Google Docs and more…

Well, I have used several different on line tools in my classes this past week. I reminded students that I will not be using ALL of these tools, EVERY week but was just introducing them to some of the tools in order for all of us to  get comfortable with them! One barrier I found was the wireless connection didn’t always work for everyone so became a glitch that took time to resolve or wait for and others began to become less interested in the mean time.

One of the tools I used which was extremely helpful was google docs. I meet with each  of my first year students individually at the beginning of the semester to see how they are doing and if they need anything. I also review their required placement documentation for the winter with them. Scheduling has always been a nightmare for these but this year I created a schedule on Google docs and just put the link into  an announcement on LMS. Each student went in and scheduled themselves for an open time slot! Its perfect! Only thing I’m not certain of is how to make it so that they can’t edit other people’s work. Anyone know the answer to that one?

So happy that these tools are helping me be more efficient with students and my time!!!

Till next time,


Back with a Vengeance!

Well, just finished my first class of the semester and used three new technologies in the class! I didn’t intend to use so many but they all seemed to work for what I was trying. The first thing I used was my course trailer that I posted about last week.  Students liked it (or so it appeared!). I definitely need to make the text stay on the screen longer though for ease of reading!

The second tool I used was which is an interactive presentation platform that has students go to your lesson/presentation and then you can move through it for them. I used it to link to which had them answer questions about how they are feeling about school right now. The answers appeared up on the big screen so students could see (not who answered what) that they may not be alone in how they are feeling, etc. The students really liked this technology but the biggest barrier was accessing the WiFi as some students couldn’t get on or the service was extremely slow unfortunately. I just had those students pair up with someone who had a device that was working.

The third tool I used was which is a tool that provides flash cards and games to use to study/review content. There is a section that is called and that was what I used today. The students entered the code and a game began! Once students were into the game, the program randomly put them into  teams so they were required to move into their teams. I then started the game. Each student had a question on their device (same one for all team members) but had different answers to select from. The team had to figure out who had the right answer (in this case I used information about course assignments, etc.). When they answer, it moves to the next question! If they are right, their team moves forward on the score board and if they are wrong, they move back. Students had fun with this but did say that it was slightly confusing at first. They said once they are used to it, they will love to use it as review! What I learned was to make sure that I have the correct information on the questions/answers! I think I will definitely use this tool often for review! The students without a device or wifi just joined up with any team they wanted to.

I am excited to continue to explore with and master all of the fun things that these tools can use! I look forward to sharing my journey with you!

Cheers to a new semester!


Short break!

You may notice that I haven’t posted in a few days because I have been focused on getting my courses ready for the first week of class next week! I have still been using some of the technologies (nearpod, answer garden, quizlet) but have not had the time to post any details about my experiences in them!

I will post next week after my first class using a technology 🙂

Finished product!

I have finished my first course “trailer!” I think I did an okay job but there were a few lessons learned for sure! I used a website called which gave me an option to access a free (although limited) subscription. This is what the end result was!

It isn’t the greatest but will be fun to  show students and now that I have it, I can use it every year and edit if I wanted! It took me longer than I expected because I wasn’t familiar with the program but I plan to find a program that our College has access to or that is free on line so I can support anyone with questions!

Feel free to comment or ask any questions if you do!


Lessons learned…

So yesterday I mentioned creating course “trailers” for the students to get a snapshot of what the course is about….well what I didn’t do and lesson learned for sure, is research the best program to use before starting. I spent several hours working on my first trailer and when I went to open it today, it was gone!!! I didn’t realize that there were limits on the length in the free version of the program I signed up for and it had not saved!

So lessons learned…

1.Research and be clear on product you sign up for BEFORE doing all of the work.

2. Slow down and breathe.

3 Today is a new day and I will just move forward from here!

What’s great about all of this for any of you reading, is that I will make the mistakes for you and you can learn from my mistakes!!

I’ll keep you posted on my progress….

Onwards and Upwards!

Back into the grind of things today….looking at my courses and getting them ready for the new semester coming up. So excited to implement everything I have learned about technology over the past few months!

My biggest challenge at this point though is to remind myself to SLOW DOWN!! I need to step back and take it one day at a time and one “technology” at a time! Today, I am going to attempt to create a 30 second course trailer/commercial for one of my courses. I will report back to let you know how it goes hopefully soon!

Melrad….the Experimenter!!

One of the attributes required for working towards developing technology enabled and on line teaching is being an Experimenter! This is my attempt to use this blog in such way to see how well I was listening to Alan!!

One of the things I have taken away from this week is the importance of Collaborating and the three of us at Sault College have been, and intend to continue to do so with the Algoma U peeps who are here with us! Check out this video about being a Collaborator!


Creating my own web page!

I was walked through the process of creating my own web page today. I will admit, I was EXTREMELY intimidated and nervous about starting this. The first attempt at doing this I got so far behind and lost the internet connection that I started to give up, I thought I might actually throw my computer. After taking a few moments away from my computer (so I didn’t throw it) and accessing the incredible support that was around me, I started back at it and it ended up being much easier than I had thought. What did I do that might have made the experience better the first time? I had too many windows open (which confused me) and I tried to jump ahead. Next time, Mel, just KISS (Keep It Simple Silly), slow down and one step at a time. Have any of you tried to do this and had similar (or different) experiences??

Hello world!

Welcome to my new blog where I hope to explore and reflect on the use of technology in the classroom! I believe that it is important to consider the approach and context in which we design and deliver our course material in a way that meets the learning needs of the students we have in our classrooms. I am hoping that this blog will create a space for me to reflect as I journey through this and allow for people to comment, etc in this journey! I am going to try out different tools and share my experiences through my attempts! Read along as I find out the pros and cons of each!