Line app.. an app with potential?

Line app was one of the apps used by a few of the participants in my survey. I downloaded it to see what it was all about. Reading about it, I thought.. this is just a chat.. what is new about Line app. Why do people want *another* messaging app?

As I got started.. I realized it actually had some pretty cool capabilities.

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Flickr: Bhupinder Nayyar

  1. You can chat (obviously!) with groups or individuals. Inside of that you can send photos and location. You can add friends with QR codes, shaking/tapping your phone or searching.
  2. There is a timeline, this can be your own comments/photos otherwise it is news updates or other “official accounts”. It sort of appears to be like Snapchat in that it gives you an update and you can a follow another area eg (CNN-style)
  3. You can call your contacts.
  4. It also includes in app purchases and games.

This Line app seems to be a combination of WhatsApp, Skype and Snapchat all in one.

Line: We’re A Social Entertainment Platform, Not Just A Free Calls Messaging App also gave me some good info about Line App. I hadn’t realized it launched in 2011 and has over 100 million users. It appears to be big in Asia, will the same happen in Canada and the US?


My EC&I 831 Summary..

Hi everyone,

Here is my Summary of Learning. Am I happy with my product? Yes! I was beaming ear to ear when it was all complete. I hope you enjoy it as well  🙂

The Summary of Learning itself:

As I created it I was totally 100% focused (crazy, right?). I was interested in Powtoon and didn’t realize the extent that it could be used. I had used similar programs and welcomed my students doing that as well for presentations. One day, I even spent 12 full hours working on it and only moved to grab a drink or run to the washroom. It didn’t take long to understand how it worked but I did head back into work to complete it with my double screens and mouse. It was way easier that way. Even after it was uploaded onto YouTube I had to figure out how to change the thumbnail– thanks to this video for helping me out!

What am I most proud of?

A few things.. here they are:

  1. That I used voiceover. Initially when I read the assignment that needed to include live audio/video, I was immediately nervous. I hate hearing my own voice! (Haha, anyone who knows me might laugh at that one). Voiceover was out of my comfort zone, but I figured, this class is all about trying something new and experimenting with technology. I didn’t quite master the art of voiceover. The sound wasn’t great. I realized I had to talk quietly and then I turned down the music as low as I could. Not perfect but I’m still happy with my product.
  2.  Using Creative Commons images right in the program. Super easy to use and you could even show different images inside of icons within the program. Cool!
  3. Sharing as public, not even listed or private on YouTube! I’m more of a private or listed type of person when it comes to posting anything online but I’ve really tried to focus on sharing my work over the last few months. I think we all need to do our part when it comes to sharing our learning and facilitating learning with others. Even if they view your work, get a few more ideas or want to edit something of theirs from watching yours and seeing something they like (or even something of yours they would like to improve on theirs). This point is the whole idea of Social Media/Open Education. How can we broaden our knowledge and the knowledge of others?

What could I have improved on my final project?

  1.  I didn’t realize my maximum amount of time as 5 minutes. I needed probably at least one more minute as there was a lot to read on some slides. Not ideal, but you are able to pause if need be. I did read the most important portions of the slide for that reason.
  2. My photos were found on Creative Commons inside of Powtoon but I wasn’t sure if attribution was given appropriately. On my video page on Powtoon, not all the images I used were included in the Creative Commons attribution page. I’m not sure why all the photos weren’t there, as they were all taken the same way. Sorry! I wasn’t able to edit as my Premium Trial ended and the video couldn’t be exported after being edited.

What’s my biggest personal gain in this course? An increased amount of confidence. I’m willing to try something that is out of my comfort zone. For example, tweeting someone I don’t know for help in a certain area. And as I said earlier, I’m proud of myself for my final project!

Now onto the course in general..

Which articles/videos/ etc had the most impact on me this semester? 

Here are my TOP 10:

  1. During week 3: Pocket is one of my new favourite apps. I love the ability to organize readings and even view offline. I was also happy to start using Google + communities. That would be an awesome way to collaborate with others! Using Zoom was also an awesome experience. My favourite part of this week? Joining #FGChat and #spedchat. #Spedchat is a fantastic chat/ community for those interested.
  2. Week 4: Learning from  Dave Cormier this week and discussing Rhizomatic learning! Reflection: How do we change our teaching to meet our digital learners? professional challenge: start with one class and have them develop their own PLE (personal learning environment)
  3. Week 6/7, my language is expanding: Content Curation.
  4. That same week, Why Even the Worst Bloggers Are Making Us Smarter
    “Ory Okolloh may not have thought she wanted to write a book, but in a sense, she already had.” Inspirational, Motivational – Our words have power. Truly Amazing.
    What does this mean for our students Blogging?
  5. Top 3 take-aways from this week:
    1) Teenagers are self-trolling. I had no idea. Cyber self-harm?
    2) Yik Yak app. Do we teach digital citizenship effectively in schools?
    3) trends in technology use can be attributed to S.E.S and Race.
  6. Week 8: Lessig : “Using digital technology to say things differently”, “tools of creativity, tools of speech” Boyd : Moving from traditional academic publishing (paper) to digital, open-access journals.
  7.  Week 9: Maggie’s Digital Content Farm: what are we having our students contribute to online?
  8. Week 10: Net neutrality: a “new to me” concept. Without net neutrality, a negative impact for smaller companies and the education system.
  9.  The week of videos and articles surrounding harassment online. Words to desribe the readings: shocking, disappointing and a reality of online harassment for women online. How can we make a difference? How can law enforcement support?
  10. Livesteaming Apps to Promote Justice– Are we keeping people safe, highlighting social injustice, or infringing on the privacy rights of others?

My Learning Project reflection:

Collaborative Tools in Schools for Teachers
I wanted to know:
What does collaboration look like today?
Has technology shaped collaboration?
How do people network professionally?
What should I check out? Slack, Voxer, FB?
What are my school divisions plans of resource sharing?
How is it different from Elementary to Highschool?
Does Interprofessional collaboration look different?
What does collaboration look like world wide?
How can I use Twitter to collaborate?

What did I do to accomplish my goal:

I connected with teachers in Thailand, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Malaysia, US and England on how they collaborate. I did this with email, FaceTime, Google Forms and Facebook Messenger. All shared different perspectives on how their students and staff work together.
I connected with educators via Facebook groups. I tested out Voxer, Slack, viewed TED Talks and even did my own Screencast (totally out of my comfort zone!). There are a lot more websites to see, apps to test and reviews/articles to read!
I reviewed what my division offers for teacher collaboration, spoke with teachers and observed how kids collaborate and what they use to do so using their own devices, school laptops and Ipads.

My last note.. Thank you to Alec and Katia for providing a deliberately open class with engaging reading material and a self-directed component. As this was my first Master’s class I appreciated Alec’s willingness to help and Katia’s stalking skills (haha!). At times, especially after the Midterm feedback I was feeling overwhelmed but the feedback led to me to improve myself and my ways of learning. Thank you. 


Online Activism or Slacktivism? You decide.

This weeks readings are around the idea of Online Activism. There are two predominant views on online activism, one being that online activism reaches a greater audience and is making a difference in the world via social media. Whereas the second perspective is that online activism, termed “slavitivism” is supporting a cause but putting little time or effort into the cause, such as signing a petition.

The Death of Slacktivism looked at the use of hashtags and the ability go viral, the article has described some of the viral sensations as trendy and shallow. Although, I did find it somewhat ironic that the author titled the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as ASL Ice Bucket Challenge incorrectly. Especially after calling the phenomenon shallow. Forget what the Ice Bucket Challenge was about? Read about it here14929011085_3d3b3d9fd3_z

Photo by: University of Central Arkanasa

Looking at different viral sensations, social media was the reason these topics took off. Another app that made this happen was Yik Yak, which has been discussed in a previous blog post. People used Yik Yak to communicate in a geographical location and share informtion. This was similiar, but less involved than How We Can Use Livestreaming Apps to Promote Justice which shared live video on a wide range of issues, eg protests.

But why is this relevant to education? Here is one reason. Look at the experience of Trayvon Martin. I had a student a few years ago who was following the event and was incredibly engaged. Even ten years ago, would this student have had this ability to stay current with the event? This specific event may not have even been  brought to light if it wasn’t for social media and those “slacktivists”. I say “slacktivists” because I do believe online activism has a place in our highly digital world. The part of the article I appreciated the most was “Think globally, act locally”. That speaks to me because I also agree with that notion of being able to look at social justice issues on a global scale, while ensuring you continue to act on a local scale. Social media has proven to be beneficial to online activism.

Slacktivism is having a powerful real-world impact, new research shows offers a new term, arm chair activism.  Have you heard that one? I haven’t. This short, but persuasive article adopts the idea that the power of online activism lies in the large scale of individuals who are engaged.

Photo Credit: @OccupyWallStNYC

Instead of reviewing the article, here is what I found most powerful:

This research builds on a 2012 study by researchers at Georgetown University, who found that those who support movements online are actually more likely to engage in activism in real life.

Combined, the findings of these studies suggest we have entered an age of increased activism, both on the ground and online.

The findings I appreciate, as they align with my thoughts about online activism.

Here is another article of support:

I Get It: You Don’t Like Slacktivism. Now Shut Up. Only Don’t.  What this article had me reflecting on what we all do as individuals to take part in activism. I agree that in many cases it takes more than a hashtag, like or share to support a cause. But, we do what we can at that point in our lives. We all support different causes in different ways. Some causes, I “like”, “share” or “retweet”, one example around mental illness, Bell Let’s Talk. Another example, Alzheimer’s, I donate money and walk with my family. Another example, Bright Eyes Dog Rescue, I run their Twitter and Instagram. Some I do daily, some sporadically and some annually. We should be proud of what we are doing, and what we are doing to encourage younger generations to make a difference.

Now, here is a brief description of some conflicting thoughts:

The problem with #slactivism ran on the basis that, online activism is actually hindering “real” activism  as people feel they have already done their part by “liking” or wearing blue, etc. They are less likely to donate funds or donate time because dopamine and endorphins have  been released to reward us for your good behaviour? But what about Movember, that donates money as well. Nope, still not quite good enough, still is it a narcissistic idea and men are only donating for their own benefit: to sport sketchy facial hair.

Slacktivism? Nah, I’m still going with online activism. 

The Nasty Side of Social Media

Looking at the videos from this week, both provided a controversial but, necessary conversation about the negative side of social media. It is somewhat worrisome that online threats aren’t always taken as seriously as threats made in person. It was disappointing for me that the police force was unaware and demonstated a lack of understanding of social media, more specifically regarding Twitter. I was completed shocked to read that a woman would have to have approximately $15,000 to fight for her rights online. As said in the video, who has $15,000 (shoe box of money) stored away to fit a similar battle? The woman interviewed expressed suicidal thoughts after her photos were posted online. This would relate to children, also feeling like they are helpless. To note, the woman in the interview received little support on the issue due to a lack of understanding. Victim blame is found often in our society and mainstream culture, which desperately needs to change.

Online harassment occurs at much higher rates than expected and some would argue it is an established norm in our digital society. I found it interesting that Facebook has *support* for those who are at a perceived risk of suicide. I would question that type of criteria is needed, or this will simply “reporting”someone. Instagram from my understanding also has similar regulations about suicide, self harm, disordered eating, etc. Since many youths are using online forums to express themselves I am pleased to see the Kids Help Phone has created an app for children and youth to use instead of a phone call. 

Our reading around online comments had me reflecting on the new regulations by CBC  which were recently changed. Multiple unacceptable comments were posted with articles which CBC did not support therefore prompting the change. 


What are you revealing online?

Our class article Don’t Post About Me On Social Media Children Say, rang true to me for many reasons.  First and foremost, I know I’m not a child but… my dad just got Facebook and he really struggles. It is like a totally new social zone for him, doing tons of things that are some might say, off key. It’s the typical things, liking his own stuff, over “sharing” someone’s posts and posting totally unflattering pictures of his children (25 and 32). Although I guess by me writing about it, it is also sort of socially inappropriate. I think he will forgive me. Now onto the reading, children felt they didn’t want their parents posting about them online for a variety of reasons, whereas parents felt it was OK to post about their children. Even over the last decade, you can see a whole shift on what parents are posting about their children. This could even be seen through Humans of New York, microfashion. The bigger picture is definitely the children’s privacy rights, which would need to be a new post.

This article reminded me of the topic we’ve covered lately, what are you sharing online?

I started off by reading  What are you revealing online? Much more than you think and watched both of the TED Talks (see below). I was amazed when looking at language analysis- what could they find out about me via my social media identity? Am I the things I think I am, or are some other traits coming up more frequently? That would be so interesting to took at this in a Psychology class when you discuss personality (I think that is somewhere in the curriculum?). What are we contributing to these websites research without even knowing, I would say without our consent, but that wouldn’t necessarily be accurate. This absolutely reminded me of our reading last week on Maggie’s farm.

As I’m reading the article, I obviously stop on Take This Lollipop, now I encourage each and everyone of you to do that activity, or share with your students. I most definitely woke up at 4:40 am thinking about the horror. I don’t want to give you any hints….

Back to the TED Talks. I was astonished this the data collected by Target and that they sent a pregnant teen coupons before she told her parents she was expecting. This is a must see! It was definitely interesting looking at the curly fry phenomenon and that what we “like” is unrelated to the content, but to the attributes shared by others. Highly recommend!

You can find them both below:


Net-neutrality, is what?

This week’s set of readings provided me with a great deal of new learning. It kind of reminded me of the use of KWL in classes. Lots of teachers start off a unit or a class and ask these questions: What do you already know? What do you want to know? Then, what have you learned? Now there is a shift to using OWL and other methods to discuss these questions. The reason why I am mentioning this now is because this is a topic which for me is new, I had not a clue that net-neutrality (did or did not) exist. I hadn’t even considered a digital divide which was discussed in one of our readings this week.

John Oliver is correct; I hardly ever think about encryption. Actually, almost never. The only time I think about it when I am logging into banking or using WiFi while travelling. But, what an important piece to dialogue around. Should Apple unlock the phone of criminals to release information to the supervising authorities- that is the question. Although this example is fairly extreme, it would indeed set a precedent for all other police services on unlocking phones and searching for information. Apple has still continued to be cooperative as said in the video and has shared Cloud info. I don’t believe this battle is over nor will this have an “easy” answer.

John Oliver makes any topic engaging and educational, including Net Neutrality.

Initially when I started this video I was of the understanding it was regarding the sale of different internet speeds with service providers, then of course within 13 minutes I had a new understanding of Net Neutrality. I can understand that service providers are competing for clients (by fast speeds and great customer service), but I hadn’t considered the same for companies. The example discussed was Netflix and their ability to purchase faster internet speeds, where as smaller companies would not have that ability.Our next article on Why Net Neutrality Matters to Education was able to explain the implications for Education and what that means for our classrooms or learning in general. Again, the example provided was Netflix paying for better access for their clients and how that would negatively impact education in a variety of ways. The ways discussed was:

  1. Free/open source web tools
  2. Open source textbooks
  3. Wikis and other collaborative sites
  4. school libraries

I can understand why this would indeed put education at risk, but isn’t this already an issue to a degree? Working in a rural school, we have a certain bandwidth based on elementary/highschool and number of students. I don’t know if all schools in SK have similar restrictions or not. The internet is already slowed down when too many people are accessing it, or that we are encouraged not to use the internet during online streamed courses. Another reason why a gap still exists when it comes to technology is that all youth don’t own technology, have technology at home or are still using poor internet services. But, I suppose these still remain two different issues at hand. This ties in seamlessly with the article around bringing internet to the developing world, and doing so with Facebook. It was one giant, “hmmm…” for me when reading. Facebook wants to make their services free, but then it creates a gap between Facebook and other sites. It would directly benefit Facebook and not others. It remains that all parties involved continue to share a common goal: helping people. Would Facebook consider supporting free internet in general, not just their own website?

Looking at digital divide, I hadn’t explicitly considered “the poor” when it came to digital privacy rights. I had considered all people to have similar rights as individuals, where as perhaps corporations may have additional privacy.The argument placed in the article was logical, those individuals with a lower socio-economic status are at a greater disadvantage because of their purchased brand of technology, they may be unaware of their digital rights and they may be fearful of law enforcement. But, where do we go from here, is it unreasonable to want “an equal playing field” as mentioned in the article?

Interview: collaboration, Social Workers and app development

Interview with Taryl Law (available here). Please enjoy my humor at the beginning of the conversation!

Taryl has her Bachelors in Social Work from the U of R. She has been now living in the UK for approximately 8 years. She was a great individual to interview and discuss the differences between schools in SK and her current school in London. We have had many conversations around collaboration and special education schools. She has also been working with a team to create an app to support young adults with lifeskill development. There is an interesting portion of the interview which discusses intellectual property of the app and who it “belongs” to.

Here are a few of the items we discussed in the interview:

  • Description of roles in schools in SK vs UK
  • Description of Swiss Cottage School for children with learning difficulties, emotional, behavioral and communication difficulties.
  • Examples of collaboration in her school
  • SW code of ethics, compare and contrast
  • Culture of collaboration experiences in schools
  • Switching gears: app development, legalities around the app creation, future plans.

How Do I app video below:

Here is what their website says about How do I?

HowDoI? is an interactive learning resource, primarily consisting of step-by-step lifeskill task videos, presented though a well designed and easy to use app activated by NFC tags. NFC stands for Near Field Communication and is the same technology used in contactless debit cards. Tags are placed strategically around a living space to link in situ learning opportunities with the related video, and it’s as easy as touching an NFC-enabled device to the brightly coloured HowDoI? tag. HowDoI? is currently available for Android.

For more information, find them on Facebook or Twitter!

Facebook: How Do I? Nfc Helps Me

Twitter: @NFCHelpsMe

Here is a fantastic video that describes the Inclusive Technology Prize:

Wondering about who they are up against in the Inclusive Technology Prize?Click here to view the 10 finalists.  The winner will be announced on March 17th, 2016 around 2:00pm London time.