Posted in EDTC300

The Digital Identity of Ms Sydney McGrath

As future educators, our digital identity is a key component of how we are viewed by our employers, colleagues, and students alike. Maintaining a positive and professional identity should be the goal of all professionals, and when you have young students who may decide to look you up, you make sure you know what they will find.

It is important to remember that our digital identity is an extension of who we are in the world. Technology and online interactions have become integral to our daily functions and as such, it makes more sense to treat our online presence as our extension rather than as something completely separate from who we are in the physical world. In an article posted by Paul Gordon Brown, he touches on these ideas and helps to change the common view most people would have on identity as it interacts with the online and physical spheres of one’s life.

As part of an exercise about exploring our digital identities for class, we were tasked with cyberstalking one of our classmates. My fellow classmate, Sydney has decided to let me cyberstalk her and in return, she has cyberstalked me as well. Her article on her findings can be found here.

Time to Sleuth!

I started off with a simple google search of her name and, unfortunately, her name is surprisingly common. Among all of the pictures of people that weren’t her, Ancestry biographies, softball players, real estate agencies, some obscure book about a tainted fish and Australian politics I was able to find her FaceBook and Twitter!


To start off my lurking I check out her Facebook profile (from my mom’s account, we were already friends) and found that she had her privacy setting similar to mine! I was only able to see her profile and cover photo and see that the last time she updated her pictures was in 2017!


Next, I looked at her Twitter, @MsSydneyMcGrath. Now, as a requirement of our class, we are supposed to have twitter accounts and keep them updated and post frequently. By taking a look at Sydney’s account it is clear that she is doing just that! In her bio, we are able to gain a sense of who she is: student at the University of Regina studying Elementary Education, she has access to her blog and has also displayed her birthday. Her feed is very lively as well! She interacts with fellow classmates and with several twitter chats, she updates her followers on when she posts blogs and presents her progress on her learning project. I even went a little further to dig into her likes and found that she kept all aspects of her account very professional and education/teacher based.


Sydney has her Instagram locked down to all the people who are not following her, something I just found out that I wasn’t doing on my own account (thanks Syd!). Because of her privacy settings, you can only see her follower counts, number of posts, bio, and profile picture.


Now, this is where I was able to find a lot more information on Sydney that I wouldn’t have been able to find on her other social media profiles! You can find some of her classwork and experiences from her first year in the education program as well as find out some personal information that she talks about in her About Me section! From this, viewers would be able to find out that she was born and raised in Leroy, SK, her immediate families professions, her involvement in high school clubs, her sports interests, and some of her goals for the coming years!

Final Thoughts

I was very impressed with the layers of professionalism that Sydney has online. The social media accounts that are available to anyone looking for them are maintained very well and are very professional. Even her accounts that only friends and followers can see still maintain a professional atmosphere; she doesn’t post anything inappropriate, even when nobody would be able to see it. And, for people that aren’t close to her or aren’t followers of her social media accounts, you can always tell which account is hers because of the similar profile pictures and cover photos that she uses for all of her accounts. There is no question which account is hers and I think that this is a great way to establish a presence online, but not give away more personal information than you feel comfortable with.

Good Job Sydney!

Posted in EDTC300, Learning Project

Yay! More Chords!

Last week I started to learn some chords. I started with the three that most resources I found seem to think are the easiest for beginners to start with, and now, I am working on the next two. G and C are the final two chords that all beginners learn, and, because I only have two chords to learn this week, I will also try to practice switching between chords. (Which will probably take me quite a bit of time!) For this week I will be sticking to the same resource as last week for learning my chords, just for continuity. This blog post will be a little bit shorter as it is a continuation of last weeks blog. I didn’t think it would be practical to force myself to learn and remember all five beginner chords after just one day.

Learning G


Learning C



Next Week

Next week I will be learning how to read some tablature (TABs) so that hopefully, by the end of this project I will be able to play a short tune! Stay tuned!


Posted in EDTC300, Learning Project

We’re Getting There! Time for some Chords!

Now, this week I am finally moving on to learning some chords! To start off with I will be starting with three, A, D, and E! I wish I could say that I even slightly remember these from the first time I learned how to play, but sadly, I do not. That being said I am really hoping that re-learning the chords will bring back some sort of muscle memory that will make it easier when I move into chord progressions and switching between the six that I am planning to learn. The resource that I will be using to learn these three chords is Justin Guitar on YouTube.

Learning A

Guitar A

Learning E


Learning D


Next Week

I am very excited to be adding two new chords to my repertoire next week, and I am hoping that I get better at switching between these three!

Posted in EDTC300, Learning Project

And Now, Strumming

This weeks Learning Project post will be all about strumming! This week, I am going to be branching out a bit as well and taking a look at more than just one resource. Guitareo will still be one of my go to’s, especially now that I have discovered their blog! So, not only can I be watching the video and following along to visual/audio instructions, there is also written instructions, tips, and diagrams/pictures! To start off, I found a resource that really explains the mechanics of strumming and explains what you should and shouldn’t do. And then, I moved right into practicing five basic strumming patterns.

This is a screenshot from Guitareo

First Things First

These are the markers that are universally used to identify downstrokes, upstrokes, and mutes. I have seen them in almost every single resource that I have been looking through. They are pretty self-explanatory, downstrokes go from the top string and down, upstrokes the opposite, and mutes are when you move your arm the same way as you would for a downstroke or upstroke, but keeping your pick off the strings. There are also rests but those have no signifier. The distinction between mutes and rests though is quite important. With a mute, you would still move your arm so that you are in the position to stroke the opposite way on the next beat, for rests, you do not mow your arm and the next stroke will be the same as if you never rested (almost like a delay instead).

Screenshots in the video are from this post: “5 Essential Strumming Patterns: Essential Strumming Patterns for Electric or Acoustic Guitar


After looking at resources online and in my book, I am noticing that many of the strumming practice happens after learning a couple of chords. While it wasn’t necessarily bad for me to learn to strum first, it would have been easier to follow along to some songs in order to really get a feel for the patterns if I knew some chords.

Coming Soon

This is a screenshot from the website

In my search for follow-along strumming patterns, I stumbled across this site that has a number of resources for beginning guitar players. One of their resources that I am very much looking forward to using in the near future is their collection of 2 and 3 chord songs to play along too. This will make it a bit more exciting to practice! Rather than just switching between chords (Which I am sure will get tedious) I can practice to some tunes!


Posted in EDTC300

Extensions, Extensions, and more Extensions

When I found out that the topic of this blog post was going to be on helpful apps/extensions, I was Excited! I have been using chrome for a couple of years now and absolutely love to look around for extensions that will make things easier or look better.

So, I may have gotten a little bit carried away

This is my toolbar. It is beginning to become a problem.

I downloaded five new extensions. Five. I have some positive reviews and some negative ones for various different extensions that were recommended in Katia’s list. I won’t bore you with my extension rant though, don’t worry. But, I will review two.

uBlock Origin

If you don’t remember or don’t already know, uBlock is an ad blocker that works as an extension on chrome. I do have a confession to make, I had never used an ad blocker before and now that I have one I feel on top of the world. It had been so long, endless ads upon ads, just to do one simple thing online like watch a video. Now that I started using this extension I no longer have to sit through unskippable video adverts that try to sell me hair care products, no matter how many times I rate it as irrelevant.

Side Note: In this picture, it shows you how many ads it has blocked on the page I am currently on (WordPress) and how many it has blocked since I installed it. Those ads sure do add up fast!



One Tab

And now, for the Holy Grail of chrome extensions, One Tab. I never realized how badly I needed this extension. I know, I just said that the ad blocker was the best thing to happen to me, but this. This is truly what I needed to find. Not only do I love to keep all of my things organized and all different facets of my life compartmentalized, I also seem to open eighty tabs to do one thing. With my course load being as light as it is right now I find that I am not keeping open as many tabs for school works and assignments as I usually would. That being said, I started a new job this summer as a Community Summer Programmer in a small community near me.

As part of my job, I work for a Family Centre, Library, and a Museum! If you are thinking that this seems like a lot, you are right. With One Tab though, I can keep all of my tabs open for the Family Centre and have access to all my favourite crafty Pinterest boards and the facebook page, and then for the museum and library, I can do that same thing. I find it specifically helpful to keep all of my proper documents together as well. I use google docs, sheets, and slides for almost all of my work and school and this allows me to click one tab and it all pops up together. It is super helpful in keeping me organized and I would totally recommend it to anyone who does a lot of work on their computer!

What about my fellow classmates?

What apps/extensions did you choose to review? If you reviewed one of the same ones as me do you agree with what I said?

Posted in EDTC300, Learning Project

Before Anything Else

For week one of my learning project, I have tasked myself with re-familiarizing myself with how to hold the guitar and pick, and rediscovering the strings, frets, and how to tune! I looked to my main resource Guitareo and instead of starting with the first video (which was just a bunch of talking) I skipped to the second video to start my learning!

How to Hold the Guitar

As soon as he started introducing the different ways to hold the guitar I knew that the Casual Method was the one I had used previously and the one that I would definitely be using for this project.

In the Casual Method, you rest the guitar on the leg that is the same as the arm you are strumming with. This method is the one that is the most natural for me (and I assume most others as well as it is more comfortable).




Second, is the Classical Method, which I do not like, at all. It is extremely uncomfortable for me to hold the guitar like this for longer periods of time and just generally feels wrong. Although it does have the benefit of better reaching the whole neck of the guitar will only be at the beginner stage and won’t need to reach every note.



Lastly was the standing pose which I couldn’t even attempt because I do not have a strap for my guitar, guess I just have to stay sitting!

Numbering Systems

Next, I moved on to video three which covers the numbering systems for your fingers, frets, and strings.

As he states at the beginning of the video, this step is pretty simple to wrap your mind around. Surprisingly, it was all these small little details that I remembered most from my lessons years ago and as such, this lesson wasn’t too hard for me. That being said, this was a great starting point to reintroduce myself to playing!

Stay tuned because next week is strumming patterns!

Posted in EDTC300

I’ll Admit it, I am a Lurker

Personal vs. Professional

Going into this class I was surprised that we would be exploring social networking platforms, however, given the name, I guess I really shouldn’t have been. Twitter is something that I have been using in my daily life for the past couple of years (saying I have a bit of a problem wouldn’t be much of a stretch). I didn’t use it as a representation of myself as a professional, but more as a way to keep up with the ever-changing world around me, my friends, and all of the topics that I enjoy learning about or being a part of. There a huge difference in the way that I use my different Twitter accounts and in the communities that I interact with each of them. On my personal Twitter, I guess you could say that I am less refined. I don’t worry as much about what I am posting and I generally find it to be a place where I can fully express myself. If you switch it up and then take a look at my professional twitter, I am very careful about what I am sharing and retweeting, who it’s coming from, the language used in the tweet, etc. I am also a lurker, I don’t make a lot of my own content to post, I just like to see what everyone is up to. This is much different for my new professional platform on Twitter, not only do we have to make regular posts for class, it is also important to keep up with posting so that people know that I exist in that space, making it easier to contribute to and create my Personal Learning Network.  While these are almost complete opposites neither is better than the other but I don’t think that I could have just one.


Twitter chats were something that I knew nothing about! My first time participating in a twitter chat was for #SaskEdChat on May 17 and it was one of the best experiences I have had so far in this class. The whole process was extremely fascinating and it was amazing to me that so many of us could participate together and creat conversations with so many people at the same time! It was so much fun that an hour answering questions and building my PLN felt like minutes! Not only was the topic of paperless classrooms of great interest to me already, there were other teachers in the chat that were able to give some great resources! One specific person, @jenn_leach introduced me to @littlegrnthumbs which is an initiative to bring agriculture and gardening into the classroom!

Final Thoughts

Twitter is absolutely, without a doubt, a resource that I will continue to use to build my PLN and to expand my knowledge on various topics surrounding the teaching community. And, although it can be hard to keep up with everything happening, I am hoping to employ Katia’s advice about being able to shut it off so to speak, we don’t need to look at everything happening! I am also hoping to leave some of my lurking habits behind and more fully immerse myself in the Twitter experience.