Nic on May 14, 2018


My name is Nicole Stewart.  I’m from Vernon, BC.  I am a week late to the game, but I’m here and doing my best to remember all the technology skills and strategies I learned in my previous 4 courses in the Online Teacher and Learner certificate from Thomson Rivers University to access my WordPress site and make this post!  I can’t say that it’s coming back quickly which might not bode well for me…  This will be my fifth, and final university course for some time and I’m looking forward to getting it done!  I really enjoyed working with Keith and my classmates in two of the previous four courses I completed last year and hope to make this my most successful course yet.  I was scared off technology after my last go round – 4 online courses in less than a year while working full-time as a school based resource teachers/new online teacher, parenting two teenage boys, staying fit and connected to my family and friends, where I experienced a full-blown burn out and am now easing back in to what partly contributed to my overwhelm.  I’m beginning this course with some angst and fear about the effects of re-engaging more with the “online world”.  The way technology is influencing our society and community worries me, and I am grappling with the pros and cons with regards to my own well being and that of my children and family.  

I do work in an online context as well, in a distributed learning school that is an alternate program for students ranging from k-12 in my school district who need something different.  My challenge, as a resource teacher, is to create a program to suit my students special needs and then guide them toward learning the curriculum and skills necessary to grow and develop at their individual rates.  I work in a blended context where I see my students face to face once a week in a whole group setting for two hours, and then again another day of the week in a small group where we target special needs.  Often my students need to be WITH other students, not in a more isolated space such as that which is created in the online world, and I strive to BE WITH them as much as possible.  For me the online world is tricky because I believe in the importance of relationships, and community, which is much harder to experience authentically in an online way, and time spent online is time disconnected from real people surrounding us.

My goal for this course is to better understand specific tools in my work environment that I can use to better support my students and their academic needs.  

If you’d like to connect via email I can be reached at nicstew9[at]icloud[dot]com

I look forward to connecting with you all tonight at 7!




Nic on April 9, 2017

For our final assignment, I chose to improve some of the work I started with earlier in the course.  The difficulties in sharing my work from the school LMS were overcome by beginning to develop my own Moodle cloud platform, where in the future I hope to continue to showcase the work I am doing with my Animal Assisted Activity dog – Kona. At this point in my learning I have still not figured out how to invite my students in to the cloud (having only begun to work in this space) but am happy with the direction I am going with it and can envision the ways I will continue to use it as the year unfolds.  In returning to these three work samples I learned that just like writing, multimedia projects can be a work in progress and improved infinitely as they transform with time, effort, skills, and feedback. It was fun to “try again” on the video and learn more about how the iMovie app works and produce a better quality product.  I have not figured out how to end the movie just yet, and so you will notice that it ends abruptly. Again, a work in progress.  For the photo, graphics and audio work, I learned that practice makes progress and to learn the skills, practice is everything. In some cases knowing what to do required a lot of revisiting pages in the course and trial and error.  Overall, the process came more quickly and the path for knowing how to get to my finished product was more clear.  

Included in the course I began creating is a redone version of my movie, “Kona’s Kids”, using both cropped and original images I’ve worked with through the term.  Initially when I made the movie, I tried to keep the faces of my students out of the photo and showed only the dog in and around the students, to protect privacy.  This particular version of the movie includes students faces because the full images convey much more positive information and will make the movie more meaningful for my students.  I used iMovie on my school iPad to create and then edit the movie.  I imported the music from YouTube, using an MP3 converter on my computer, edited and saved the music in Audacity and then uploaded it to Google Drive in order to attach it to the movie on my iPad.  Once completed (though I’ve found that the more I go back to it, the more I want to edit and improve on it), I saved it to my channel on YouTube and the embedded it in my Moodle Cloud in the book format.  You can visit the movie on my channel here.  My plan is to use this video during a planned showcase of our school, to share with our board members, trustees, families and students the ways Kona has helped in our program throughout the year.  

The second piece of work that I included is a retouched version of a photo I used to describe the anatomy of a cairn terrier.  I recropped the image and played with the colouring of the numbers, using Picasa 3 on my school computer to get the effects I was after.  I chose to use a black and white image of the dog to better highlight the parts of her body that are the focus of the information.  

The final submission is my retouched Voki of the puppet I use at school to introduce my students to the vocabulary, predator and prey and to play with how information can be shared using technology.  I had to remember to use the “deprecated – uses Flash” option when embedding the code in both Moodle Cloud and here to allow it to upload to my site.  I rerecorded my script using my iPhone to reduce initial poor sound and then uploaded it from the web to the app.  I am still not 100% satisfied with the quality of the sound, but will leave it for now due to the lack of better recording tools and time.  


I continue to work with my space in my school district LMS and hope to include some of the work I have done there on my personal Moodle space – which I named: Big Ideas with Kona 🙂  This could potentially become a part of a Masters project if I decide to go down that road in the future.  For now, I think it is a good place to learn more about Moodle, improve my technology skills using a topic that is close to my heart, and play with my students.  At this point I have yet to learn how to invite all of you to this space (or any of my students for that matter) so will leave you with the artifacts I’ve included here.  If I figure out how to do it, please feel welcome to accept my invitation (through email I believe so you will need to send my your personal email) and have a look!  


My lesson is based on a conversation I had with a colleague, prior to spring break.  We discussed the use of our 10 new iPads and the best way to introduce them to our students, who attend our program on a weekly basis for 2 hours.  We will also be hosting our board trustees later in May and thought it might be fun to showcase our school somewhat, using these iPads and our students and create some trailers explaining “Why we love VLearn” to share with our visitors.  Our conversation lasted all of 10 minutes, with a quick tutorial and look around the app.  My intention behind this lesson was to scaffold the steps required to teach our students how to use this app, as well as become more familiar with the technology myself to be more of a teacher, and less of a student during the lesson.  Following the “multimedia principle”, a term coined by authors Fletcher and Tobias (2005) and Mayer (2009) where “people can learn more deeply from words and pictures than from words alone” (385) I’ve created a multimedia enhanced lesson to teach our students how to use iMovie and make their very own trailer, as well as develop concrete evidence to convince our trustees that we have one of the best blended home school programs in the country.  

With this background knowledge of my intentions, it can be clearly observed that I believe in “technologies viewed as causal agents determining our uses and having a pivotal role in social change” (Kanuka, 2008, 97) as technological determinism philosophy dictates.  Rather than detract from students learning experience like some believe technological determinism does, I hope the iPad adventure will motivate and engage students.  Coming from more of a humanist teaching perspective, “to support individual growth and self-actualization” (106), I hope students will gain collaboration skills, self-confidence, and technical skills in this lesson.  “The act of learning is a personal activity that involves intrinsic motivation, self-concept, perception, and self-evaluation” (107).  My lesson is structured based on these concepts.

Using the new BC curriculum Applied Design, Skills and Technology objectives as well as the Communication Competencies, I highlight targeted learning outcomes in my lesson plan.  Students are being asked to think critically about what they like about their school, work collaboratively with their peers, and reflect shared ideas, using iMovie.  “To think with multimedia is to use multimedia to explore ideas and to communicate them” (Rockwell and Mactavish, 2004).  My role is “that of facilitator, helper, and partner in the learning process… creating the conditions within which learning can take place” (107).  Self-determination of learning is critical.  Freedom of “choice, minimizing controls, acknowledging feelings, and making available information that is needed for decision making and for performing the target task” (Deci, et. al, 1991, 342), is embedded in the structure and students will gain mastery with practice and support.  I also hope that they will have a lot of fun doing it.

I look forward to trying this lesson in April and will happily give you feedback about how it goes.  I still need to think more about assessment – self-assessment would be good and I would like to generate the criteria with the students as a part of the lesson.  I have included a link to Kathy Schrock’s website and think we will use rubric 12 – iMovie rubric to evaluate our students projects.




Deci,. E. , Vallerand, R., Pelletier, L. & Ryan, R. (1991).  Motivation and Education: The Self-Determination Perspective.  In Educational Pshychologist, 26  (3&4), 325-346.


Kanuka, H. (2008). Understanding E-Learning Technologies-in-practice through Philosophies-in-Practice. In Theory and Practice of Online Learning (Chap. 4).  Retrieved from:


Mayers, R. (2014).  Multimedia Instruction. In Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology. Retrieved from:


Rockwell, G. & Mactavish, A. (2004).  A Companion to Digital Humanities, ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.

Week 10: Activity 1 – Create a live-action video

Monday, March 20th, 2017

I feel like such a slow learner.  Tonight I finally figured out how to get my videos and photos off my IPhone and onto my computer or IPad through Google Drive.  I can’t believe it took me so long – I’ve been emailing everything to myself and then downloading and then saving from there up until now.  This learning is painful.  

I’ve decided to create and post a combination of photos and videos of Kona using the IPad, IMovie app as I will need to know how to use it to make movies after spring break with my students and up until now I’ve only had practise using Movie Maker on my computer.  The process seems simple enough – have enough audio/visual clips saved to Google Drive and then fill in the template on the app.  I feel like I’m making progress with the concept of “cloud storage” and Gordon Campbell’s notion of curating and sharing (2009) and will upload and then share my finished “Kona” video from my private YouTube channel.  I won’t be breaking any FIPPA laws (I don’t think) because I will edit and crop the photos that show students faces and only show body parts in and around Kona that are non-identifying to present her, with her kids.  

My school program is currently being reviewed by the district and we will be showcasing our program to the trustees come April.  We have begun to create movie trailers, using IMovie (and our 10 new IPads), and I have created one with my social skills group to show who we are and what we do.  I will share it with you once I’ve figured out whether it’s legal to share here.  The school group is focusing on “What We Love About VLearn”.  My focus is “Why We Love Kona”.  I need all the district support I can get!

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Okay – I managed to very easily crop and save images and videos to use in my Kona movie using photos and tools on my IPad in IMovie.  I then saved the movie and shared it to my channel in YouTube.  There, I was able to use the editing features to add music and adjust some of the visual scanning of the pictures.  I made a point to use images that were kid neutral but focused on Kona, though in some shots you can see faces to a degree.  I also added closed captions (though saved them with French Canadian as the main language!), labeling specific things I wanted to draw attention to.  If you turn your CC on you will see them, however they come up for me in white font and are very tricky to read.  Does anyone know how to improve this? I also added a sweet little song from YouTube to my video but the song ran out with merely seconds left in the video.  Is it possible to add something to the tail end – i.e. a voice recording or another song, once the video is being worked in YouTube or am I at the mercy of the length of my chosen song?

After staying up late last night, playing with the editing tools, and then trying some more today to improve the movie, I’ve decided to post it and look for comments and advice about how to improve it for my final project.  I think after considering Keith’s comments on my FIPPA concerns I would like to redo the video, including more images of my students (whose parents have given me permission to share digital images for my course and for use in our program) because I want to highlight the magic my dog shares with children.  When I cut their faces out, I cut out the joy she brings.  I think you get a good idea of her effects though, even with my FIPPA friendly video.

As an aside – I love the idea of comparing programs like IMovie and other apps where it is a drag and click method of creating.  So much time needs to go into doing something well and at this point I am not trying to become a master of media based technology.  I just want to be able to simply and easily make a movie, digital story, etc. with my students to begin the conversation around using digital media to process and create.  We can get good at it together.  Programs like these serve as digital “graphic organizers” – reducing technical demands on the student, while supporting their learning.  It made making this movie quite fun!



Campbell, W. (2009, September 4). A Personal Cyberinfrastructure (Web log post).  Retrieved from

Last week I had a spike in my online teaching and learning curve.  It started with my foray into creating my own YouTube channel when I figured out that I needed a virtual space to host my video files if I wanted to share them on my blog.  Up until that point, I had no idea that I needed an online storage space for my video work and thought I could share directly from my computer.  I choose YouTube because it was the most familiar to me and I created my first channel where I uploaded and then linked my Screen-Cast-O-Matic video.  I felt pretty satisfied that I had achieved this skill – the ability to share a self-produced screen-sharing video and share it in a blog with my colleagues, and moved on to other things.

It wasn’t until after I posted and shared my learning from that assignment, earlier this week, that I began to think about the privacy of my students, the security of my school LMS, and potential breach of the law by posting last week’s video (never mind the Thinglink that wouldn’t share… this is what truly got me thinking) in my blog.  FIPPA (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) “is a law applicable to all educators using social media and cloud computing in BC public institutions and there are consequences for not following it” (Hengstler, 2014).  It is very possible that the screencasting of our private Moodle LMS for VLearn, the images of my students that I was trying to share with Thinglink, and other things – still unknown to me, are breaches of FIPPA.  The little niggling voice in the back of my mind got louder as the week unfolded, and gradually came out in discussions with a colleague who is in the final stages of completing her Masters in FIPPA related issues.  I asked her about my use – using tools learned through my online course (and my PLC)  to improve the quality of my teaching and my intention to make my assignments for this course relevant to my work context, and useful to support time efficiency and practice (which is greatly needed in all domains).  I didn’t want to “do it twice” and decided that since I couldn’t share login privileges with all of you to show you what I am doing, didn’t feel right about making my Thinglink “public” because I don’t really understand the big implications of that, I would screencast it instead.  Unbeknownst to me, we would be learning about screencasting this week as well, and dealing with these critical ideas.  The timing really couldn’t be better for some of these uncomfortable conversations and learning.

Thinglink is the first Web 2.0 tool that has made me think deeply about the use of my students images and helped me understand the deeper implications of sharing such things in a public manner. Initially, I did not understand why the image I had created would not open in our blog.  I checked and rechecked the privacy settings many times, but did not like the option that “others” could modify and/or edit and/or use the images I was sharing and needed to keep it private.  I did not want that flexibility, because these are pictures of my students, and if these were my own children, I would not want others to be able to “play” with the images.  Turns out, I learned in conversation with my colleague, that once shared, the images “belong” to the program and I no longer have “rights” over them.  They can be used by any who subscribe to the site and modified however others see fit.  This unsettled me completely.  

Recognize, please, that at this point I do have verbal consent from all my families to be taking pictures, videos and manipulating/using them to enhance my teaching as well as sharing them with you to improve my teaching. I don’t think families really want images of their kids floating free on the web where anyone can access, and use them.  I certainly don’t want this for my own kids, and suddenly have a much deeper understanding of a “digital footprint”, and the potential for teachers to accidentally impact it.  Do these students want these pictures floating around out there as they grow older?  Who is to say that my professional judgement of the photo shared is right?  Suddenly I am quite nervous about the work I am doing and how I am trying to improve professionally with my technology skills, while staying within the law.  

My colleague pointed me to a great resource to start my exploration of FIPPA and asked me to have a look at the “compliance continuum” – a concept created by Vancouver Island University professor, Julia Hengstler. 

After reading the article written about this concept, I would have to put myself between the Ignorance and the Knowledgeable Non-Compliance categories.  In some sense I have no idea of the implications of using the Web 2.0 tools with my students because they are still so new to me and them and we are experimenting with “fire”.  I find the ease of use of so many of these tools amazing, but also frightening – case in point, my 12-year-old son who has his own private YouTube channel to upload videos for his grade seven classroom work that I was unaware of until recently.  What else is his viewing and sharing?  Do we understand the lasting effects of our work when we create a space in the cloud?  Am I limiting him and my students when I resist, or shy away from exploring and experimenting with these tools?  I feel like the conversation and thinking could easily get tied into Gardner Campbell’s discussion of 3 Recursive Practices (2009) – the process we are currently experiencing, however I have gone on a bit with the privacy issue and don’t really want to expand more on my thinking at this point.  Needless to say, I am “being both a participant and a producer” of the cyber infrastructure and I think I need more time and experience before I get my students too involved.

As I become more knowledgeable, through my studies and work experiences, I’m learning that there are things that I should and should not be doing online with my students.  You need to be 13 to have a YouTube account.  My son does not agree, but that still does not change the law.  I should have a written consent form, signed by the parents of my students, in order to use images and video that I have of them in an online way.  Apparently our district still does not have something like this in place, but it did not take an administrator to tell me that posting those photos on Thinglink was not likely compliant, but I did it anyway – Knowledgeable Non-Compliance because I “ have no idea how to effectively meet the requirements” (2014).  I think that as I move forward with Campbell’s notion of being a “system administrator” online – narrating (sharing process and seeking advice), curating (organizational skills are certainly lacking here for me) and sharing (learning one project at a time) I will get better but that in the meantime, I must remember to stay mindful of the privacy of my students and program and make sure that what I’m doing is within the law.  

A quick aside – I’m wondering if, given parental consent, it’s okay to share on the secure TRU Moodle platform.  At this point my things are on my WordPress blog, which again, I need confirmation, is not secure so perhaps I should take my posts down and share in some other way.  Advise about what to do is very much wanted.  Thanks for your time!  Mine is truly limited and I’m really working to be as efficient and effective in both my roles as online teacher/learner as possible.




Campbell, W. (2009, September 4). A Personal Cyberinfrastructure (Web log post).  Retrieved from


Hengstler, J. (2014, April 24). The Compliance Continuum: FIPPA & BC Public Educators (Web log post).  Retrieved from

Nic on March 12, 2017


After reviewing this plan I think that what I’ve created is more like a series of lessons and less like one individual, specific lesson on how to create something using technology. That being said, I created this “lesson” and implemented it with one of my students and is a live, work in progress. I appreciate any feedback on what we’ve done to this point and look forward to more learning.

Please watch this video, using Screen-cast-o-matic (my second attempt at using this free program) to understand what I’ve created because I cannot share privileges to my private school website. We are using Moodle as our LMS and this has been excellent, concrete, authentic practice for me in how to create, publish and work with the options in Moodle. I will also attach my “lesson plan” for you to get a better sense of how I’ve structured things. Doing almost all of this has put me out of my comfort zone but has been incredibly satisfying as I’ve learned many new skills and watched my students learn and grow as well.

Video – A Guide to My Project

Online Cairn Terrier Inquiry Project
Assignment 1 – EDDL 5131
A Multimedia Enhanced Lesson at VLearn

Please have a look at the outline (below – google docs) of the project I created. I am working with two students (one with ASD) on a weekly basis to develop social skills and support literacy. Our face to face time has been interrupted with term 2 report card meetings and so this was an attempt to carry on with work on the project until we meet again in April. One of the students has not been active in the online portion of the lessons (this project is optional for both students) but I am currently supporting the student with ASD through the structure outlined below and getting a chance to actively work in our Moodle platform, creating something useful not only for my student, but for all the students in our program. It is going well from both of our perspectives and we are learning technology skills together!

I have chosen to use a variety of media to support learning about Kona – our Animal-Assisted-Activity dog at VLearn and know that they are critical for deeper understanding. The phrase – “a picture is worth a thousand words” certainly applies as one peruses the photo book I created in Moodle. Kona makes a difference every day in many students lives!

My intention is to create, with my students, an interesting, fun, informative space to represent all the different ways Kona is active and meaningful in learning at VLearn. “The rationale for multimedia instruction is that people can learn more deeply from words and pictures than from words alone” (Mayer, 2014). Together we will be developing our technology skills as well as many other academic and social skills. “Brown et al. (1989) emphasise the idea of cognitive apprenticeship where teachers (i.e., the experts of subject knowledge) work alongside students (i.e., the apprentices) to create situations where the students can begin to work on problems even before they are capable of fully understanding them” (Edirisingha and Popova, 2009). The project is a work-in-progress and will continue to grow and develop as my skills grow, and students build and work in and around the platform.

“Multimedia systems strive to take the best advantage of human senses in order to facilitate communication” (Rockwell and Mactavish, 2004). I have re-recorded some of my audio work, “creating audio instruction entails much more than simply plugging in a microphone and recording a voice reading some text” (Carter, 2012) to improve the quality, and value of my information shared as well as considered the best way to walk my students through our Moodle page using a video recording. My goal is to eventually have my students record how to navigate our Moodle page and grow their oral communication skills that way. “Instead of using the technology to merely deliver content, the authors advocate greater student control and ownership of the technology, and its use as a means for encouraging collaboration” (Lee, McLoughlin and Chan, 2008). My hope is that by including my students in my learning process I will be creating the opportunities for them to learn alongside. “The technical aspects of producing a podcast (or other form of multimedia – italics mine) offer students a unique learning opportunity with decision-making in the forefront as students grapple with issues related to the purpose and content for the podcast” (Hew, 2009).

Media used and created by Nic for the Moodle site/Cairn Terrier project:

Ratty: audio file (Voki)
Introduction of how to navigate the block: video, audio file (Screen-cast-o-matic)
Cairns 101: video file (embedded YouTube video)
Amelia_fetch.mp4, Kona_go_fetch_Katrina.mp4, Morgan_Kona.mp4: video files (Movie Maker – using music, video sound, and text to highlight important concepts)
Cropped photos: graphic files using text to highlight important concepts (book – Moodle block)
Social Thinkers: graphic file using text to highlight important concepts (photo in book – Moodle block, using Thinglink to create a digital story)


Carter, C. (2012). Instructional Audio Guidelines: Four Design Principles to Consider for Every Instructional Audio Design Effort. Techtrends: Linking Research & Practice To Improve Learning, 56(6), 54-58.

Hew, K.F. (2009). “Use of Audio Podcast in K-12 and Higher Education: A Review of Research Topics and Methodologies”. Educational Technology and Research Development, 57, pp. 333-357.

Mark J. W. Lee, Catherine McLoughlin and Anthony Chan. “Talk the Talk: Learner-generated Podcasts as Catalysts for Knowledge Creation”. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39:3, 2008, pp. 501-521.

Mayer, R. (2014). Multimedia Instruction. Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, eds. J.M. Spector Springer Science + Business Media, New York, 2014.

Palitha Edirisingha and Anguelina Popova. “Podcasting: A Learning Technology.” In Sanjaya Mishra ed. Elearning. New Delhi: IGNOU, 2009, pp. 66-69.

Rockwell, G. & Mactavish, A. (2004). A Companion to Digital Humanities, ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.


Cairn Terrier Inquiry Project – Student Plan

Nic on March 6, 2017

It’s been awhile since I’ve been live simply because this technology learning is overwhelming and challenging and I find that it is a bit of a time sink – once  I get started on something I move very slowly through it and often without much progress.  This week’s activity was no exception.  I’m a true believer in storytelling and the concept of digital storytelling is not new to me.  Beginning – Middle – End – include components of a good story, you know the drill –  plot, character development, problem, resolution, upload a few images and voila!  Digital story complete.  If only it were that simple.  Sadly, I have not had many opportunities to write stories with a class or teach story writing and only have an idea of the steps necessary to actually write one – never mind create digitally.  So – no time like the present.  Like everything else this school year, it’s time, again, to get out of my comfort zone and start playing.  

I decided to try and tell the story of what is happening in my Social Skills group at school.  Because I am swamped with work these days, I’m trying to be efficient and anything I create here, I want to be able to use at school.  My plan is to share this “digital story” with my group at the start of our next lesson this week and am looking forward to their input and possible changes I may need to make.  To be honest, I am quite uncertain as to the “legalities” of sharing these images on this wordpress site – I imagine that I need parent consent (which I have) to use pictures and videos of my students throughout my learning in this course, but I’m not sure if I need more than that.  If any of you have insight regarding this issue – I’d love to hear from you because posting things online makes me nervous with regards to digital footprints and such.  

I used a program called “Thinglink”.  It was recommended to me by a behaviour consultant from the ministry who works with students on the autism spectrum.  She is someone I highly respect, so took her advice and jumped right in (full 35$ fee and all!).  Much to my dismay, after spending the money, the program is not user friendly and it has taken me quite some time to get anything done.  It had the “sales” features of a great digital storytelling/educational resource and I wanted to have something that I would use often and know well.  I think it will take me a good long time to figure this one out the way I want to know it, but now that I’ve spent the money, I guess I have some motivation.  Mostly I was disappointed because it was not easy to embed the videos that I created to go with the images and the link you have here is void of any video.  My hope is to keep building on it, and it might show up in my “exemplars” assignment if I can figure it out.  From what I can tell so far, I can only add videos from YouTube or other online sources, and cannot add my own.  Again, my fear in publishing any of my students work to YouTube exists and I’m not sure that is the right avenue to getting my videos into the platform.  

I most likely should have used Photo Story (also available on my computer) and worked with that program but I ended up with “Thinglink” so have a look and let me know your thoughts.


Nic on February 18, 2017

Ok folks – the audio trouble I was having was a technical one I’ve had before on my computer.  I spent probably an hour fiddling with the settings and trying to get audio back up and running.  The problem started after simply putting my headphones into the jack – I was left suddenly with no audio on anything – no YouTube, no Audacity, no Voki.  So in the end, the app works pretty seamlessly, but sometimes the trouble lies in the machine.  After remembering my troubles getting audio online with my classmates a few weeks ago (Big Blue Button audio troubles) I shut everything down and restarted the computer to attempt to fix the problem.  Simple solution because it worked.  It just took me an hour or so of exploration to figure it out.  Damn machine.  I will attempt to link my Ratty intro to my LMS another day.  I think the students will enjoy playing with this one though.  Enjoy!

Ratty’s Introduction

Source: I just made a new Voki. See it here:

OK – now I think I’m getting the hang of this!  YAHOO!  I made Ratty go viral!  I wasn’t sure I could make the avatar image show on my page but I did it! (I’m high fiving myself right now because whenever I figure something like this out – though it may seem small to you, it’s HUGE learning for me).  I’m so excited!  Baby steps forward for me!

Nic on February 18, 2017


I thought I’d play a little with the free app – Voki to create an avatar to use on my school’s Moodle site.  I’ve taken the plunge and created an active wiki on my school LMS and am playing with my students as we work to create a space to share information about Kona (our animal-assisted activity dog).  Cairn’s were originally bred to kill rats in Scotland and so I’ve used the app to create a rat avatar and recorded a wee introduction that I will post on our site.  I have a puppet, known as Ratty, that I use with my students as we work on literacy activities.  I think they are going to love this technology connection.

I’m not sure how to make this all work – but I’m hoping to have Ratty’s image on the site and then with a click you get her intro.  Stay tuned as I work with the app. – I’m having technical problems with the audio so please be patient!

I’ve sent an email to the Voki folks to see if they can help me troubleshoot my computer to make the audio upload to the app – in the meantime I recorded my “script” for Ratty using Audacity and have attached it here.


Nic on February 11, 2017

Hi All,

I went into the link that Keith provided us to access free online audio content and found a great variety to choose from.  I decided to keep it simple and went with a classic Jack Johnson “Better When We’re Together” piece that was recorded during one of his 2013 concerts.  My intent is to use the music at some point in a video with my students who are learning social skills.  I’ve been taking video of my students while they work and interact to try and capture “prosocial” behaviour and then have been editing it to make a movie highlighting the “expected” behaviours and then replay it back to my students starring them as the main characters.  They love it!  My challenge has been knowing how to import music and then attach it to the video so last week’s video featured background music from the “samples” on my computer!  Let me tell you, it was slim pickin!  Learning how to search for the right kind of file (MP3) and then edit and play with it in Audacity has been incredibly useful!  

A funny aside – I phoned my tech support with the school district this week to have someone with “admin” privileges come and install Audacity on my computer.  It wasn’t until I was talking to someone that I thought to look in my programs to see if we already had it installed… to my delight and embarrassment – there it was!  At least I saved them a trip over to my school!  Another example of the way people process things – I needed to talk about needing Audacity with someone to actually think to look for it on my computer (this was after trying unsuccessfully to download it from the internet).  

So – I’ve spent all of this morning playing with Audacity at the Vernon arena while intermittently dealing with being the hostess for my son’s speed skating tournament.  Gotta love the accessibility of online learning.  The tutorials have been helpful and I’ve learned the very basics.  My hope is to use this short audio piece at the beginning of a video starring my students.  Very basic – enjoy.