Louise’s Blog


I designed my website, called ENGLISH WITH KONDOS, with a novel study in mind.  Every year I feel that I have not spent enough time on Lord of the Flies. This time I plan to spend the whole of the third term on it. It is not a long term, but long enough to really dig in, and give the students opportunity to manage their own learning, and to produce a project that will test their analytical and design skills, and challenge them to make some moral and ethical commitment.

Here is a link:  www.englishwithkondos.com.

It was lovely working with you on this course. Thank you for sharing your learning over the last three months. Perhaps we meet again in another course.  I wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a successful and happy 2017.



Who’s the boss?

It is true that technology should not claim autonomy. I believe that you need to make decisions on which technology you are going to use based on what is available at your school, and what you want to achieve.  That makes you the one in charge. Ultimately, you are the one with the finger on the keyboard.

I do believe that we often underutilize technology. I have not yet made use of all the wonderful features PowerPoint offers. I do find students amazed at times when I introduce something as simple as a poster on PPT. They are stuck on the idea of slides. In the same way, one should truly know the technology you are using. Perhaps you should give more thought about the message you are trying to spread, and the way it is perceived. I think a positive response from students is a great indicator that whatever technology you are using is working. If you have achieved the outcomes, it was working. If students were engaged and learning took place, all is well.

Earlier this week, we had a visit from The White Hatter. Although he focuses on social media, he made a valid point. Technology is here to stay. We live in a digital world. Although he addressed the irresponsible use of social media in a very serious way, he also applauded the technology we have available. It is there to be used. The responsibility on how to use it, is ours.

It is a similar argument in the classroom. Do you want a discussion? Do you want students to submit written work? Do you want main points? Do you want to see photos or video? Do you want students to comment on one another’s written pieces? Do you want them to take notes?  Based on what you need, you choose, and then you determine how you can make it work for both teacher and student.

Keep the balance and teach the students to do so too.

My website

I have decided to use a website for my last unit:  Lord of the Flies (grade 11).  Wordpress seems the most logical choice as we have become accustomed to the interface.  I am currently investigating web hosts. Please share if you have some experience as to which is the best. At this point, I am looking at Bluehost.

I plan to spend most of term 3 on this unit as it involves many different elements: research, oral discussions and feedback, writing, and ultimate research project which will be presented in class (with parents invited to attend). All their artefacts will be showcased as well.  Students will come into this unit having read the novel.  Essentially, students will manage their own learning for this unit.  There will be points of checking in, e.g. after each lesson is completed, and students will have to provide proof of learning.

I have divided the unit into seven lessons, with each lesson spanning over anything from 1 – 10 periods.  The project will be completed in groups (5 per class; about 5 students per group) and students will be asked to research (1) bullying  (2) leadership  (3) Maslow’s hierarchy  (4) Stanford experiment  (5)  Milgram experiment,  and relate it to the novel. They will be given options as to how they would like to present it, e.g. PowerPoint, Prezi, Flipchart, or Video.  The Communications students (all but one on a Modified program) will be given the topic on bullying, with already researched links to follow. They will also be provided with specific chapters / pages in Lord of the Flies. They will have done a PowerPoint or two by then, and will, therefore, use PowerPoint to create an anti-bullying poster campaign.  They will work closely with the teacher and SEAs in order to accomplish this.

Navigation bar on the left:

I want my first page to have links to all the different points of discussion:  elements of a novel, background to the novel, characterization, setting, symbolism, and theme, plus additional links to the group projects and resources.  The unit will be introduced with a fun “Who wants to be a survivor” game, and a link to that page will also be added.  Two other links to the navigation bar, will be to Diigo where the teacher and students will communicate with each other as to good websites found, with highlights and sticky notes.  There will also be a link to the Google book Lord of the Flies.  In Diigo, all groups will be linked to the Google book.

Top bar:

I will have links to the different lessons.  The lessons are as follows:

  • Lesson 1:  Who wants to be a survivor?
  • Lesson 2:  Elements of a novel & background
  • Lesson 3:  Setting
  • Lesson 4:  Characterization
  • Lesson 5:  Symbolism
  • Lesson 6:  Themes
  • Lesson 7:  Group Project

There will be a link to my blog.  I am not sure whether I need an “About” link. At this point, I don’t see the necessity, but will keep my options open.


On the first / home page, I want to include information that link to both the BC Curriculum and TfT practice.

Bottom of page – as part of content, or in a bottom bar:

On my HOME page, I would like to have links to the 5 group projects.  I am not sure whether this can be done –  I guess it depends on the theme that I choose.

Please check out my Wireframe for website, and comment or offer advice.  (It contains more detailed info than a typical wireframe, but that is how my brain works.)



Course: Yearbook 11/12 ; Unit: Photography (Only a sneak peek into what we do.)

Learning HTML


These days, you don’t need an expensive camera to take good photos. Your smartphone has the ability to snap really good shots – and you always have it with you.

Tips on using a cellphone for photography

    • Clean the lens of your phone’s camera before you take any photos.
    • Use natural light.
    • Do not use your flash. You will be amazed at how creative a photo can turn out.
    • Get close to your subject. Using the zoom will cause the photo to look grainy or blurry. Don’t compromise on quality. You can always crop your photo later on.
    • Use leading lines – horizontal or vertical – to emphasize your subject.
    • Use background and negative space cleverly. Getting up close is important, but having some background or negative space (i.e. the “boring”, plain surface of a wall, table, etc. brings your subject to life.
    • Use the rule of thirds, although this is not a fixed rule. (You can set gridlines on your screen.)
    • Touch the screen to focus on the subject.
    • Don’t ask your subjects to pose by standing in a straight line. Your photo must tell a story, and posing will rob your photo of that.
    • That being said, don’t be afraid to stage your photo. If your subject(s) don’t behave, show them what to do.
    • Use shadows and reflection, e.g. the reflection of a tree in a puddle.

One of my students took the photo (above) outside the school. With a little cropping this will be a beautiful pic.

This photo of a hiking trail at Skagit Valley Park was taken with a smartphone.

There are some wonderful smartphone apps to help with the editing of your photos. Check out this website.

If you are considering buying a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera, though, you will undoubtedly have more options. See the basic differences below:

Using the zoom reduces image quality. A good zoom lens will bring you closer to your subject without compromising on quality.
Night time photography will be tricky – especially if it is very dark out. You will need to use your flash, which is fairly weak, so you will have to get close to your subject. A good flash, and the option of changing the settings on your camera, will make night time photography very possible.
You have limited functionality, i.e. no option for adding a different lens. You can buy different lenses for a most creative approach to photography. (It is expensive, though.)


8 Skills you need to be a good student? Can you say “irony?”


Teaching about plagiarism (2B)

Grade 11
Duration: 5-6 periods
BYOD & headphones (Laptops will be provided to students who are unable to bring their own.)
Sources and procedures, with instructions, will be posted on the class blog.
Format focused on: MLA


1.  I can understand the concept of plagiarism.
2.  I can identify when information is plagiarized.
3.  I can use resources for an assignment, and cite properly.
4.  I can cite in-text, as well as create a “Works Cited” page.

5.  I can create a informational poster using digital sources.


Preparation at home:
Students are asked to watch the video PLAGIARISM (Shmoop).


Classroom activities:

Lesson 1: What is plagiarism
Duration: 70 minutes

15 minutes:
Students watch and participate in the editorial You quote it; you note it on their own devices. They will use headphones.

45 – 55 minutes:
In groups of four, they will discuss and summarize the information they remember from the video.  Google Docs will be used for this purpose. They will be urged to keep notes on the sources used.  They could refer again to the tutorial at any time.

Lesson 2: What are the consequences of plagiarism?
Duration 70 minutes

Role play – 10 minutes:  Students are divided into groups of two.
Scenario: The student / child has been caught plagiarizing while writing an essay. The adult will have a conversation with the student, and will make a decision on the consequences the student/child will have to face. The student has to state his/her case.  The moral issue should come under discussion as well.
Teacher : student
Parent : child
Lecturer at university : student

While this activity has a fun element, students are given opportunity to think of possible consequences they will face should this happen. Students will be urged to take their discussions seriously. They are given 10 minutes to have this conversation.

Sharing – 20 minutes:   Then, 3 groups will be given the opportunity to act out their conversation in front of the class, representing each scenario.  A quick discussion will follow.

Reading and summary – 40 minutes:
In groups, students will read the policies on dishonesty that major universities have instituted.
Aim: students will read the policy of the university they plan to attend. (Others will be divided into the groups that are smallest.)
A summary of the disciplinary measures will be added to Google Docs. They will be urged to keep notes on the sources used.

Links to websites:

Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism – Trinity Western University

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism – University of British Columbia
Disciplinary Measures – UBC

Academic honesty and plagiarism guide – Simon Fraser University
Principles and Procedures for Student Discipline – SFU

Plagiarism and Cheating Policy – Kwantlen Polytechnic University


Home reading:
Students are asked to read the article and forum discussion.

The Washington Post: CNN fires news editor Marie-Louise Gumuchian for plagiarism

Suspended student for plagiarism


Lesson 3-5: Writing and citing
Duration: possible 140 minutes

1. A discussion will ensue on the home reading. Students will be questioned as to the severity of the disciplinary measures taken.

2. Students will access the following website, and read how to do an in-text citing, as well as how to put together a “Works Cited” page:

OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab – MLA Formatting and Style

Additional source (for visual learners, and those who find OWL too complicated):

MLA In-Text Citations (HS Language Arts)
MLA Works Cited page (HS Language Arts)


Classwork and homework:

Watch the following videos on how to create a poster, and come to school with a draft of your poster.  Posters will be designed in class.


Design a poster like a pro – tips and tricks for posters (Using PowerPoint)
How to create a poster with Microsoft Word: Microsoft Office Software



Students  will combine what they have read, with the information on the Google Docs, to create a poster.  They will use either option 1, 2 or 3:


What is plagiarism?
Different types of plagiarism
Disciplinary measures taken by universities – point form


Brief explanation of how to do the different in-text citations


Brief explanation of how to cite: books, blogs, websites, and YouTube videos on a “Works Cited” page.


PowerPoint or Word on Windows 10 will be used, but those students who are proficient in other programs will be given the freedom to use those.



Posters will be assessed via rubric for:

Headline (Catchy)
Accuracy of content
Citations provided for sources used
Mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation)
Visual appeal, clarity, visibility of information


Students’ posters will be displayed in all the classrooms in the school (with the teachers’ permission, of course) and in the library.

Students’ skills will be tested when they write a compare / contrast essay in the following unit – Hamlet.



Drake 4505.  (2010, February). Suspended student for plagiarism – Help!! [Online forum comment]. Message posted to http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-admissions/870653-suspended-student-for-plagiarism-help.html

Eastern, Trevor.  (2013, February 28). Make Poster – Powerpoint 2010 – Design a Poster like a Pro -Tips and tricks for Posters [Video file].  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyxUAynlhOc

eHowTech. (2013, April 8).  How to create a poster with Microsoft Word: Microsoft Office Software

HS Language Arts.  (2014, March 24).  MLA In-text Citations.  [Video file].  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTaUHS1mnvw

HS Language Arts.  (2014, March 24).  MLA Works Cited Page.  [Video file].  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Vo8_Jw71JI

KPU. (n.d.) Plagiarism and Cheating Policy.  Retrieved from http://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/Policies/ST2%20Plagiarism%20and%20Cheating%20Policy.pdf

Russell, Tony, et al. “MLA Formatting and Style Guide.” The Purdue OWL. Purdue U Writing Lab, 2 Aug. 2016.

SFU.  (n.d.) Academic Integrity: Academic Honesty and Plagiarism Guide.  Retrieved from http://help.library.ubc.ca/planning-your-research/academic-integrity-plagiarism/

SFU.  (n.d.) Policies and Procedures: Principles and Procedures for Student Discipline.  Retrieved from http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-02.html

Shmoop. (2013, July 1).  Plagiarism. [Video file].  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJipA52LOms

Trinity Western University.  (n.d.) Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism.  Retrieved from http://www.twu.ca/student-handbook/university-policies/academic-dishonesty-and-plagiarism

UBC.  (n.d.) Discipline for Academic Misconduct.  Retrieved from http://help.library.ubc.ca/planning-your-research/academic-integrity-plagiarism/

UBC Library. (n.d.)  Academic Integrity and Plagiarism.  Retrieved from http://help.library.ubc.ca/planning-your-research/academic-integrity-plagiarism/

Vaughan Memorial Library. You quote it, you note it!  Retrieved from http://library.acadiau.ca/sites/default/files/library/tutorials/plagiarism/

Wemple, Eric.  (2014, May 16).  CNN fires news editor Marie-Louise Gumuchian for plagiarism (updated).  The Washington Post.  Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/05/16/cnn-fires-news-editor-marie-louise-gumuchian-for-plagiarism/?utm_term=.003b2d5cd16b



Cyber safe or shaky

We talk about this often. We are expected to be careful with the content we share, or expose the students to – and rightfully so. We are responsible – teachers and parents – for the wellbeing  of the child. Yet, students are online for long hours of the day – before school, during school hours, at home in the afternoon and at night. I think we will be naive to think that students don’t come into contact with questionable websites – whether by accident or on purpose.  And cyberbullying is a very real threat that need long, passionate and interactive discussion, and preferably preventative in nature.  Once it is out there, it is too late.  I think teenagers can be quite ignorant when it comes to what is acceptable to share and say, and how what you say on social media can haunt you forever.

I typed the word “mischievous” into the search engine some days ago. I was tired of students misspelling and mispronouncing it, and thought there might be a smart teacher out there who has a witty video, or clever way of remembering it. I was shocked to see where I end up. Now imagine in all innocence I inform my students to search for the meaning?

Avoid those questionable sites altogether? Almost impossible. It should be discussed. My school has a very safe approach to the internet, and it does put some dampers on what the students can access. Last year, students signed in and worked on my blog without much issue, this year I had to ask our tech guy to release the “ban” on blogs so that my 9s and 11s can access my blog. I don’t see this as disempowering, though. My principal is very supportive of us using technology, and will trust our judgement as to whether something is safe or not. When I started the blog, his first question was why I want it closed. He believes that students should have a cyber footprint, but be taught how to do it responsibly.

And to tell the truth, there are more than enough safe options for the teacher to use.

Application of EdTech theory


UNIT: Poetry
LESSON: Introduction to the poetry
TITLE OF LESSON: What are you listening to?
QUICK SYNOPSIS: Students will discover that the songs they sing to very often double as beautiful poetry.



Students’ interests drive the learning experience with teacher guidance & flexible choice of tools & technology to achieve authentic & exemplary product

Student writes his/her own poem.  Student films a recital of the poem, using props, people, background, etc. to explain the theme of his poem.
Peer and self-assessment
On second thought: Grade could publish their own poetry book, or create a website with grade’s literary work.


Teacher sets broad goals for student learning and offers a choice of tasks using a specified range of available tools

Analyse poetry provided by teacher.
On second thought: students can discover poetry on poetry websites, choose good poetry and offer an opinion on his choice.
Teacher provides poems for students to analyze – for meaning and techniques. Focus is on literary elements – students are given links to websites to help with understanding of literary elements.


Teacher integrates multiple tech tools to create enhanced learning experience for students

Lyrics in songs = poetry:
Read the lyrics to a song as if it is a poem. Students express an opinion, and do a quick analysis.
Students are asked if their opinion about poetry has changed.
Listen to more songs, and isolate the lyrics.
Depending on time:  Bring-your-own-song-day. (Teacher plays songs while students note the lyrics.)


Teacher designs the task using traditional pedagogy with technical supports.

What is poetry? Students provide own answers; then they get to research some definitions to share with others.
What are the most predominant literary techniques for writing poetry?
Poetry-day (Candles and lamps only (for atmosphere), and students each read / recite a favourite poem.


Last year, the introduction to Lord of the Flies was a DEBATE on survival.  The class was divided into two groups.  They were each given a scenario, e.g. the plane you had been flying in crashes in the plains of Africa.  You have no idea in which country you are.  You were lucky enough to crash-land close to a river.  One team decides to leave the plane and search for life and rescue;  the other team chooses to stay behind and wait to be rescued.  They were given time to find a role for each of the team members:  builders of shelter, cook, medic, collect wood, etc..  They had to discuss how they would go about getting rescued.  They also had to discuss all the scenarios they could possibly face, and how to deal with it.  Then we had an informal debate where students could challenge one another on the validity of their choices.  It was so much fun.  There was no technology involved, though.  I would like to try something different this year.

UNIT: Lord of the Flies
LESSON: Introduction to the novel
TITLE OF LESSON: Who wants to be a survivor?
QUICK SYNOPSIS:  Students will complete, in groups of 2, in a game called “Who wants to be a survivor?” (Combination of “Survivor” and “Who wants to be a millionaire?”)  Teams who get the most questions right, move to the next round.


R – Redefinition – Tech allows for creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable

The game show will take place.
Teams will compete in elimination rounds until there is one winner.
Technology: Video, PPT with questions, mobile phone for timekeeping

M – Modification – Tech allows for significant task redesign

Students have to decide who will answer questions.

There will be a tech team responsible for:
* Developing/coordinating the music and video for the opening sequence of the show.
* Timekeeping
* Presenter of the program – organize set
* Scorekeeper – develop set of rules
* Organizer to collate the sets of questions.
* PPT organizer.
* Designers of questions to test who will be in the chair next.  (Like the old “Who wants to be …”)
(Students who don’t want to answer questions, will be involved here.  They choose a role they are comfortable with.)

A – Augmentation – Tech acts as direct tool substitute, with functional improvement

Groups will collate their information on Google Docs, and design good questions with four multiple choice options. This will be done on a PPT – which will be used in the game show.  (Easiest tool to use for this purpose, unless I discover another.)

S – Substitution – Tech acts as direct tool substitute with no functional change

Students have to research survival tricks, tips, methods, etc.
They work in groups of two, and will compete as a team.
Teacher provides headings: water, food, shelter, fire, safety, rescue, danger, etc.
They will work together by adding all their research on a Google doc – using a concept matrix / Diigo (depends on permission granted by Admin)



Networked Learning

Connectivism does not imply a total absence of educator, only that “this presence is as a participant and not an authority figure” (Downes, 2013). The connectivist’s theory seems to assume that all students have a strong ability to self-motivate and problem-solve, can set their own learning standards and goals, have online experience, and an already strong digital footprint.

Brennan (2013) offers good advice: don’t treat the novices like experts; you “depress and lose them.” Downes (2013) might argue that it is “appalling.” The truth is that not all students are equipped for this. Admittedly, he speaks more to the post-secondary period, assuming that elementary, middle and high school teachers have prepared a student sufficiently to self-manage in an online environment.

In this environment, the face-to-face, personable approach by an educator/facilitator is low key, and since he is just a participant with now real authority (Downes, 2013), he can provide only motivation on the level of other participants. Students might be left to find their own way in a sea of anxiety and uncertainty. The physical presence of the educator provides security to most students. A caring educator will encourage and help the student to tap into his inner strength to achieve his best. She is responsible for assisting students to determine where they are at in their learning. Some will require a slower pace, more repetition, frequent encouragement, while others will charge ahead, comfortable in their own abilities, and ready to be challenged to the next task. Being with my students, provides me with the time and opportunities to achieve this. I have found that moving into a fully online environment is, strangely, not something they welcome. Few of my students find this prospect exciting. However, travelling into digital space from the comfort of a classroom environment, and with a facilitator a quick call away, provides more security.

It should also not be rushed. As educators, we should attempt to identify what online programs the student would benefit from most in a post-secondary setting. Given the dynamic quality of technology, there will most probably be something different and/or better available by the time he graduates. But he should be comfortable to wander around in the online space, and keen to direct his own learning.

Downes (2013) makes a good point when he states that the students should learn to “set the bar for him or herself, to set the challenges appropriately.” Helicoptering robs the child of his ability to be self-efficient, self-advocating and self-managing.

Eventually, you have to provide space in education for the diverse needs of students. The future is in technology, you might argue. Yes, but keep a balance, I say, and don’t disregard your techno-weary students, or sell them out to the Web 2.0 proponents. There is nothing wrong with a teaching model where healthy face-to-face communication supports a strong online presence.



Educause. (2011). 7 Things you should know about MOOCs.

Brennan, K. (2013). In Connectivism, No One Can Hear You Scream: A guide to understanding the MOOC novice. Hybrid Pedagogy. 24 July 2013.

Downes, S. (2013). Connectivism and the Primal Scream. Half an Hour. 25 July 2013.

My Teaching Philosophy(ies)

Do you ask yourself the questions: How much? How often? How involved? when it comes to technology? I do, all the time. I worry about students’ dependability on their devices. I worry about their social interaction – the old-fashioned kind. The kind where you can handle a face-to-face conversation by looking someone in the eye and talking. (Yip, Digital Immigrant thinking.) Inevitably, someone will remind me that this generation is different. The times are different. The technology is different. The expectations are different. The job skills are different. Communication is different. Reluctantly, I have to agree. Heck, I am even a hypocrite: I am on Facebook (I manage three pages), Whatsapp and Instagram, have three email addresses (if you count TRU’s), have four blogs (five if you count this course blog), use Google Docs all the time, have recently joined Diigo, and expect students to use the web for acquisition of information … I spend a huge part of my day staring at my computer screen.

Kanuka says that “computers should be used as tools for helping learners build knowledge; they should not control the learner” (p.94). Yes, I reply conspiratorially. Balance!

As for online learning, it is not for everybody. My daughter, grade 12, enrolled for Physics 11 through an online school. She hates it. It is not the course. She misses the face-to-face interaction with a teacher. She needs that presence. It provides security and comfort to know that help is just a voice away. She does not get the same satisfaction from an email to her facilitator. She is also taking Physics 12, but at school. Loves it!

Abrami & Bures (as cited in Kanuka, 2008, p.100) made the statement in 1996 that “e-learning communication tools facilitate the development of argument formation capabilities, increased written communication skills, complex problem-solving abilities, and opportunities for reflective deliberation.” In 1999, Archer, Garrison and Anderson (as cited in Kanuka, 2008, p.100) warns educators and institutions to “adapt and/or transform due to the catalytic power of technology.” And still technology is changing; and still we are trying to catch up. And as for the philosophies, it is difficult to place yourself squarely within one at any given time.

Upon reading Kanuka (2008), I have decided that I lie somewhere between the Progressive and Humanist Philosophies. I would think all educators worth their salt would aim for their students to move towards “personal growth, maintenance, and promotion of a better society” (Kanuka, p.102). I introduced the blog as an experiment, and found it quite successful. I believe developing skills to problem-solve independently is important,  love “situation[al] approaches” to learning, and aim for “[d]emocratic cooperation and personal enlightenment” (Kanuka, p.103). I tell my students and their parents all the time that we are in a “partnership (Kanuka, p.104), and that I want students to manage their own learning.

The new BC Curriculum emphasizes experiential learning, and the Teaching for Transformation program we are busy with, underpins this. Another focus on the BC Curriculum and TfT is “validation and application in real world contexts” (Anderson and Iron, 2012). Metaphors to explicate the teacher’s role here is “helper, consultant, and/or encourager” (Kanuka, p.104). As for the criticism, I believe the educator (in partnership with the parent), should place themselves in a prominent, yet supportive role with the intention of guiding the student with the vehicle of carefully chosen content towards self-actualization.

While I am supportive of the students’ self-management of learning – it is an important and lifelong skill – I involve myself in the students’ learning with the purpose of guiding, assisting, encouraging and pointing out issues or directions that he/she might be overlooking. The balance is important. Although the humanist seem to render content almost useless, you need that vehicle. When a student leaves my care at the end of a school year, my hope is that he/she has more knowledge of the structures that build the English language, an appreciation for it, the skills to make sense of different genres of writing, and the skill to use English in both oral and written contexts. I need content as a the basis from which to achieve that.

In 26 years, I have attempted to, and managed (to some degree) to keep up with changing technology and trends in pedagogy. Anderson and Dron’s (2012) philosophies place me mainly between Social-constructivist and Connectivist, but with the scale tipping heavily towards the Social-constructivist side. It depends on what I am teaching, and how I plan to have learners achieve the outcomes, and, on a deeper level, the deep hopes I have for them. If content is your vehicle, then you would want to “build upon the foundation of [the] previous learning.” Knowledge is important, and “language and other social tools” are used in “constructing knowledge.” It is a dream for a teacher to arrive at a place where students “assess their own learning”, but that is not a reality that all students embrace. You teach a diverse group – some will be comfortable to create “information and knowledge resources,” and will excitedly move for a strong presence on the web. Others will shy away from it, preferring a private setting within which they can communicate with close friends, and where they do not feel exposed. This decision should be up to them – I have made reference to this in a previous post.

Another connection to the connectivist philosophy, is that I love it when students create, share and publish (if possible) artefacts. This is easy in English. The blog is one such platform, but this year I would love them to publish their poems and stories online – those who want, I should add. Perhaps also on their own blogs?

I think the challenge – and it is a biggy – is to develop a curriculum (am I still allowed to use this word?) where students are challenged in relation to their gifts, and engaged despite their diversity. Each student should find his/her own comfort zone, and the teacher is charged with the task of challenging each – where he/she is at – to step outside of that comfort zone and to learn and grow.



Kanuka, H. (2008). Understanding e-learning technologies-in-practice through philosophies-in-practice. In T. Anderson (Ed.), Theory and practice of online learning (2nd ed.). Athabasca University: AU Press. http://www.aupress.ca/books/120146/ebook/04_Anderson_2008-Theory_and_Practice_of_Online_Learning.pdf


Anderson, T. & Dron, J. (2012). Learning technology through three generations of technology enhanced distance education pedagogy. European Journal of Open Distance and E-Learning. 2012-2.  http://www.eurodl.org/?p=archives&year=2012&halfyear=2&article=523