Teagan’s Summary of Learning

Thank you all for a wonderful semester of learning!

Online and blended education were areas I had minimal experience in, prior to this course. I am excited to apply my new learnings from EC& I 834 in my current teaching practice for more authentic tech integration and blended learning options for my students. Here is my Summary of Learning video that I shared in class.

Summary of Learning Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMLK3OrrGkY

Canva slides link (includes links within): https://www.canva.com/design/DAGB89Des7w/MuYZVRWzHpA7cN5BarRvCA/view?utm_content=DAGB89Des7w&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=editor

Thanks everyone!

– Teagan

…& They All Lived Happily Ever After: The Ending of Online Course Creation

…& that’s a wrap! Well for now. In a way, this also feels like the beginning as I definitely plan to further explore everything I have learned throughout this course. I look forward to creating more online learning content to use in my practice!

I am thrilled to (FINALLY!!!) share my course prototype final submission! At the beginning of the semester, I definitely did not anticipate the amount of time and effort that would go into this project, but seeing the finished product was worth it all!


Once upon a time there was a brave educator, set out on an adventurous journey to create an incredible blended learning course….

For my course prototype, I created two online learning modules to transform my (in-person) grade three, ELA fairy tale unit, into a blended unit. I chose ELA 3 for a few different reasons: 

1 – I LOVE teaching ELA, especially the fairy tales unit. Also, students enjoy this topic, so the initial engagement is already there!

2 – I have taught this unit before. Considering the technology side was brand new to me, I thought being familiar with the unit content would be helpful (it was).

3 – ELA requires a lot of language considerations, to support young learners and ELL learners with reading, writing and speaking, all of which technology can help with – assistive learning options, choice of verbal or written response on my platform, repetition of content as needed and individual work pace are a few key features that support student learning.

4 – In practice, it’s my next ELA unit, so I am able to put these online modules to the test! I will soon be trialing these modules with my current group of learners.

My unit is blended and will take place synchronously, during the school day. Students will access the learning modules on Seesaw, a platform they are familiar with, using our school shared devices. All other online materials needed within the modules (Lumi, Storyboard That, instructional videos, Youtube read alouds) are easily accessible, on Seesaw, and are free.

I am thankful for the beginning steps of this process, as my detailed course profile and thorough ADDIE model planning, helped start this unit with a very strong foundation. Initially, I focused heavily on my desired learning outcomes, to ensure these modules would be useful and relevant for my teaching practice and support the ELA 3 curriculum. To read more about my course planning, see my initial course prototype blog post: Once Upon a Blending Learning Course!

Or, feel free to access the following links:

BLOG POST – Introduction to Course Prototype (Profile & ADDIE included): https://edusites.uregina.ca/teaganbryden/2024/02/08/once-upon-ablended-learning-course/

Course Profile Google Docs link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Q0k1an7taH8IGfL6NxULnQ8gpMVDi3t9BeEotwCQngU/edit

ADDIE model Google Docs link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dw_l7O7cnbFb7-bz_ioZ1_o9yGiRCPVX1J6vqjy7f5k/edit


The galiant educator faces many challenges throughout her journey including: online interactions, LUMI, peer feedback, equity/access, AI, and a fire-breathing dragon!

She persevered.

The weekly EC&I 834 course content was extremely helpful to my online module creation. 

Learning about the importance of interaction and community in online learning had not been a consideration of mine. Especially because my blended unit is taking place in class, within a mostly in-person unit, I hadn’t explored the ways I was going to maintain our strong sense of classroom community as students moved to work through the online modules independently. See my full blog post reflection on ‘Maintaining Meaningful Interaction in a  Blended Learning Course’ here! I explore how I can use Seesaw to maintain meaningful interactions student-to-teacher and student-to-student! As well, using Lumi, receiving peer feedback, managing course accessibility, and considering AI use, were all helpful experiences or considerations and really pushed my course prototype to be the best it could be. Read my full blog posts on these topics here:

BLOG POST – Online Learning Interactions (Use of Seesaw): https://edusites.uregina.ca/teaganbryden/2024/02/15/maintaining-meaningful-interaction-in-a-blended-learning-course/

BLOG POST – Lumi Experience & Module One Creation: https://edusites.uregina.ca/teaganbryden/2024/02/28/module-one-with-lumi-a-work-in-progress/

BLOG POST – Response to Feedback & Equity Considerations: https://edusites.uregina.ca/teaganbryden/2024/03/25/fabulous-feedback-access-equity-online-prototype-considerations/

BLOG POST – AI & Education: https://edusites.uregina.ca/teaganbryden/2024/03/28/ai-is-ok-considering-the-potential-impacts-of-generative-ai-in-my-course-prototype/


The daring teacher was ultimately successful in her quest to create a blended unit! Although, her exciting adventures in the land of blended and online learning do not end here…stay tuned.

I am extremely proud of how my course prototype turned out! My two modules are on Seesaw, via activities, making them very accessible and easy to follow for my learners. I used Canva for design enhancement and was able to embed links to other resources as well as include live assessments right in Seesaw. Check out my modules here:

Seesaw activities photo

 Module 1 (Seesaw Activity link): https://app.seesaw.me/pages/shared_activity?prompt_id=prompt.35665086-846e-42c0-be61-530a03a79816&share_token=7AF4F0PMTNuryNXo6m8e_g

Module 2 (Seesaw Activity link): https://app.seesaw.me/pages/shared_activity?prompt_id=prompt.75f13dc3-cb4a-4d1a-81ae-2209bc52c747&share_token=VRwOryvUQd2C8T3wbsLmbA

To provide some context to this blended unit, I created a unit plan on MS Teams. As my course is blended, this outline displays the in-class learning that will be happening before and after the online modules, to give a full picture of the bigger unit! As MS Teams is not accessible to those outside my division, I reviewed this in my final course walkthrough video.

Final Course Walkthrough: https://app.screencastify.com/v3/watch/FMLunpdw346rCW1HG4Bx

Course Walkthrough Photo

I would love to hear your thoughts on my course prototype and I’m excited to see yours too. Thank you for a wonderful semester of learning.

– Teagan

AI is OK?? Considering the Potential Impacts of Generative AI in my Course Prototype

This week’s focus on AI is a relatively new topic for me. With the rise of ChatGPT, I am becoming more familiar with this technology, although I have minimal experience with it. Although, those around me are embracing this tool such as: my principal openly uses ChatGPT to write specific opening prayers catered to what’s happening around our school and many of my coworkers are exploring AI programs as aides for report card comment writing, specifically Magic School. This past summer, my husband enjoyed using ChatGPT to get ideas for our honeymoon to Europe; using prompts such as, “plan three full days in Florence,” “best way to island hop in Cinque Terre” or “create a one day adventure-filled itinerary for Carcassonne” gave us TONS of ideas and suggestions that immensely helped with planning our trip. I’ve seen the benefit of using AI, as it can be extremely helpful and time saving, although I haven’t explored what this could mean for my job! 

I found Alec Couros’ lecture on AI both fascinating and overwhelming. Anyone else? As I said, I have minimal knowledge of AI – I had solely heard about ChatGPT – so learning about the vast range of AI options had me reeling a bit. Where to start? Which is the best? Different features? Subscriptions? So many options is both impressive and hard to grasp. As I learn more about AI, and it’s abilities, I will consider exploring the numerous programs suggested: Copilot (Microsoft’s AI), Gemini (Google’s AI), Anthropic, Poe, Perplexity and more!

I appreciated Dr. Couros’ ultimately positive outlook on AI in education. I believe that many fear, detest, shy away from, or pretend AI doesn’t exist, because of the negativity surrounding it (due to the unknown or discomfort). AI and cheating (interesting article here) seem to be words that go together. I appreciated how this presentation, while recognizing and addressing many challenges, promoted AI as a TOOL that (when used properly) can have positive impacts in education…on both students and teachers. Of course, this ‘bright side’ will be easier to embrace as we learn more, practice more, read more and experience more of what AI offers. Alec Couros suggests that it is OUR JOB to make AI a positive thing in schools. Like anything new, this will begin as a challenge.

Here are my thoughts on how AI might impact my work, specifically in the context of my course prototype:

– Time-saving opportunities (yes please!): Using AI to save time is, undoubtedly, the most appealing benefit to me. Teachers are BUSY. We constantly have hundreds of things going on in our daily professional lives, we have families, maybe a social life, not to mention any personal enjoyment activities or hobbies (if you can find time for them…). If AI technology can, to any extent, help cover some of the more mundane parts of my job, sign me up. The quote from Alec Couros, “at its best, AI grants us time — time to reinvest in meaningful interactions with our families, our colleagues and those we are privileged to serve” – really stuck with me. If mastering AI usage for professional duties, such as assessment tool creation, email writing, assignment making or feedback, will provide me with more time for other things at work (and life in general), I am all for it.  

For my course prototype, I would love to explore ChatGPT to support my final assessment description and rubric creation. Using specific prompting, I think this program will help me (efficiently) compose a detailed description of the student summative learning task (in grade three friendly language) and construct a rubric to support the targeted outcomes. 

– Personalizing my content (can you say student engagement?!): Alec Couros’ example of his son, who is a reluctant reader, enjoying the personalized stories AI could generate was impactful. I have lots of reluctant readers! I have students who feel unrepresented in the classroom! I have students forever yearning for my attention! Using AI technology, creatively, such as prompting a personalized story, involving students in my class about a topic we are learning about, would heighten engagement among students. AI could help me create Math problems involving students and their real life challenges. I think the opportunities for increased student engagement, through the use of AI, could be incredible and positively increase representation in the classroom overall. When ‘Sarah’ reads a Math word problem about her three best friends and their close soccer match from last recess, she will be thrilled. When ‘Sam’ reads a short English text about peers playing his favorite video game, he will be interested! This personalization is something I strive to include anyway, and AI can easily help me achieve this while (in connection to my above point) save me TIME. 

– Academic integrity (a different ballgame in elementary): Due to the age of students I teach (8-9 years old), this is not a prominent issue. This demographic have minimal Internet access or tech experience and the majority will have never heard of, or used, AI. That being said, the work and assessment in my modules include activities where students share their personal ideas or opinions (often through student voice), helping prevent the option for AI tech being used as a replacement. I can recognize that this issue would be at the forefront of higher grade educators, with students more versed in computers, and familiar with AI. 

 – Other Stands Outs (think *WOW* moments)

  • Bias in AI (no kidding…): The points around the bias existing in AI shocked me. Examples like the soccer player (only males), cleaning (middle aged, white woman) and professor (older, white men) were powerful. I suppose I didn’t consider these biases to be present in a computer program that has its own ‘mind’ per say. Alec Couros explained that AI learns from US, and therefore OUR biases are extremely evident in the content it generates. Our stereotypical views, primarily Western-bias, are prominent.. This could be such a powerful tool for teaching topics such as bias, stereotypes, injustice, classism, racism, sexism, social justice, disrupting the norm, and so on. Dr. Course said that “we have to take responsibility for what AI creates.”
  • Be specific (be, be specific!): The best advice I gathered from this lecture was that learning the art of “specific prompting” makes a difference in AI content generation. Learning how to be very specific and intentional in what I ‘ask’ for through an AI program will greatly enhance the content I receive. Dr. Couros explains that searching for answers in CharGPT is far different from the typical google search question.
  • Multilingual capacities (c’est incroyable!): As a French Immersion teacher, learning about this feature of AI was mind blowing. The thought of easily changing content (usually in English) into French for the purposes of a French task, lesson, project, etc. would be amazing. Furthermore, Dr. Couros suggests the impact that hearing an explanation or assignment in one’s own language would be impactful and this is a free and simple way to make that accommodation. AI language abilities could be life-changing for EAL learners and in the realm of language learning overall.
  • AI education (our saving grace?): In regards to the negatives of AI and the numerous downfalls, concerns, fears (usually centered around academic integrity and impact on student learning), Alec Couros offers “with more literacy comes with more agency.” Like all things digital, we face a massive learning curve and are forever educating on these new areas. Internet safety, digital citizenship, digital literacy, and other forms of education are significant, so why wouldn’t an AI version of this make sense? I appreciated Dr. Course suggestion of perhaps we need to reconsider what we are trying to prevent when banning AI. What learning is happening anyway? How can we use AI (it’s going to be used either way) in connection with our teaching and promote the positive opportunities it provides.

Like I said, I am an AI newbie. This is totally uncharted territory for me and doesn’t really impact my younger students (yet). I look forward to *begin* my AI journey by using programs such as ChatGPT and Magic School as allies in my career to support tasks that it can support. June report card comments – here I come!

Would LOVE to hear about others’ experiences (or lack thereof) with AI in any form? Anyone have suggestions for usage of AI for elementary students? What cool things is AI helping you create for the classroom? 

Thanks for reading my (not AI’s, I swear) thoughts!


Fabulous Feedback & Access/Equity : Online Prototype Considerations!

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who has given me feedback – both in class and via the feedback form! As an educator, I am used to providing (copious amounts of) feedback but rarely receive it myself. I have especially found this feedback useful in relation to our topic of accessibility in an online course, as many of the feedback points were directly related to ways I can make my module more equitable for students. I appreciated the mix of complimentary and critical feedback that I received. It helped me feel confident about how my first module turned out, and it inspired me to make some significant changes to ensure my course prototype is it’s best version! As well, the feedback has helped my planning and development of my second module and with the overall final product that I am getting ready to share in a few short weeks! Eee!

My (fabulous) feedback summarized:

1 – Content related feedback : I received two different critiques of my module content, which initially surprised me. I expected solely tech-related feedback, so being questioned on some of my content choices was unexpected. My prototype focuses on fairy tales, and I talked about and included the words  ‘traditional fairy tales’ in the course description and within the first module. When a peer questioned – “What does traditional fairy tale mean? Who’s tradition are you talking about?” I was momentarily speechless. This peer continued to suggest that the term ‘traditional’ holds a varied significance to each individual and students, from diverse backgrounds, would have their own view of what a traditional tale meant to them. I realized what I was referring to as traditional, was actually well-known popular/mainstream North American (mostly European-based) fairy tales, that I (as a white settler, from SK) considered to be traditional. I immediately began to alter my module to ensure I was including a diverse range of fairy tales, from different countries, that presented diversity and varied cultural fairy tales. I am no longer using the term ‘traditional fairy tales’ in my module due to the narrow representation it infers. I am also considering how I can promote student diversity through sharing of each individual’s background through the stories THEY consider ‘traditional’ and have been exposed to in their lives. I think these discussions would be meaningful at the beginning of my module, during an in-class discussion, to kick-off the unit! The second content related feedback was on the content of story elements that I am focusing on; a peer suggested that further pre-teaching of these elements might be necessary before having students engage in a module that assumes their understanding of the elements of a general story, and specifically a fairy tale. I am still deciding whether I will add an extra instructional piece to this module or create a module to precede this one, through which students can review these topics to ensure understanding in this one. 

2 – Platform feedback: Feedback related to my use of Seesaw as my LMS was all complimentary. Multiple reviewers commented on the simplicity of this platform, stating that it was a perfect choice for the grade, age and content of my module. As well, many positively commented on the diverse range of features available and how Seesaw allowed for easy use for young learners with minimal online/tech experience. As well, I appreciated one peer’s  reminder that Seesaw fosters the home-school connection, easily including families in the learning process and allowing for easy use of the LMS whether at school or at home. This positive feedback was extremely helpful as I had been questioning the use of Seesaw for this project: is it too basic? Should I have explored Canvas, WordPress or another more complex LMS? Is this LMS (which is not a traditional LMS) sufficient for my prototype? Receiving praise on this platform reassured me of my choice as the best option for the purposes of my grade three fairy tale blended course. This reminded me of a peer’s in-class feedback: this peer told me that she liked the simplicity and seamless accessibility of my Seesaw platform. She also reminded me of my audience of students ages 7-9, reassuring me that simple is key. Seesaw allowed this simplicity while having no shortages of diverse features for me to utilize.

3 – Assessment feedback: I also received complimentary feedback on my assessments. I felt like I did a good job on ensuring I had varied diagnostic, formative and summative assessments in module one and throughout my course overall. I received feedback on my Lumi assessment plan: due to Lumi needing a paid subscription, to receive results from the interactive assessments, I suggested that I would have students upload a photo of their Lumi finished assessment to me on Seesaw so I could review and mark. A peer suggested that this idea would be tricky to manage and students would need support with this process, as well as potential supervision to ensure results were accurately shared. This feedback made me rethink this assessment form and I have decided to remove the Lumi assessment from my assessment plan, and rather have it for students’ to simply check their own learning. I will change the interaction to allow students to retake the assessment if they want, as the point is no longer to inform me of their learning, but will be for self-reflection.

4 – Appearance feedback: I appreciate the compliments on my Seesaw module’s appearance, as I did spend a lot of time on editing the activity! Multiple reviewers commented on how this polished look makes the module activities easy for students to access, displays clear instructions and increases interest/engagement. Hearing how significant the appearance of my module was to the reviewers has impacted my next module as I am putting in the same effort into it to achieve the same benefits! 

5 – Interaction feedback: Seesaw allows for many types of interactions – comments, liking, messaging – although I did receive an idea for furthering this. One peer reviewer suggested how I could enhance the interactions of this blended course, as the actual module content was quite individual-based. For context, module one requires the students to independently read multiple fairy tales. The suggestion of “could they listen to the fairy tales in small groups? Read them aloud to each other?” helped me see the opportunity for increased collaboration here. Allowing students to engage in some of this content collaboratively, will undoubtedly increase their engagement and will be easy to include in this blended course where students are in the classroom together anyway. In my next module I will keep in mind other forms of interactions, beyond the basics included with Seesaw, to continue promoting the online community in the online module work.

6 – Feedback and Accessibility/Equity: Some feedback I received fit in perfectly with the topic of accessibility and equity discussed in class! To be honest, I had not put too much thought into the accessibility of my course before diving into this week’s content. That being said, I believe that good pedagogy focuses on adaptations to ensure student success, which includes consideration of diverse students’ needs (aka how accessible the content is and how equitable instruction and assessment is) so I had a good start already. One reviewer said that in my prototype “common issues are also taken into account, such as socioeconomic circumstances, EAL learners, and student access to technology. For example, the usage of free programs, flexible access to technology, and the availability of laptops at schools all help to overcome concerns about socioeconomic position and device availability.” This feedback helped me realize that I had (without realizing it) considered accessibility, on many levels, and that my course module was already quite accessible. Although I feel that I have inclusive course, our small group discussion in class did challenge me to consider items such as: using inclusive font size/colour/contrast, ensuring a mouse can be used with programs, inclusion of subtitles on videos (ie. YouTube), and more. I have begun (re)addressing these things in module one, and assess/equity has been at the forefront of my module two planning! As well, I liked the idea of an online accessibility checker and plan to use that before my final submission. If anyone has a recommendation for one that could check my course (Seesaw), let me know!

…ok that was A LOT. Honestly, I found this “summary” very much like a reflection of my own understanding of the feedback I received. While I realize it might be the world’s longest ‘summary’ I just want to defend my lengthy post by explaining that writing this was extremely helpful in my own digestion of the feedback. I took all the main points that stood out to me, and felt like I was writing a personal diary entry of my internal dialogue. This examination allowed me to further understand and appreciate the feedback received – complimentary and constructive. Upon further reflection (with the help of this blog prompt) I especially appreciated how much of my feedback authentically connected to our course topic of access/equity, displaying both areas where I made my course very accessible and areas where I could increase accessibility for a further equitable course overall.

Thanks for reading and thanks to all who were a part of the fabulous feedback I received – I appreciate you! 🙂


Module One with LUMI: A Work in Progress

Welcome to my first module! 🙂 

I actually had a ton of fun bringing this module to life over the past couple of weeks. From the initial planning with the ADDIE model to creating educational content on Lumi, I am enjoying the process so far! As I am sure we can all agree, learning something new is challenging but ultimately rewarding; my experience with Lumi (so far) has been just that. 


Lumi experience:

I will admit, it took me a minute (ok…an hour) to get the hang of the interactions (so many options!) and decide what would work best for my learners. Once I explored the vast menu of interactions and experienced (lots of) trial and error, I felt more at ease. Also, the site has a lot of free informative material available, which was super helpful!

For my interactive Lumi lesson, I chose a short YouTube video introducing the basic elements of a fairy tale. Typically, I use this brief video (1:19) in class to begin my fairy tale unit. In past years, I have played this video twice, sometimes three times, for students so they can digest the quick, new content. As well, I would always stop the video multiple times to discuss the information being presented. Transforming the video into an interactive media is a game changer! The interactive elements allowed me to (in a way) mimic the in class discussion/interaction, for students to engage with the content independently during this online module.

You may notice the frequency of the added interactions in my Lumi video. To best engage my young learners, I added interactive elements often. This will help students stay focused on the content and allows me to formatively assess their understanding throughout. I primarily used multiple choice, open ended and true/false questions. My goal was to keep the questions short and simple to ensure my learners could complete them independently and successfully. At the end, I included a fill in the blanks and a summary activity.

Some closing thoughts on Lumi (with my minimal experience)

  • Learning Lumi can overwhelming
  • Very time-consuming to start
  • With some time/effort, Lumi is actually quite user friendly
  • The finished product is very satisfying 
  • Formatting or editing interactions is TEDIOUS (but worth it)
  • Interactive elements serve as simple formative assessment
  • Interactivity key for online learning
  • Free version is sufficient
  • Endless possibilities with paid subscription

Module One (so far…)

I have began the ‘shell’ for my first blended learning module on Seesaw, the LMS I’ve selected. Using the Seesaw ACTIVITY feature, I explain each step for Module One: Introduction to Fairy Tales. The learning activities are as follows:

Module 1: Introduction to Fairy Tales



1 – IN CLASS: Brainstorm prior knowledge about the fairy tale genre. As a class, discuss: 


What is a fairy tale? What fairy tales do I know? What makes a fairy tale different?  What kinds of things are in fairy tales? 

2 – ONLINE: Watch the Lumi video: https://app.Lumi.education/run/gcSzxK *There are questions to answer throughout the video – make sure you watch closely! 

3 – ONLINE: Watch the video version of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXDsucz23OA 

4 – ONLINE: Complete the Seesaw activity: Fairy Tale Elements in Cinderella. https://app.seesaw.me/pages/shared_activity?prompt_id=prompt.8e79df50-d32d-4601-8890-dc71d83877a1&share_token=teyfap7tRfyTlQ_CKQzOvw


Assessment of Module One:

Diagnostic – During the first, in person, learning activity, students will share their prior knowledge of fairy tales. Using class discussion (partner, small group and whole class) students will consider what they already know about this genre.

Formative – The interactions in my Lumi lesson will serve as formative assessment for this module. Students will answer various questions, throughout the video, to display their understanding of the elements of a fairy tale. *Without a paid Lumi subscription, I can’t access the results. To check in on student learning, I will ask them to either show me their results (in person) or have them upload a photo of them to Seesaw. Based on the results of these interactive questions, I will,  if needed, either re-assign this video for students to view again and/or provide further in class instruction on these elements.

Summative – After the Lumi lesson, students will demonstrate their understanding of fairy tale elements via a Seesaw assessment activity. Students will watch a version of Cinderella and then complete the corresponding Seesaw activity on the elements in this fairy tale. This will be assessed using our division’s 4-point evaluation scale. *I am still working on this Seesaw activity template – stay tuned!


This module remains a work in progress. Feedback (especially on my Lumi video) is much appreciated! Also, I am interested in everyone else’s Lumi experience? Anyone else have a kind of love/hate opinion of this program?

– Teagan

(Maintaining) Meaningful Interaction in a Blended Learning Course

My online course prototype will supplement my in-person grade three classroom. Coming from an in-person environment, I already have a strong community of learners; learners who know each other well, who are (mostly) comfortable with each other in the classroom setting and who interact, in person, all day, everyday. Therefore, a strong classroom climate of interaction and collaboration is already well established, especially at this point of the school year (month six). My concern is  that with my online course prototype, I may lose this community if I don’t put the time and attention into (temporarily) converting my in-person community of learners to an engaged group of online learners. The last thing I want is for my students to move to isolated work on a computer, without any interaction or collaboration with their peers. 

My goal when introducing these online modules is to maintain a similar environment where students feel supported and celebrated for their efforts, both by myself and their peers. I hope to foster lots of student-teacher and peer-peer interaction throughout my two blended learning modules, using similar strategies online as I do in class. Students are used to frequently sharing their ideas, discussing class content in pairs, small groups and whole groups, and receiving lots of feedback while they are working – I will strive to maintain these key interactive pieces of my classroom climate as students work through my online learning prototype. 

The blog post, Building Community in an Online Course, offers four key suggestions for online course community: allow students to get to know me and me them, allow students to get to know each other, create a safe and incusing environment and be present/responsive in the course; these four areas are priorities in my face-to-face practice and this blog offers valuable options for continuing to prioritize them in an online setting. I explore some of these in my examples below.

The following quote from the blog, 6 Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses, is at the forefront of my online community planning: “Community is more than participation; it requires moving from participation to engagement, involvement, and action.” I will be trying to push my young learners beyond simply participating when we complete our online modules. Authentic engagement is something I am always attempting to foster in-class as well!

Luckily, the primary program I am utilizing (Seesaw) has diverse options for communication within it. Interactions will primarily be taking place on this platform. Although not a traditional LMS, Seesaw allows for various forms of communication, including liking work, commenting on work and private or group messaging. As well, it can host photos, voice recordings and videos of myself (providing instruction or feedback) and students (sharing ideas and work).

  • Likes & Commenting: Similar to a social media platform, Seesaw allows for classmates to like and comment on others’ work. Students will like and comment on their peers’ work on the Seesaw portfolio page, throughout the modules. When students post work, their peers will be able to see it and either ‘like’ it or give their feedback via a written or oral comment. I will provide explicit expectations for liking and commenting so the students understand the importance of this interactive piece. Commenting will serve as an ongoing peer review exercise, further supporting student-student interaction: “design activities that require student interaction: group work, peer review, etc.

*To begin, I will require posts and comments to be approved by me before they are live on the Seesaw platform. This way, I can help ensure students are submitting their best work for peers to see and to promote respectful and useful commenting on others’ work. Pre-learning and practice on commenting expectations will be required as we have not accessed this tool on Seesaw yet. Comments will be visible to peers, myself and connected families which should help enforce respectful commenting. In addition, I will regularly comment on students’ work with celebratory messages and thoughtful feedback to model this; this will help mimic the in-person support students are used to receiving in class.

To help facilitate valuable comments, I will offer grade-level appropriate prompts for students to start with (such as: I like how you…/You did a good job on…/This reminds me of…/Did you think about…). As well, explicit instructions on netiquette will be necessary; this term was first introduced to me last week during the class readings: “remind students of the basic principles of netiquette when communicating online.”

Seesaw offers many resources to help support student’s acquire and practice digital citizenship skills that will be necessary as we use these communication tools: https://app.seesaw.me/activities?subject=DigitalCitizenship

  • Messaging: As well as public commenting, students are able to private message me. During these online modules, I will encourage students to message me with questions, as they typically would ask a question in our classroom. I will be actively checking and responding to messages so students feel supported during their online work. As well, I will be reaching out to students to check in with their learning and progress of the modules.

*This messaging feature allows me to fully “Communicate regularly/Be Present in the Course” with constant communication both on a whole group level (instructions, reminders, advice, check-ins) and one -on-one (more personal check in, aid).

  • Photos, videos and recordings: The use of these three mediums, will allow for further interaction throughout these modules. Through our main Seesaw platform, students will be sharing work and ideas using photos (camera tool), recordings (microphone tool) and videos (recording tool). By collecting evidence of learning in these mediums, students will be more engaged in their own learning and the learning of their peers. Seeing and hearing themselves and their peers, instead of just reading typed words, will foster a stronger level of interaction and interest. I will also be using photos, videos and recordings to interact with the class, throughout the modules.

*Students are already familiar with these tools and are comfortable with submitting work via photo, recording and video response.

  • Instructional Strategies: With inspiration from Michael Wesch, I will be using suggested techniques to better engage learners during online instruction. For my lessons, I plan to use POV and screen recording of methods of engagement without showing my face on the video. To demonstrate what we are learning/doing, I will use the POV technique: showing the viewer my point of view as I am completing a task. As well, instead of solely explaining steps verbally, I will screen record to demonstrate steps. Does anyone have a favorite screen recording and editing program that they can recommend? As well, I will use Wesch’s storytelling advice. Storytelling compliments our ELA Fairy tale unit theme well, so I will use the power of storytelling to further interest students when delivering course content via online videos. My young learners especially will benefit from these engagement strategies. 


Thanks for reading! As always, I would love any feedback and/or other ideas to foster online interaction. Specifically, if you are Seesaw-savvy and have any tips and tricks for using it’s communication features, that would be appreciated! Looking forward to reading what you are doing to build community in your online courses!


Once Upon A…Blended Learning Course?

Once upon a time, there was a brave and noble educator (ha – that’s me!) who set out on the adventure of a lifetime: developing two enchanting online modules for her English Language Arts class. This teacher worked tirelessly – climbing beanstalks, granting wishes, kissing frogs – all in an effort to create both an ADDIE template and basic course overview to please all of her fellow queens and kings of technology (that’s you all!).

Charming Characters:

These blending learning modules feature a group of 22 hardworking princes and princesses. This royal family greatly varies in their English reading and writing abilities, but all share a love of ELA and an overall enthusiasm to learn. 

Spectacular Setting:

These modules will be blended, featuring both in-castle addresses and lessons pre-recorded in a land far far away. Students will have access to the pre-recorded instruction to view at their own pace, as many times as they need. Learning activities and assessments will also be blended, taking place both in-castle and far far away, using a variety of teaching strategies and online programs, including: Seesaw, Kahoot and Storyboard That

This magical unit duration is four to six weeks, and for the purposes of this project, I will be creating and sharing with you two online learning modules (out of the larger course context) featuring two main, magnificent learning goals of reading and writing.

Exciting Events

MODULE ONE will focus on reading ability and reading comprehension. Students will review their knowledge of fictional story elements and, more specifically, focus on characteristics of fairy tale. They will demonstrate their abilities through an incredible Seesaw quest (Seesaw activity).

MODULE TWO will focus on English writing, with an art component. After workshopping an original fairy tale, students will ‘publish’ their story, for the entire village to see, using a program called Storyboard That. This allows for them to read their creative tale aloud and design pictures (storyboard format) that go with the events in their work.


I welcome all interested to take a peak at my course profile and/or my ADDIE model to see more about my gallant quests!

…and they all learned happily ever after.



Hear ye, hear ye, calling all tech queens and kings. I kindly request any fantastic feedback you may have on my module ideas and development so far. Thanks!

To technology or not to technology – that is the question.

At least for me, tech or no tech remains an ongoing, internal debate in my professional context. Even in my seventh year as an educator, I continually flip between feeling either excited or obligated to incorporate technology into my practice. Although my comfort levels vary, I believe technology has a crucial place in today’s classroom and I know I need to find my comfortability with that. READY OR NOT – technology in the classroom is here to stay and forms of blended learning options naturally follow.

I often blame my tech uncertainty on my current position – a grade three French Immersion teacher – as students of this age are still mastering the skills of reading, writing and, well, being a functioning member of a classroom. Independence levels are (understandably) low, emotions are (always) high, and the addition of anything, beyond the already long list of requirements of me as their teacher (ie. teach SK outcomes, communicate with families, administer division assessments, attend assemblies, provide MANY brain breaks…I could go on), that I need to add into that mix feels unmanageable, or at least hard.

I do realize that technology integration, done right, could mean making my life, or at least my job, easier (in the long run anyway) and would enhance the teaching and learning already taking place. I am aware that the use of computers should be for meaningful, purposeful, educational technology use, not just a free period of Math games on Mathletics or free period of reading on RazKids – as lovely as that can be during the last hour of the day. Come on, everyone knows what I am talking about. I do acknowledge and appreciate the benefits of tech integration and I continue to find ways, manageable for me, to do this with my students. Technology is important. Digital literacy is important. Flexibility in learning is important. Engaging and relevant teaching methods are important. In 2024, students need to teachers to help introduce and educate them about the world of tech as it will, if not already does, dominate their life. 

For me, tech integration in my classroom has always come down to time. Do I have time to research, learn, figure out logistics, and prep content for online learning, or not? Do we have time to review the basics of logging on, adding photos, signing into a program, and the list continues. If not, I will be cancelling the my laptop cart booking and rushing down to the photocopy room. If I have the time, and really, the energy and the patience, I do feel excited try out something new with my class involving an aspect of tech. The technology is available, the digital learning tools are endless, the students are already engaged by technology – it seems like an easy decision. Educators know it’s more complicated than that. In an ideal world, I would LOVE to facilitate a blended classroom. Perhaps this course will help me see that as a reality.

Teachers should be learners too and finding the space in my profession to explore the world of tech and blending learning is always fun, just not always manageable. It’s easy to resort to my traditional instructional methods, but am I doing students a disservice by shying away from tech? Yes. I am. Balancing work and life, a tale as old as time one might say – especially for educators – rings true for me as I often prioritize this balance to spending extra hours investigating exciting new blended learning options. Can you blame me?

One program that I DO use frequently is Seesaw. Seesaw is essentially an online portfolio but has many other features and has allowed me to use technology in an authentic and seamless way with my younger kiddos. Extremely easy to navigate, I utilize this program primarily to connect with parents and share student work, but it also lets me dip my toes into the world of blended learning. I am able to create content, whether that be recorded lessons, links to online resources or assessment activities for the class, and Seesaw can be accessed at school or at home.

I often rely on Seesaw to help my students who are absent for periods of time (I am easily able to push work home for them and provide quick instruction notes or feedback) or I will sometimes assign supplementary activities for students to complete as homework, complementary to class instruction. As well, the activity tool, allows me to create activities for students to engage in, whether it be a writing task, Math review questions, recording their reading, etc. It is a primary friendly platform with a lot of potential in the realm of blending learning opportunities. Have you used Seesaw? It’s a nice and, dare I say, EASY way to begin in blended learning and create an online classroom environment. In fact, I, almost solely, relied on Seesaw during my brief stint as an impromptu blended learning teacher from 2020-2021.

My only professional experience with (a form of) blended learning, was during the pandemic. I remember those years with mixed sentiments as I thoroughly enjoyed some aspects of my, very new, role as an online educator, but also faced many unanticipated challenges. A primary challenge was navigating the delivery of recorded content (vs. the in person experience I was used to). It just was not the same teaching to a screen. That being said, if “[t]he main advantage of lecture capture is increased access”, I wonder why I would not continue with recorded lessons to continue offering this increased access. The chapter – Old wine in new bottles: classroom-type online learning– helps me envision a starting place for blended learning. Instead of recreating the wheel, I can first focus on the same content and delivery (wine) but offer it in a new mode (bottle).

I could create an extremely vast pros and cons list re: my time as a blended learning teacher, but for now I will just share a few highlights. I always say to start with the bad news first, so here are some of the challenges I experienced: a lack of engagement from my eight year old audience, frequent technology issues (on both my end and from students and caregivers) which took up ample work time to navigate, feelings of self doubt and constant indecisiveness in this new teaching space, and hours of (extra) work to prepare content for online delivery and/or at home work completion. Now that’s just to name a few – I imagine I could triple or quadruple that list but that’s enough negative for now. Positive opportunities within my time in blending learning include: realizing student potential that otherwise went unnoticed (some students excelled in this new mode!), ability to be a learner myself by engaging in ongoing PD, valuable (and fun) collaboration with colleagues, creating content I was proud of and that I can continue using with my classes, and the natural partnership that immerged with caregivers supporting their learners at home. Again, I could go on.

I would love to hear about your positive and negative experiences with blending learning, especially in the time of COVID, as many educators experienced the same quick and unexpected transition as me. Did you thrive with this change? What aspects of blended learning did you enjoy or detest? Have you been able to maintain any of the tech integration used during blended learning in your current face-to-face environment?

In conclusion, blending learning, hybrid learning, tech integration, or whatever other terms you prefer, remains an ongoing journey in my professional life. I appreciated my confusion with these different terms and types of tech learning being validated in Valerie Irvine’s work The Landscape of Merging Modalities: “[w]hat used to be a simple binary of face-to-face or online has now become so extremely complex that our ability to understand each other is impaired.” I appreciated this article’s ongoing explanation, or rather attempt to clearly explain the various terms, along with the author’s direct acceptance that blended, hybrid, flex, etc. are terms that will remain muddled in the world of tech-integrated education. 

Thanks for reading!