions of SeeSaw I had hoped to dig deeper into different uses. In particular, discussions with a teacher at my school who uses SeeSaw regularly with grades 7 and 8 for feedback and reflection. SeeSaw is typically used in the primary grades in my school division and I had hoped to spend some time looking into the similarities and differences with how it is used with older students. However, COVID-19 quickly halted my plans. While I couldn’t finish out my project how I had originally hoped to, I am definitely now immersed in SeeSaw with all of our online learning! New challenges are emerging and I am learning all kinds of things alongside the teachers who are using it. I plan on taking advantage of the tutorials and training SeeSaw has provided in order to be able to better support the teachers I work with.

So while this project did not fully come to completion, I learned a lot. One of the best pieces of advice Alec shared this semester that I really took to heart was, “compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to someone else today”. When I reflect back to where I was in January it is clear to me not only did I learn about content but also who I am as a digital learner. This class pushed me out of comfort zones I didn’t know I was in and really prepared me for all the Zoom meetings that have unexpectedly become part of my day to day life! I look forward to reading through everyone’s posts about their own final projects. I have learned so much from you all! Thank you EC&I 832.



One thought on “Final Project Summary

  1. christinapatt13 April 13, 2020 / 3:55 pm

    Hello Laurie! Great work on your Major Project! I like what you say about coming out of a comfort zone you didn’t know you were in! I so relate to that! I find it so interesting that so much of the content on this class is brand new to us. I learned a lot from your post about privacy and policies. I had an idea that these existed but had never thoroughly looked into them before. What a great time to learn and understand our divisions policies. Having an understanding of these and of the approved/not approved apps must be a great help right now for you to be able to explain to the teachers you support.
    I also started looking into TikTok but took a different turn. I have also not been brave enough to post a video. 😝 Wakelet was new to me as well and has been a great tool for me.
    This has been a great journey of learning. I’ve enjoyed reading your progress and am grateful to have been able to learn along side of you! Great work! 😊


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