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Connecting Amidst Connectivity

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This was the first lecture as part of the Promise and Peril of Emerging Technologies: Research Colloquium

I was super excited to snag a table facilitator position and attend this event.  Two years ago a similar event was held that had my mind spinning and me questioning the impact of technology on our minds, bodies and relationships.  This one did the same.

First one


Michael Rich

Center on Media and Child Health


The Key Ideas that I captured from this portion of the day….

  •  Blindly embracing, mindlessly running away OR can we be mindful?
  •  10 hours 45 minutes is the daily average screen time for 8-18 year olds
    • Only 7 hours 38 minutes of media use but because of multiple screens this adds over 3 hours
  • Multitasking & Influences
    • What is the effect of multiple screens?
    • Second/third screens are not filtered by our critical thinking, does this make them more influential?
  • Have you heard from your students?  “When I stay awake at school, I don’t remember.”
    • Missing sleep cycles that move things from our short term to our long term memories
    • REM sleep is important for consolidating memory and we are getting less and less
  • MRI scans & the value in boredom
    • Doing nothing, mind wandering has more brain areas light up
    • When we have nothing to do we build our sense of self
    • Creativity time
  • It didn’t happen until it is shared
    • FOMO – fear of missing out
    • Stay online for self defense – need to know what is happening
    • Don’t tell adults because the first thing we do is take away access to technology
    • We are behaving the way we have always done but the environment is different
  • What can you do…
    • Learn alongside your students and children
    • Respect them enough to enter their world
    • Be the student
    • Tech tools to create, critically think
    • Choose what are exposing our attention to
    • Digital Sabbath – 24 hour period without media

The one that blew my parenting mind was “Do not put limits on screen time, but rather fill their 24 with priorities. Media is not the forbidden fruit.”  In my house we exceed every average for screen time but we do put limits on time and this is where the fighting and negotiation happens.  In hindsight helping children (and some adults) prioritize their daily life is a far more useful skill than putting hard limits on time.

This was the first hour of the day and I was already reeling!


Year in Review

The demise of Posterous really cut into my 365 project this year.  I dabbled with Tumblr but think I have settled with Instagram.  I love looking back at our year!

Looking back at 2012

Back even further, 2011.

Edcamp Tech Smackdown

My obsession with Inforgraphics has led me to stockpile resources and then try my hand at creating my own.  It is but a first attempt using Piktochart,

Outline 2012 Inforgraphic


Runner Up: Today’s Meet as a back channel

EdCamp GP


What Does That Mean?

Come enjoy a day with colleagues from the Peace Country area and beyond. Arrive with an idea for a session that you would like to lead or with the anticipation of a day of learning. A session might explore a technology tool, a discussion about best practices, or a collaborative presentation with multiple facilitators.

During the first half hour, you will have time to meet other teachers over coffee. There will be an empty session board where you and all attendees can post session titles.

Over the course of the day, you will have the opportunity to attend up to four sessions. The rule of the unconference is to “vote with your feet”. If a session doesn’t meet your needs, simply get up and move on to another room.

You will learn something new, maybe make a new friend, and receive information that you can immediately apply in your classroom and professional life!

When and Where?

EdCampGP will take place on Saturday February 9th, 2013 at Peace Wapiti Academy from 10 am until 3:30pm.


Register at  to reserve your space. Registration is limited.


EdCamp Grande Prairie is free. Lunch will be on your own at a local eatery. We will have a sign up board for ordering out as well..

 What Should I Bring?

Bring a friend. A laptop with wireless Internet is useful. It will allow you to view the session board online, take notes, and view websites discussed throughout the day.


Please feel free to send an email to


Gerald Logan @gloganETCATAlogo_reasonably_small

Jen Clevette @jenclevette


2012 – Reflection on Balance

For the past couple of years I have been using a single word to guide and focus my year. (Find last year’s post at

So last year, 2012, my word was

Nest B Christmas Sparkle letter A letter L letter A letter N c letter E

This was a tough year for me both personally and professionally.  I started a new job, as a vice principal of a 9-12, not only was I a first time administrator, it was my first time at a high school.  My saving grace was that I was teaching social studies 9 again, so I had a little bit of breathing room.  Personally my son had a rough couple months at school, it was tough on the whole family, but we seems to have turned a corner and he LOVES going this year.

So overall, I give myself a solid SO-SO…

  • The Good – Professional Development for me.  This year I have stepped up finding what I need to do my job better.  Instead of being the facilitator, I am sitting in sessions acquiring the new skills sets that I need.  Baking, I love to bake and have been making time on Sundays to do that, most of the baking then heads to work (much to my husband’s dismay) but it’s a start.
  • The Great – I took more personal days that I ever have.  For my son’s birthday, for a girl’s weekend to Phoenix for my daughter’s Kinder graduation.  We went on family vacations to Mexico, Banff and fishing.  I have even managed to sneak away to watch gymnastics Wednesday afterschool.  Taking care of me has also improved.  I bought a SPA membership and I used it, at least once a month for a massage.  I have also made those much overdue medical and dental appointments, no more putting them off.
  • The Bad – as a family we still live for weekends, as much as I love to cook, this seems to be the only time that I get a chance to as I still have trouble getting home at a reasonable time.  While I continued with my 365 project, this year was my least amount of posted pictures.
  • The Ugly – still having trouble saying no.  On top of continuing with two ATA positions, I added a Teacher’s Convention position.   Something will have to go!

So while it was not perfect, it could have been worse.  I know this is something I will have to always have to work on.  I am my father’s daughter, we work hard but we also play hard…when we give ourselves the time to do so!

What do you do to help keep yourself balanced?

365 Project

This is the single most satisfying project I do for me.  For the last 3 years, and continuing this year, I post a photo or two or three a day.  You can find all of my post here (Right now the archive is not working properly, but I have a help request into Posterous)

Why do I love this project?

  • Memories – I love to look back and see what we have done, what was happening two years ago on the same date.
  • Family – it’s an easy way to stay connected with family, both near and far.  My sister has a 365 project as well.
  • Sharing – I love showing others, this is a fabulous way to “break” into blogging.  It’s easy and teachers can see the personal benefits, the transfer over to classroom or professional blogging is usually not far behind.

Here is a look back at 2012!


Anyone interested in 365ing?  See some more how tos at

Kids will do well, if they can…

I had the fabulous opportunity to attend a one day webinar with Ross Greene, on Collaborative Problem Solving,  that will be followed up with a two day face to face session in January.  To say that the idea of collaborative problem solving spoke to me, is an understatement!  That is not to say that I have been able to use all the tools and ideas seamlessly, it has blown up on me in on a few occasions which usually results in a student looking at me like I have horns, but I am committed to plugging away at it.

Kids do well if they can…And is he is not doing well, adults need to figure out why so they can help

  • Why are challenging kids challenging?  What we are seeing, what is getting in the way?
  • When are challenging kids challenging? What problems needs to be solved so the behaviours can be reduced.
  • What are we going to do differently now that we know why….
  • Little what....what are challenging kids doing when they are challenging…least important because there is little difference between the behaviours.

Why are kids challenging…because they are lacking the skills to not be challenging. 


Delayed in the development of cognitive skills…kids are only challenging when certain demands are put on them.
  • Flexibilty
  • Adaptability
  • Frustration tolerance
  • Problem solving
Challenging behaviours communicates to us that the kid is lacking the skills to do it better.
Why are we seeing more behaviours?  We are demanding skills earlier and earlier.  Kids have to more flexible and adaptable. Social skills are required earlier and earlier!
Implementing a model
  1. Identify lagging skills.  Engage students in the process in skills lacking. Persuasive.
  2. Identify unsolved problems…situations…get organize
    • Once lagging skills have been identified, move over in the guide and start discussion examples of when this happens, what it looks like to help identify the unsolved problem.
    • The unsolved problem must be
      • Free from challenging behaviours
      • Free of adult theories
      • Not explain what is going on BUT identify lagging skills and unsolved problems
      • Specific and split.  What is the expectation the student is having difficulty meeting?
  3. Solve problems and teach skills together!  Collaboratively!
So with less than a month till the next session, I am working on identifying lagging skills and unsolved problems.  I am also reading Lost at School over the break, hoping to glean a little more before our next session.