My heart will go on and so will the cooking

As I write this final post for my ECMP 355 course I am becoming quite sad. I truly enjoyed this class for a few reasons: there was a great teacher, the subject area was of great interest and use to me, and finally that I got to take time to learn something I have learned to love.800px-Food_with_love.jpg

Before this class I was a classic student; I ate a lot of ramen and kraft dinner and as a server I also ate a lot of food from work. When I would cook it was extremely simple and I followed a recipe quite strictly. I have enjoyed baking for a long time; when baking you must follow the recipe diligently to receive a perfect product.


Over the course of this semester, on top of learning more about technology and education, I learned how to cook proper meals. This was quite the undertaking as I tend to be broke most of the time and don’t have a lot of spare time. I believed that cooking well meant you needed the best ingredients and that it would involve slaving away in a kitchen all day. I was so pleased when my first cooking endeavor took less than two hours. My first post was lemon honey chicken and asparagus and hassle back potatoes. This was a delicious meal that was not overly expensive and tasted very good. I then followed it with my barbeque challenge. Later on, I tried pan-frying a marinated steak with a broccoli cheddar twice baked potato. My next endeavor involved collaborating with a fellow classmate, Tanya. She and I made a peach and basil pizza vegan style; her learnnig project was to learn how to cook vegan. Each of these required less than 50 dollars, gave me two servings and was delicious.

I loved using Pinterest to find new exciting things to cook. At this point I began to feel more comfortable in the kitchen, I started stocking up on groceries and cooking more often for myself. I even made my own homemade hamburger helper, it was quite good to be honest, but needed more cheese. My last two posts were focused on creating casserole-like meals which I could portion and use for lunches for more time. Part of my reasoning for choosing cooking was so I would feel more comfortable, but also so I would start eating better food and taking better care of myself. Learning to make the cottage pie and the lasagna were two of my biggest cooking accomplishments thus far. I learned how to make bulk meals that tasted good, were broke student friendly and would last a long time. I am so glad I was able to take this time to learn the art of cooking so I might continue on my own. I will continue to use Pinterest and hopefully keep updating my blog so you can continue to follow my journey as I attempt to further my love and skills in the art of cooking.




I can’t believe it’s over

In ECMP 355 I have learned so many things, and have become open to more possible uses for technology in the classroom. Each week we explored new and exciting subjects that have helped me to explore more than I ever knew was accessible online. In this video, I go over some of the key points I have retained over the course of this semester. Some of the main topics include digital identity and citizenship, communication, staying safe and the consequences of poor decisions, exploring new resources, upgrading software and operating systems etc.. Watch my summary of learning and please feel free to ask anything or share your thoughts.

I am so grateful to Katia and my classmates for all their guidance and support along the way. I would not have learned as much as I did and be so intrigued if it hadn’t been for all of you. Have a great summer and good luck in the future.

Help me to help you

Sadly, my journey in ECMP 355 is coming to its close. I have loved every moment, every lesson and every resource shared over the course of this semester. I have worked hard on building my digital identity, posting things I am passionate about, and finally helping out my fellow classmates. I am known as a silent helper because I prefer to read and only comment if I feel I have something of value to add. I try to help during the class by responding to questions and helping clarify some topics via chat on zoom. I also try to comment on blogs, retweet classmate’s posts and follow them on twitter. I know that each comment and like I receive has helped me to improve and to learn. I wish I had been able to help more on the google plus community but never knew the anwsers, the few times I did the person already had the anwser before I was able. I am glad I had the chance to help my classmates and support them through this class. I know some people struggled with certain things but my classmates were always willing to offer support and guidance. I personally made a padlet hoping my classmates would add something that represented how they felt about technology around the halfway point of the class.

Made with Padlet

I was saddened when I only had two responders to this padlet in addition to myself. I also tried to build personal relationships with the students. I started with Tanya. We met to make a vegan pizza and I made a post describing the incredible experience we had. I loved having the chance to put a face to the name on my computer screen during out zoom meetings. We had a chance to discuss our experiences in the class and to help expand our PLN (professional learning network).

My next attempt was attempting to work with Fallan as a partner for the summary of learning. I chose Fallan because she was in Regina and we had taken the same KHS class the year before. This was sadly a failed attempt but it was worth trying. I love the idea of our classmates working together to help each other grow. I would have loved to take this class during the year where we would have had more time to meet more people and make more of a small community. Thankfully all the students stayed active on google plus, chats and blogs as well as social media. This was a great experience and I hope our classmates stay connected.

contributions images are also available here.

One moment, One decision, One mistake.

In my previous posts I talk often of my complicated view on technology. I love the possibilities and the connections, but I fear the side effects such as cyber bullying and blackmail. The online world can be a loving community or a horrible depressive leach. When used for good, sharing can be beneficial for yourself and others, but when misused it can spread lies, or be used to cause harm. One example of how sharing information using technology allowed for the harm of another is with the Bill Clinton affair. Monica Lewinsky worked for the president, they had an affair and someone was recording them. Later on, over 20 hours of audio had been recorded and shared with the public. The media was booming with stories, photos and suspicions. During her Ted Talk she discusses what she went through and the effects it had on her life She also explains how the new arrival of more modern technology played a huge factor in her public humiliation.

Monica Lewinsky is a strong woman who has made the best of her situation. Another person who has truly suffered from cyberbullying and public humiliation was Amanda Todd. Amanada and I were quite close in age, so she and I both grew up in the age of technology. Everywhere I looked there was always something new and exciting. I loved using my webcam to chat with people online, but like Amanda, I always found perverted men wanting something more than conversation. I was able to avoid any temptation on that front, I tried to focus more of the safer websites and technologies. Sadly, I also remember her posting a video before she killed herself.

Amanda was a lover of music, singing, dancing and compliments. She started using her camera to record herself singing and dancing, which is where she felt most confident. She later began meeting people online trying to make friends and gain followers. Some of the followers she gained were pedophiles and ‘cappers’ – a new breed of cyber-predators who systematically stalk websites looking for girls on webcams, flatter them into performing sexual acts, then capture their images.  One day Amanda had over 100 people watching her on Blogtv and she made the mistake of flashing them her breasts. There was a screenshot done, and at that exact moment her life changed forever. People started sharing these photos on porn sites, and sending them to all Amanda’s Facebook friends, including her mother. This was a very difficult time for her, she became depressed due to the cyberbullying and humiliation at school. She made this video as a cry for help, one that never came.

Here we see that Amanda would never go back to that happy young girl who wanted to sing and dance and see the good in people. She was being blackmailed, and her family tried to fight to keep her safe. The police were aware of the situation but did not take action. She later ended up killing herself because she was no longer able to fight. In this video, we see a more detailed story of Amanda Todd and her mother talks about her side as well.

The mother said she wanted justice, in January of 2014 Aydin C was apprehended in the Netherlands for internet fraud and blackmail. Aydin Coban, 38, was also charged in relation to alleged abuse of 34 other young girls and five gay men. They found him guilty and gave him the maximum possible sentence, calling his behaviour “astonishing.” This goes to show how one person could cause so much harm. Sadly, Carol Todd will never get her daughter back, but justice was found for her. There are many young people who have also suffered due to cyberbullying and were not given that chance. Amanda was loved greatly and will be missed. My hope is that one day people will stop using the internet for bad, and try to help push our young people to be the best version of themselves, and also that the necessary measures are taken to keep them safe. If you or anyone you know if suffering from cyberbullying, make sure the right people are aware and try to show your support so they know they aren’t alone.

Sources used:
Amanda Todd’s accused cyberbully sentenced to 11 years in Dutch prison

Twitter to free speach

So, lets talk about something a little more complex, online social activism. I began my twitter account for my ECMP 355 course, and I have slowly started to love it. My favorite part is that you can see what others are saying about the same topics via hashtags and can comment, retweet and follow your tweets. Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media allow for more sharing and honesty than every before. I find that political social activism is important for online users to access because often times the news portray one side of the story, lie or ignore the issues. Before technology became so present in society it was easier for countries to cover up protests, death and other crimes. Since the massive spread of technology more people have the ability to follow political movements around the globe. This one video talks about how social activism and social media helped push the Tunisians and share their strife, check it out.

As you can see, technology and social media can be used as a tool to help better the world. It is important to share your thought and feel empowered.

“Many people lost their fear through Twitter and Facebook – each one writing a little sentence or a word and someone else reading that and saying, ‘Oh he say that, I can say a little bit more’,” Cherif told Al Jazeera.

A lot of people, when going through devastation and injustice feel powerless and scared. Twitter and Facebook allowed these people to share their stories and opinions to help them feel more secure and to gain support. I believe it is important for people to share their stories and rally behind each other to help further our society. One person’s post could be all the difference is cases of severe chaos. On the other hand, I do believe it must go further than just online activism, if you truly believe in something you must fight for it. This Ted Talk talks about some of the good and bad involving social activism.

All in all, I believe people have a responsibility to stay aware of the world around them. Some people are satisfied staying in the dark, but most people want to fight for each other and themselves. Social media and online activism is essential to help build a community and rally supporters. After the support starts that is when real action must be taken if there is any hope of effecting the necessary changes. I think of online activism as the gateway to a world of responsible citizens, justice and equality.

Not everything is how it seems in the movies!

This week for ECMP 355 we were tasked with exploring the world of code. I personally have always wanted to learn to code but that won’t be happening, like ever. I feel the amount of time and the proper guidance are not reasonable for myself. Many of my favorite tv shows and movies involve a hacker/coder, I actually have a list of my five favorites:

    1. Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds.
    2. Huck, Charlie and Quinn Perkins from Scandal.
    3. The digital consciousness of Arnim Zola from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
    4. Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow from multiple Avengers movies.
    5. Skye from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

I am definitely aware that these are fictional characters, but I love what most of them stand for; they wanted access to more and they knew how to get it. I may never have coding skills near the level of the professionals, however I found that was a reliable source for me to play my hand at some basic coding skills. The site offers many different levels, games and time commitments. I did one of the hour of learning options. I am a huge fan of Star Wars so the choice was quite easy. Through the process there were rules and helpful hints to guide me. I think this is a great resource for students as there are many different options but they are all educational and entertaining. I had a hard time with a few levels as you could see in my screen casts. Coding is a great skill which is becoming more accessible due to the development of new technologies. It is important for students to have access to try new things and to learn along the way. Try it out and let me know what you think.


So last week I started to explain my love for cheese. This adoration began with my mother and grandmothers cooking. Some of the staples of my household included macaroni and cheese with hotdogs, lasagna, pork chops with apple sauce, letcho (but it was my grandfather’s recipe from Hungary which had some specific changes to the regular) there was also a variety of other meals that varied constantly. We were also big fans of going out and eating out. I remember going out every Tuesday because my grandmother loved toonie Tuesday at KFC. Part of me has come to realize that the reason I eat out all the time is that I never really learned to cook a meal. My family was never one to cook a turkey for thanksgiving, and when my family cooked they never asked my sister and I to help or watch. This is the backbone of my lack of knowledge in the food world.

This learning project helped me realize how fun cooking can be, and also how much I love cheese. Look at the recipes I have cooked; the twice baked potato with broccoli and cheese, the cottage pie, hassleback potatoes and peach pizza with homemade vegan mozzarella. Every post I have done involved cheese in some way, except my barbeque challenge. This lasagna was a masterpiece of cheese so let’s start right at the start of the wheel. I began by finding a recipe that was simple but looked delicious, and found this one! I also knew I wanted to do a garlic cheese toast because well yummy! Who doesn’t love some toast to soak up and sauce and juice left from the main course? This recipe required many ingredients so I made a trip to the grocery store and found all I needed.20170619_182443

The recipe started out easily enough the noodles I got heat in the oven so that saved me a step. I started by browning some chopped onion and some fresh minced garlic in a pan. I also started cooking the ground beef and then added the onion mixture to the same pan. After it was all cooked I drained it.

I also had to mix up some tomato paste, sauce and a few other ingredients to make my lasagna meat sauce.


Next step was to begin layering the lasagna, I didn’t realize the pans I got were too small so I had to adjust and make two lasagnas which made this even more challenging. I started by greasing the pans and adding the first layer of meat sauce, followed by the noodles. I then added the cottage cheese, the mozzarella and a tex mex mixed shredded cheese (my own little touch). The layers continued one more time and then off to the second pan repeating the same sequence.

I put those in the oven and then went to the bread. I started by softening some salted butter with garlic and smothering it on to my French loaf which I cut in half lengthwise horizontally. I then cooked that for a short time and added the cheese. Because I made two lasagnas I used all the mozzarella so I only used the tex mex. I then replaced it into the oven. Finally I was able to remove first the bread, and later on the lasagna. Let it be known that it was delicious! Stay tuned for my next cooking adventure!

Who dosen’t love cheese?

For this weeks post I decided to make one of my favorite meals when I was a child. This time I decided to do it without using a recipe, so all by myself. This was a test to see how much I had learned so far. I knew the basics as I have made it before but never quite like this. I took all the things I liked about shepherds pie and decided to give it my all. Interestingly enough Oh, how I love Shepherd’s pie. Or is it Cottage pie? I found online that shepards pie is also known as cottage pie, the difference being that shepards pie is made with lamb and cottage pie is made with beef. Think of it this way, shepards watch sheep and most cottages in the wilderness will have one or two cows. I also found that there are many versions of this pie, check out this link to learn more. 

I started by deciding what I wanted in the pie, the typical groceries came to mind; cheese, potatoes, milk, salt, ground beef, peas, corn and a gravy-like sauce. I knew the first few steps; peel the potatoes and boil them, defrost and brown the ground beef and of course preheating the oven.  I also had to heat the peas and corn and then mix it with the ground beef after it was drained. The next step was to use this handy little gravy packet to make the beef extra saucy and flavourful. I mixed the ground beef and vegetables in with the sauce and put it on the bottom layer of the dish.20170601_174212

My next step was to complete the mashed potato topping, not to brag but I have been told my mashed potatoes are delicious. I mashed the potatoes while adding some milk and butter. I then added a little garlic powder and paprika to spice it up. This made the second layer of the dish. I then topped it with a nice layer of sharp cheddar cheese. Let it be known that cheese is one of my favorite things on this planet because it is part of all the best dishes. I love; cottage pie, mac and cheese, cheese burgers, pizza, fondue and of course poutine. What Canadian doesn’t love poutine. Anyway, I then put the dish in the oven at 375 degrees.20170601_175301

35 minutes later I removed my dish from the oven and let it cool. Finally, buda bing buda boom I had my pie! Let it be known it was delicious! Next week I will be making lasagna, another one of my cheesy friends.

understanding is the first step to success

So, I need to talk about the idea of tech in the classroom; I have a very complicated view on this subject. In my opinion tech should only be used in the classroom after the teacher feels comfortable with the equipment and is ready to monitor the students’ activity online, and is able to do so. I feel the younger children would have less need for vigorous monitoring as they would be using basic tools and applications, as opposed to the older students who use it on a daily basis. Thankfully for me I am aiming to teacher the younger years where you will need to be very active in helping your students reach the website or game and learn to use it.

8eba11a5c7d565f45e0b195ac9043ef9When you plop a laptop or tablet into the lap of a 13-year-old student they will be off onto their own sites faster than you can say “be safe” or “be smart”. I think that when used correctly, and introducing active learning through technology you could have a huge success on your hands. However, I feel that when leaving kids to their own devices to search the web it can be opening the floodgates into a whole world of possibly unexplored territory for the teacher.  When high school students have access to the online world they can access anything they want by the clicking of a few buttons and a few cleaver searches.

On the other hand, Technology ushers in fundamental structural changes that can be integral to achieving significant improvements in productivity. Used to support both teaching and learning, technology infuses classrooms with digital learning tools, such as computers and hand-held devices; expands course offerings, experiences, and learning materials; supports learning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; builds 21st century skills; increases student engagement and motivation; and accelerates learning. Technology also has the power to transform teaching by ushering in a new model of connected teaching.

hqdefaultI love the possible benefits of technology in the classroom but fear the possibility of my students gaining access to inappropriate or illegal things. The possibilities for success and failure are endless. I think that if students are taught the basics of digital identity, how to be safe on a computer, how to understand what they are doings, how to be safe and responsible and how to be smart online technology would be the greatest gift to the school system. The first step to success in this world is understanding, comfort and appreciation. After that the rest can be learned over time with the help of many other tech-savvy responsible digital citizens.

I’m a cybersleuth; Sorry Molly this one is for you!

So, for this weekly post I have been tasked with cybersleuthing/cyberstalking a willing volunteer, thankfully miss Molly Yungmann offered herself as tribute. I decided just to use google for this one as it tends to give me the results I need. Also, because google keeps tabs of things I have searched so it knows I want the molly from the University of Regina who is also taking my ECMP355 course. So, the first results were all from sport websites as Molly has been involved in sports and athletic since she was a young girl. She is a pentathlete for the Regina cougars. She was born in the small community of St. Gregor in Saskatchewan in 1998. She is the oldest of three children and went to a small school with 8 students at her age level at Anaheim school.

11378118She is currently a first-year student at the university of Regina studying secondary math education as well as inclusive education. She claims to be very passionate about working with kids, which is seen through her coaching of younger groups of children and her blogs about me section. A bunch of her scores and results for sporting events are also tagged to her as well as many nice images. I also found her on Instagram (private account), WordPress, Twitter and Snapchat as mollymyoungmann. I was surprised to be unable to find her on Facebook, that sneaky girl. All in all, I think she has a very professional and active online life. I enjoyed the experience of stalking her, although I felt kind of creepy. However, she volunteered as tribute and lucky for her, her privacy setting and the odds were definitely in her favor on this one.