Hello fellow EC&I 831 classmates!

I work with some pretty awesome people at Thom Collegiate. I may sound biased because this is the school where I teach, but I truly do believe this.

Yesterday while most of the School Divisions were off for the long weekend, Regina Public Schools still had its employees come in for a professional development day.

Our Leaders had approached the TTCT a month ago to create a morning of engaging and meaningful learning for our staff, so we all gladly took on this challenge.

For the past month, our leadership and TTCT planned our very first #edcampthom


Some of you may be wondering, what is this word: TTCT?

TTCT stands for Thom Technology Catalyst Team. TTCT formed in January 2012 and to this day, we are a group of teachers and consultants at Thom Collegiate, who get together, looking for meaningful ways to integrate technology into our practice. We are always looking to find new ways to engage our students in their learning, seeking out deep, meaningful connections to the subjects we are teaching.

We are a dedicated group who meets on a monthly basis, to share what we have experienced with our students in all subject areas. We take risks and experiment with a variety of technology tools in our classrooms.

To increase student engagement, we adopted BYOD/T in our classrooms which became a school-wide policy. We discovered how powerful it is to collaborate, take risks and learn from each other’s experiences.

We hope that others will learn from our experiences and form a Technology Catalyst group at their own school. Since forming, there are have been other schools who have adopted a school technology team such as: Campbell Collegiate, Scott Collegiate and as well as Sheldon Williams.

Back to the #edcampthom………what is an #edcamp?


When I Googled Edcamp it states:

Edcamp is a form of unconference designed specifically for teachers and their needs. What makes Edcamp an unconference? Unlike traditional conferences which have schedules set months in advance by the people running the conference, Edcamp has an agenda that’s created by the participants at the start of the event.

Prior to #edcampthom I have been to and presented at #edcampyqr http://edcampyqr.wordpress.com/about/ on a couple of occasions. I really enjoy #edcamps because you have the freedom to attend sessions that suit your needs and you are also able to have informal conversations with other teaching colleagues.

Another bonus is, if you aren’t interested in some of the sessions, you can offer a session that you would like to share and discuss with others as an alternate.

For an #edcamp the law of two feet applies. This is PD geared to your needs.  If the sessions don’t apply to what you were looking for, you can always move to one that works for you. (No feelings will be hurt)


It is also:

-Informal conversations based around areas of interest

-Professional learning that is self-chosen

-If you and a colleague want to show something that you’re doing or if you want to meet about something that wasn’t brought forward, you free to run your own session.

At our #edcampthom we had many useful sessions offered to fit the needs and interests of our staff members such as:

-iGo (beginners, intermediate and advance levels)

-Smart Board learning

-Educational apps in the classroom with one device

-Google Classroom



-You Tube capture, Stop Motion and We video for the classroom



-Hot Yoga

-E-Books with Overdrive

-How to use the Elder in your classroom

-Using the resource “Clearing the Plaines” by James Daschuk in the classroom

As the morning went on, teachers also offered up session’s last minute on resource sharing.

The curiosity of #edcampthom planning had fed out via the social media website Twitter https://twitter.com/?lang=en and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/

Because of our #edcampthom planning tweets, we had guests from Campbell and Scott Collegiate come out to participate! The more the merrier, because some of these staff members presented sessions as well.

#edcampthom was a great way to connect and share resources!


In all, it was a successful PD morning. The feedback from some staff was, that they found it useful. The were some downsides such as not enough time and information overload. Perhaps at the next #edcampthom, it can be a full day of PD.

Check out the We Video that I made about #edcampthom :





Confessions of the guitar player

Confessions of the guitar player

In September for my Digital project for EC&I 831 class, I decided that I was going to learn to play the guitar!

I must confess that after hours and hours of practicing, I am still not an expert at playing this beautiful instrument, though I am proud of how far I have come.

For this project, the song that I am learning to play is Féliz Navidad. I have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar; I just never really had the time or took the time to try. With the snow on the ground and Christmas around the corner, I hope that by the end of this project, I will be able to play the whole song in its entirety.

I have never in my life played an instrument. Growing up, I was into a lot of sports like swimming, ringette and volleyball. I have been playing the guitar for close to 13 weeks now. I have been watching You Tube video’s and have been learning the beginner’s lessons on guitar playing with the Acoustic guitar. Some more videos that I have enjoyed learning from are from:


He speaks in full Spanish while he teaches, but because I am fluent in Spanish, I have no problems in learning from him:

Another great video has been from Christian from www.christianvib.com

He has been clear on the finger placements on the strings and as well as timing your rhythm.

I am finding that I am still very stiff with my wrist, so I have been trying to keep my wrist freer while strumming. I have also recently found a soft guitar pick and this has been helping me with the strumming. Because of my short man hand fingers, I have also been working hard on the placement of my fingers.

Here is my face to face supplement in helping me with my guitar learning: Mr. Brian Warren:

I work with Brian at Thom Collegiate. I have been going back and forth with Brian, having him listen to me play as well as receiving supports, tips and advice from him.

Brian is a guitar and Native Studies teacher by day and a musician by night. You will see him playing drums in the video bellow with an awesome band called Andino Suns.

Check them out:

Here is a little clip of my progress thus far and with humming….because I can’t sing. But eventually for my final video, I will sing along while playing the guitar!