Monday, 30 January 2017

Google Forms, Blogging, and Lions in the Library, Oh My!

Today we created quizzes on Google Forms in response to stories from the website Storyline Online. I chose the story 'Library Lion' by Michelle Knudsen. Quiz yourself to see if you understood the book!

Monday, 23 January 2017

Genius Hour - Update #2

We are entering the second week of our Genius Hour projects, and things are happening!

I have chosen for this week to focus on a couple of vitamins and nutrients that are difficult to come by on a vegetarian diet; specifically, iron and B12. I did some preliminary research last week and found out some interesting facts! Particularly, iron comes in two forms - heme and non-heme. Iron from animals is mostly heme iron, and it is easily and readily absorbed by our digestive systems. On the other hand, iron from plant-based foods is non-heme iron, and the body has a harder time absorbing it. We can boost our chances of absorbing non-heme iron by consuming it with vitamin C and avoiding calcium, which is an inhibitor. So the next time you're sitting down to a black bean and quinoa salad, considering swapping that glass of milk out for a glass of orange juice - your body's iron supply will thank you!


As I delve further into the research part of my project, I anticipate that I will come across conflicting information, especially with ideas about how much protein is healthy for someone my gender, size, weight, and age. Everyone seems to have different opinions! I intend to "shop" around and find some average amounts in order to pin down an accurate quantity. Vegetarianism can be hard sometimes with various sources all recommending different approaches to getting the right nutrients, but I think it's worth the effort.

Jumping back to 8Y24, this past week we used Google Forms, a way to create and use surveys and polls in the classroom. I found this app to be really straightforward to use, and the surveys and polls are easily and quickly made, with flexibility for multiple choice, short, or long answer questions. I could definitely see myself using it in my future classroom as a comprehension tool or exit ticket. It would work best in a classroom where all students had access to a mobile device or laptop, so there are some limitations with Forms' use, but that's an issue you run into with many technological platforms.

Until next time!

Friday, 20 January 2017

Virtual Field Trips and Genius Hour

This week in 8Y24, we explored the world of Virtual Field Trips! VFT’s are a great way to “take” your class on an adventure that would not be feasible in the real world, such as a tour around a European museum, an African safari, or even the local farm. These online tours span everything from photo tours to immersive experiences complete with video, audio, and interactive segments. I chose to explore “The Nine Planets”, an online and informative way to explore everything about our solar system. My field trip included an informative article about Jupiter, a chance to check out stunning astronomy photography, and finished with the “Express” version of the Tour of the Solar System. I had never really heard of or experienced a Virtual Field Trip before; I think they are great tools for teachers who want to take their class to exotic or memorable locations around the world, and VFT’s provide great opportunities to engage in learning that wouldn’t happen without the use of technology.

We also furthered our knowledge of the “Genius Hour Project”, an initiative started in part by Google that encourages people to spend their time pursuing and expanding on their knowledge of a topic they are passionate about. Productivity and motivation increase when people are supported in following their “pet projects” and interests; this is where Gmail and Google News originated from! Genius Hour is also used in the classroom, where students can choose any topic from which to develop a project.

In 8Y24, we are starting our own Genius Hour Projects! I chose to research the question “How can I improve my health and nutrition on a vegetarian diet?” I challenged myself to try vegetarianism last year for a couple of months as an experiment, and ended up really liking it. Now that I'm more committed, I'm interested in exploring new foods, recipes, and tricks for making sure I am getting the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. After choosing this topic, I went home and kicked off my planning for this project with a healthy smoothie!

It had cashew milk, pomegranate, avocado, blueberries, banana, and kale.

Check out the additional pages on this blog, like my proposal page, to find out more about my Genius Hour project!

Until next time. :)

Tuesday, 10 January 2017


Welcome back! This week in EDUC 8Y24, we delved into the world of copyright, learning about attribution, Creative Commons, and finding copyright-friendly images.

Prior to this class, I had actually never heard of Creative Commons (CC)! After exploring CC and its functions, I think it is a handy resource for people to both share and use some great content, like photos or videos, in a way that makes both parties happy. I learned that CC gives uploaders a few options for the level of copyright on their content; the options range from requiring proper attribution, to granting permission for modification of content, and more.

Pixabay. (2014, March 14). "Kids Celebrate at the Computer" [Online image]. Retrieved from
During my placement last semester, I taught Media Literacy to my class. We talked a lot about images and media that they see on the Internet, who posted the images, and who sees it. Now that I know more about copyright permissions and restrictions, if I were to teach Media Literacy in a similar way again, I would include mini-lessons and hands-on learning about copyright rules too. Just because you see a funny image online doesn't mean you can download it, share it, or even pretend that you created it! My students were all talented at finding images (and yes, memes) on the internet, but I would hazard a guess that few to none of them know how to locate and post the information of the original creator. Since plagiarism is a serious offense in higher education, I do think it is important to educate students from a young age about giving credit where it is due.

Plougmann, L. (2011, January 20). At the computer [Online image]. Retrieved from:

Thanks for reading! Until next time.


Hello and Welcome!

Hello! My name is Laura, and I am a teacher candidate at Brock University, Ontario. Welcome to my blog for EDUC 8Y24, Teaching and Learning with Technology. This site will chronicle my journey through the intertwined worlds of technology and education, and will showcase what I learn along the way! For example, this is a passion heart that I created on Google Draw:

Here's my Pinterest page if you'd like to know more about me!

Be sure to check out my Twitter account that will also follow my adventures in EDUC 8Y24! Bear with me as I learn how to condense my chatty self into 140 characters or less. ☺

And in case you needed a little dose of motivation in your day, here's a pep talk from the one and only Kid President!

Until next time!