Chelsi's Educational Musings

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One more post before the semester is over…

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our EC&I 831 class this semester.  I have learned SO much from you, Alec, and our presenters.  I take so much away from this class, and I will continue to follow you on Twitter and read your blogs if you continue to post.

I love to bake, and usually I take a treat to my last class.  Well, that won’t work this semester, so please accept the online version of some Christmas baking.  Dig in!  Merry Christmas everyone!

I have now completed my final project.  Well, by completed, I mean completed it for the time being.  I will continue to add to each month for the rest of the year, even after this class has finished.  I had blogged about my Moral Intelligence page previously, and it is now much improved since then!
 I worked like crazy to finish December’s Moral Intelligence Virtue of self-control so that our staff would be able to look at the page today after the staff meeting.  My staff was again very impressed by this month’s page, so I was quite pleased.  They still can’t believe that I’m able to make a website!Throughout the month, teachers have been letting me know how they have been using the site, and they have shared some very positive experiences.  I’m pleased that the site is very simple to use, and even the teachers who are not “technologically advanced” are finding success with the site.  Many teachers left such positive comments this month, and I am very grateful for the feedback.  Moreover, it is wonderful to hear from teachers on staff how they are using the site and have really embraced it, rather than seeing it as something else on their plate.  Teachers from pre-K to grade 8 have told me about how well-received it has been, how engaged the students are, how much they are learning about their students, and what mature discussions they have been having.  This is exactly what I wanted to happen!  I am also extremely grateful that my admin, Brent and Chris, is so on-board with my website.  The Moral Intelligences have been very important to them, as they had been wanting to have a solid program in place to use when dealing with disciplining students at the office.  At over 550 students, we have a very large school that is bigger than some of the high schools in our city.  Having all of the teachers on our large staff on the same page is important, and my principal has remarked that the site has allowed everyone to understand what they should be teaching, and how to teach it.  Thus, when students visit the office for inappropriate classroom or playground behaviour, our admin is able to talk to the students, using the Moral Intelligences as the basis for their conversation.  “How are you not using self-control?  How did you not show empathy for the other student?” are examples of statements that they can use that the students understand.  Brent and Chris had each grade group meet today to discuss how they used the website this month, and to take some time to review December’s page.  I am extremely grateful that they are giving the staff the time to peruse the website, as providing the time ensures that the teachers will look at the site and be more inclined to use it.  Furthermore, teachers are sharing lessons that they have created themselves, sending them to me, and I have been posting them, so the website is becoming a collaborative project!

When I started this project months ago, I never expected it to grow to what it has become.  I have put A LOT of work into this site – more work than I have applied to any other Master’s class project.  My learning curve has been huge!  However, the difference between this project and others that I have completed is that it does not feel like I am doing this “for the marks.”  I am not constantly thinking, “Is this what is required?  Is this what my prof wants?  Am I following the guidelines?  Will I receive a good mark?”  Instead, I have taken this project and have run with it.  I am always thinking about how I can add to it, and not because of project requirements, but because I want to make it better, share with my colleagues, and have something effective to use with my OWN students!  I have been using the site quite regularly, and I am so proud of it because the most important part is that the students are learning from it.  They always love when we work on the Moral Intelligences, and their answers are so mature.  They are really engaged, and I know it is because of the technological aspect of the site.  As well, it feels great to help my fellow colleagues.  I have made teaching this aspect of the curriculum so much easier for them.  Some are even planning to start their students blogging after Christmas – a project that I am going to start as well and with which I am going to help them.  I have been able to use so many sites and tools that we learned about in class when creating my website, AND have included them in my website.  Again, I was not thinking, “Oh, I should use Wordle, Picnik, and Compfight on the site so that I’ll get a better mark!”  Instead, I was thinking, “Sandy would love Wordle – her class would probably enjoy it too!”  “The grade eights will love using Picnik – I should include that somehow!”  I am so grateful for everything that I have learned in EC&I 831!

I have thoroughly enjoyed creating this project and it has been the most worthwhile Master’s class project that I have completed.  I am going to continue to add to it after this class has wrapped, and that way, there will be a page per month for the entire year.  When Dean Shareski spoke to our class, he asked us where our best work was located, and if it was online.  At the time, mine was not.  I remarked that it was sitting in boxes in my basement and in lessons that only my students saw.  Now, however, some of my best lessons are included in this website, and some of my NEW best work, this website itself, IS online!  I hope that other teachers outside of my school are able to use it, and that they will continue to share it with others for years to come.

Photo by wildxplorer

Writing an entry to “summarize” my learning for EC&I 831 does not seem adequate for this class.  I have learned so much in such a short period of time that it really WAS difficult to summarize my learning into a 5-7 minute project. (Thus, you will see that my project is 7:32.  Being concise is not my strongpoint!)  Moreover, I feel like a summary is often synonymous with a conclusion, and my learning stemming from this class is only just beginning.  I feel as though this class is a stepping stone to everything, technologically-based, that I am going to embark on.  I truly felt rhizomatic learning happening throughout this class, and that was something that I had not experienced within any class I had taken.  In my post about Dave Cormier’s presentation, I stated that rhizomatic learning “can move in multiple directions, and it is unpredictable.  It is open-ended, experiential-based, creative, and not based on memory, but on forming knowledge.  There is no curriculum because learning from EACH OTHER is the curriculum.”  How true that was for our class!  Our learning was not based on a prescribed curriculum, but it was because of each other and ourselves.  Never before have I taken a Masters class or undergrad class where I felt so motivated and compelled to learn, share, and grow than during this class.  I have been working on my Final Project since two weeks after this class began, and never was I thinking about the mark I would receive or if I had completed “enough” or “the right kind” of work.  I was compelled to create it for myself and others.  The process by which I created my website was challenging, but it forced me to learn for myself, and in that way, I have grown so much more.  I will be continuing to work on my website even when class is complete, and I think that that alone shows the importance of rhizomatic learning.  Alec stated in our last class that we should think about learning beyond our class and that we should learn for ourselves.  Thank you for motivating us to do so, Alec, and providing us with the tools to learn beyond the classroom.  I have enjoyed reading about others’ Final Projects and have witnessed many others creating projects that they will continue to use when class is complete, and that is testament to all that we have learned.

Although it is difficult to summarize my learning, as it is still ongoing, I CAN summarize my feelings about this class.  I have enjoyed it far more than any other class that I have taken.  I am constantly thinking about how I can utilize all of the new tools that we have been given.  I find myself very conscious of who I can share things with, and I am compelled to pass on what I learn to others to make THEIR lives more interesting and easier!  I have learned so much from everyone in the class.  Just today, I passed on Honni’s blog to our school’s kindergarten teacher who is attempting to use technology in her classroom.  I am going to have my students create Wordle posters thanks to Judy’s recent post.  I finally remembered the site that Alec recommended that allows you to caption your pictures, thanks to Katy, and I am now obsessed with picnik and used it to create the picture above.  I will now be showing my colleagues how to use picnik tomorrow!  All of that sharing was completed, and only in the course of a day!  I am even DREAMING about sharing!  Whenever school gets stressful, I have this reoccurring nightmare about tornados (and have had this dream since I was young.)  Last week, before conferences, I had the same dream.  However, when I saw the tornado approaching, I tweeted out a storm warning!  Sharing is now apart of my subconscious!

We still have two classes left, and I have no doubt that many of us will continue to follow each other’s blogs, so I will not say my goodbyes quite yet!  Instead, I will leave you with my Summary of Learning.  I apologize for it being 32 seconds too long!  😛  I honestly timed it when reading my ‘script’ aloud to make sure that it was within the time constraints.  However, I seriously underestimated the speed at which the characters speak!  I edited for, no word of a lie, two hours, and this is as short as I can get it, sorry!  I have three “deleted scenes” that didn’t even fit the cut…but I’ll save those for the DVD. 😛  I also was frustrated that I could not edit them into one movie with five different scenes.  Alas, I would have to pay even more than I already paid to use the account, and that just wasn’t in this teacher’s budget!  I then tried to upload all five to You Tube to create a playlist, but for some reason, the movies will NOT upload. I have tried for two days, searched many help boards for the past hour, changed my authorization several times, and still, nothing.  I tried to embed them into the blog, but that wouldn’t work either.  Then, I tried to download them to my computer to upload to a host site, but I couldn’t download them without paying to upgrade my account!  What a money-grab!  Finally, I decided to take a screen shot of each one and link to that, and it seems to have worked.  So without further ado…

My Summary of Learning, using xtranormal

I have been working on my Summary of Learning today, and after playing with several of the Web 2.0 digital storytelling tools, I decided to use xtranormal.  Xtranormal is a movie maker where you can create your own animated movie and have the characters say your text.  I wanted my Summary of Learning to be told like a story, and this seemed to be the best media through which to share my summary.  I think that I was also inclined to use the program because as a child, my brother and I had a movie maker program on our computer that reminds me a lot of this site.  It was a lot of fun, but not nearly as simple as xtranormal was to use.

While working with xtranormal, I discovered a few pros and cons.

– Quite easy to use.
– Several characters to choose from.
– The characters can ‘do’ several different actions.
– The drag and drop process by which you place the action command right into the text was simple.
– Simply type your text into the window, and the characters say what you want them to say.

– The site is free for a 14 day trial, but I had to pay for an account in order to access more options.  It was only $10, so I think it was a good deal.
– The characters are static and do not walk around.
– You cannot make more than one scene in a movie without upgrading to a higher account.  This is what I found most frustrating.  I had to make four mini-movies that I will show in order for my presentation.  I wish that they could have a fade-out in between each one so that the scenes changed.  In my program as a kid, I was able to do this.
– The computerized voices are not too bad, but I wish that I could record audio right into the program.  However, it is kind of cool having them speak in their monotone way haha.
– In order to preview the movie to see how it looked, it took quite a long time to load each time I wanted to see how my changes worked.

All in all, I think that this storytelling tool has been a creative way to share my Summary of Learning.  Now, my only problem – it is nine minutes long! :S  I have some serious editing to do!

It is freeeeeezing cold outside, and it is the perfect day to have devoted to working on my Summary of Learning.  I have been looking at everyone’s blogs to see how they have been using the digital storytelling tools, and I have been collecting many ideas for projects that I want to try with my students.  I was thinking to myself, “Oh, I hope I remember that so that I can try it when we are working in such and such unit!  Oh, I want to have my students try Zooburst for their OWN Christmas lists like Laura posted on her blog!  Oh neat, the kids would LOVE to try Blabberize for their creative writing projects!  I hope I remember these things when the time comes to use them!’  Then I thought, “D’uh, Chelsi, just blog them and reference them later!”  One of the reasons why I love the web so much is that it provides such great organization.  Now I won’t have to search through my files for my list of resources – I can access them all in one click!   This list is mainly for my own organization, but if you are able to use any of the ideas, all the more reason to create it!  If you have any ideas to share, feel free to add them!

(Sorry, I’m not going to link to all of them out of time constraints.  They’re all here for you to access.  Thanks Alan Levine for all of your work!)

ImageLoop or Animoto – I want to use this to create a simple slideshow for for my class blog of pictures of the students on our various field trips.

Photopeach – Use to display my own photos and upload to Facebook.  Looks pretty easy.

Slideroll – This slideshow tool is deemed “on the easy end of the slideshow creation tools” by Alan, so maybe my students could create their OWN slideshows with captions about our class trip to Agribition.

Tikatok – Helps kids to create books using photos (or could use their drawings if I took pictures of them).  The kids would love creating a story this way rather than the standard pencil and paper way.

Vovox – My husband’s band could use this to put their gig pictures on their website in a cool, different format.

Mixbook – Great to show my friends who have kids and who don’t have time to scrapbook their pictures, but still want to share them.

xtimeline – For my Titanic unit, my students could keep track of the events unfolding surrounding the Titanic’s voyage and sinking.

Pikistrips – Students could caption photos of our field trips or classroom events and make them into a comic.

Google My Maps – Why have I not seen this before???  This will enhance my Canada Social Studies unit in numerous ways!

Flickr Five Frame Stories – This was fun to do in class, and would be good to do as an entire-class creative writing project.  I could project the pictures from the data projector and we could write the story together as a class.

Blabberize – Have the kids create characters in Creative Writing class, find a picture on Compfight, and go to town on this site!

Now, off to figure out which tool to use for my Summary of Learning!

Last night, our class was fortunate to have Alan Levine present to us about Digital Storytelling.  I had been looking forward to this class, as at the beginning of EC&I 831, our class was introduced to Alan’s blog, CogDogBlog, and I have been enjoying it ever since.  To learn more about Alan and his projects, such as The Story Box, be sure to check out his blog.  I always feel inspired to create and share after I have read it!  (For a REALLY inspirational read/view, check out the Cookie Love story!).

I was looking forward to not only learning new tools and sites from Alan, but for discussing the idea of storytelling, digitally.  Last year, I took EC&I 808 Instructional Theory and Practice from Dr. Patrick Lewis, and I learned a great deal about the power for storytelling from this prof, a master-storyteller himself.  Stories convey such power, and I find that when teaching, whenever I tell a story or link a lesson to my own personal tales, the students are so attentive and able to form connections.  The idea of using the internet to share our stories globally fascinates me.  After watching Alan’s video 50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story, I couldn’t wait to dive into this class session!

Using a swimming pool metaphor for last night is quite applicable to me.  We dove into this presentation full force, and I was introduced to so many new tools – quite possibly 90% or so that I had never heard of but am excited to try.  By the end of class, I had amassed so much information that I felt as though I was drowning.  I am meaning to sound negative, as I knew that this presentation would be extremely fast-paced if we were to learn about 50 different tools in 1.5 hours.  However, I am just feeling overwhelmed at the moment.  I am not overwhelmed by the content or tools, as I would love the time to play with them all.  I am overwhelmed with everything happening in my life right now, and any elementary school teacher is probably feeling the same way.  In the next week and a half, we have report cards to hand out, conferences, I have a field trip to plan and execute, my final project to work on, my summary of learning, committees that I am apart of at work, and then simply trying to live and enjoy life at the same time while running on about five hours of sleep a night.  I am feeling frustrated because all I wanted to do today was stay home and try out all of the new things that I had learned last night, but alas, work beckons me!  I always struggle with trying to give 100% to every aspect of my life until I burn out and then have to re-evaluate things.  I wish that I could experiment more with the digital storytelling tools, but for now I will try a few and have to be satisfied with that until I have more time to play with them more thoroughly.

Alan has organized the digital storytelling tools into classifications on this page, and I am forever grateful for this organization!  He also has the tools organized by media capacities  I know that this page is going to become indispensable for me in the future, and I plan to use it for my Summary of Learning.  The first digital storytelling tool that I want to discuss is Voicethread.  I started experimenting with Voicethread last week when I had my students record their Radio Plays through Voicethreads so that they could be shared with their families and friends via our blog.  However, I quickly found that Voicethread only allows five Voicethreads to be created before you have to start paying $15 / month for the service.  I Tweeted about my frustration last night, and I received a reply that I should try Fotobabble.  I set up an account and gave this a try today.  It’s a simple tool very similar to Voicethread, so I was excited to have found a free resource.  However, while my students were recording their plays today, we discovered that the maximum recording length is too short for their plays.  I had to go back to the drawing board and ended up signing up for a second Voicethread account with a different email address for the time being so that my students can finish recording their plays.  Does anyone have any other suggestions of tools similar to Voicethread that are free and allow recordings to be over three minutes long?

The second storytelling tool that I wanted to try was Blabberize.  From the Blabberize videos that Alan had posted, I was pretty certain that my students would be absolutely crazy about this site.  They got such a kick out of listening to their OWN voices that I can’t imagine what they will do with this tool.  I want to have them create a character in Creative Writing class and either find a picture on Compfight to accompany their writing, or draw one of their own that I will photograph and upload to Blabberize.  I tried the site myself and it was so simple and a lot of fun!  I used this tutorial and it made using Blabberize a breeze.  You can check out my talking dog, inspired by Domino, below!


My Blabberize Video


The next thing I wanted to try was a comic tool.  I wanted to find something that I can use in the classroom, and Bubblr and    Pikistrips seemed to be the simplest options to begin with.  Unfortunately, Pikistrips’ site was down for maintenance, so I will have to try that at a different point.  I chosse Bubblr and again, I couldn’t believe the simplicity.  Bubblr lets you caption photos found on Flickr, and I have no doubt that my students would love this site, as I had a lot of fun with it!

Kanye Dog

(I have tried over and over to get this picture to be embedded into my blog.  I copy and paste the text that I’m given when I request to “share it,” and I paste it in to the HTML version, but I can’t get it to work.  I put it into a link for now.  Can someone please help me with this, as well as the Animoto video below?  Thank you so much!!)

The last tool that I decided to try was Animoto.  I had heard from a colleague how easy it is to use Animoto to create professional-looking slideshows.  A few minutes on the site and I was regretting the amount of time I spent using iMovie to create my wedding slideshow, as this program is SO easy to use.  Moreover, I was able to sign up for a free educator’s account with unlimited video creation.  Hooray!  I was able to quickly start my video, as my educator’s account was instantly approved.  Unfortunately, I had to upload my pictures twice, as the first time Animoto hung up halfway through my upload.  However, once my photos were uploaded, everything fell into place so easily.  I also wasn’t very keen on only using 50 letters to caption my photos, and how you can only write on a slide by adding font to a picture in Photoshop, then uploading the picture.  Oh well, perhaps these features will be added in the future.  Keeping with the dog theme, I bring you Lucy, Animoto-version!


Before I conclude this blog post, I want to recommend two other great digital storytelling sites.  The first is Blurb.  My wedding photographer created an album for us by uploading our pictures into Blurb.  I cannot compare it to other photo book sites, as I have not had experience creating books of my own, but she swears by this site, and the end result is of such beautiful quality.  A friend of mine takes pictures of her children and makes them into storybooks for the kids using this site.

The second tool that I want to recommend is an App for the iPhone called 8mm Vintage Camera.  This App allows you to shoot video in a vintage 8mm style.  Our photographer, Carey Shaw, created this video of our wedding using the App, uploaded music to it, and pieced the mini-videos together.  (If anyone needs a photographer, I HIGHLY recommend her!)

I had fun using these tools and although I am feeling the stress of November as a teacher and student, at least I know that these tools will be online, waiting for me to try when I have more free time.  Have a great week, everyone!

Our Tuesday night EC&I 831 class featured an interesting discussion about the changing role of the educator.  Through his presentation, Stephen Downes had our class engage in thought and interaction regarding how the role of the future educator will be more than an “instructor”.  Instead, students will be instructed by what will be more aptly described as a “course team”.  There will be several roles to be filled – learning, collector, salesperson, designer, coach, mentor, sharer, and about twenty others that Stephen outlined.  (If you would like a list, please comment and I will share my notes with you.)  Stephen concluded that the role that we call “teacher” is being blown up and fragmented into roles.  In the future, there may not be the job of simply “teacher,” as Stephen feels that society at large will become more of a teacher, and what is now known as “teacher” will be too large of a job for one person to fulfill.  Thus, he feels that teachers should find one role in which to specialize, because no one can fulfill every role.  In the future, he feels that teaching will be a collaborative process by people in these roles working together to educate, both in the real world and online.

Now, I had initially planned to blog about my thoughts about this future of education (which, in my opinion, is somewhat unsettling to me.  However, that is only because, as I blogged before, I would find this loss of control and this delegation of duties somewhat uncomfortable.  However, SHARING [the common theme in this class!] the duties of a teacher with several others would definitely lighten the load that teachers today face.)  However, I witnessed something transpiring on my Facebook account that seemed apropos to this week’s discussion.

For those of you living outside of Saskatchewan, on Monday night was our provincial election.  The New Democratic Party (NDP) was the clear choice among teachers, as under our current governing party, The Saskatchewan Party, teachers were locked in a bitter battle over their expired contract and the government’s inability to offer the raise that teachers were hoping for.  Needless to say, when election day rolled around, few teachers were supporting the Sask Party.  When the results were in, the Sask Party ended up winning, and I expressed my disappointment through my Facebook status, having already voiced my opinions several times previously as an NDP supporter.  A number of my friends commented in support of my status, while one clearly expressed her happiness over the Sask Party’s victory.  What ended up ensuing was a pretty bitter exchange of words between her and one of my NDP supporting friends, and neither friend knows each other.  I had no idea that this had transpired throughout the day until I checked my Facebook account last night.  Both friends ended up apologizing to me for creating drama on my Facebook Wall, even before I had seen the altercation, and one deleted her comments.  This caused me to think about how incredibly dramatic a teenager’s Facebook page must be.  I have thought often about this, as I know that simply using the ICQ messaging system when I was in high school created unnecessary drama all the time, and it had nowhere NEAR the capabilities that Facebook possesses.  My two friends, both well-educated professionals, were reduced to bickering with each other throughout the day on my Facebook page.  What must it be like to be a teenager using social media?  I harkened back to Danah Boyd’s presentation Teenagers who are Living and Learning with Social Media and how she explained that social media has not created new drama – it is simply an outlet for it to exist.  Teenagers have ALWAYS gossiped and bullied, so we cannot blame Facebook for teenage bullying problems today.  However, Facebook is a very powerful tool through which cyberbullying can exist due to what Danah referred to as invisibility.  Out of curiosity, I asked a teenager to tell me about the way in which she uses Facebook.  This grade twelve student, Danae, is a former student of mine with whom I have kept in close contact since she graduated from my elementary school, as I worked with her for years when running the extracurricular events of which she was apart.  She uses her Facebook page as any teenager does – connecting with friends, posting photos, and expressing her opinions.  However, I find that she also uses it in a very efficient, mature way.  She is the president of the student council at her school and often uses her statuses to remind students about upcoming spirit days, sporting events, and school news.  I asked her if she sees very much drama or bullying on Facebook, and this is how she replied:  (Keep in mind that she is one of the most level-headed teenagers that you could ever meet!)

“Personally, I think Facebook contributes to drama tons. Of course the way I use it, it doesn’t. But I have seen sooo many nasty friendship-fallouts, and nasty break ups so public on Facebook. Because it is so easy to access now, (on phones) stuff gets around so quickly. I have seen videos of fights, ‘blackmail’ pictures of embarrassing drunken moments, and so many other sickening things posted. Of course as soon as they are, people start commenting and drama is instantly created. If Facebook didn’t exist I definitely think drama wouldn’t get so intensified. I think the ‘like’ feature on comments instigates a lot of trouble because whenever I see silly (or sometimes very serious) arguments, people will ‘keep tabs’ on that status and watch all of the commments popping up, ‘”liking’ them to show who’s side they are on and stuff. As soon as someone seems to have an argument with someone, they often go straight to Facebook to make a status aimed at that person. During class, it’s ridiculous listening to people talk about their ex-boyfriend’s/ ex-bestfriend’s/ someone they ‘hate’s’ status. I often hear ‘Omg, did you see so and so’s status last night?’  The fact that it is so accessible, frequently updated and easy to see what people are up to make it an easy outlet for people who love drama. Photos, videos, wallposts, etc. can be posted within seconds of stuff happening, for everyone to see. It’s pretty ridiculous, I think many teenagers mistreat the purpose of Facebook. I have deleted people because I am so annoyed with their constant bickering showing up in my newsfeed. Even though I don’t partake in it, it still shows up all around me. I don’t think I know one person in my grade who doesn’t have it! It’s awful the things people will do/say over Facebook, the computer screen gives them a sense of protection or power I guess.  So yeah, basically I think that if Facebook didn’t exist, yes drama would happen but I don’t think things would get as intensified as they do now, thanks to Facebook! 

I asked Danae if I had permission to use her words for this blog, and she was excited to be featured!  🙂  I decided not to paraphrase, but to use her words, as it felt more authentic.  I bolded the statements that really hit home.  Much of what Danae is witnessing is exactly what Danah Boyd discussed in her presentation.  The drama created really IS intensified by Facebook and the ability to make harsh statements behind the protective computer screen enables this, but this drama would still exist because these people would find other ways to create the drama.  We were probably all witness to note passing and gossiping as teenagers – it is now intensified through other means.

Two of the most powerful statements that I bolded were that although Danae does not partake in this drama, it is all around her, and it is happening IN CLASS.  I have strayed quite far from my original topic of the role of the teacher, but I’m hoping to bring it all back home now, so bear with me!  I feel that a role of the teacher that we did not discuss in class is that of a peacekeeper.  At first, I thought of it as a policeman, keeping order, reinforcing the law, and disciplining when necessary.  However, that seems much too harsh.  I feel that peacekeepers educate while maintaining law and order.  Teachers have always needed to keep peace and settle disagreements, whether they are between primary students having difficulty sharing, dealing with prepubescent drama in middle years, or settling arguments due to gossip and slander in high school.  Teachers today, however, must be peacekeepers on the online front, dealing with the ever-increasing instances of cyberbullying.  I have dealt with cyberbullying a few times during my career, the most serious case being during my internship where I was able to witness how much cooperating teacher had the resource officer discuss the serious implications of cyberbullying with our class.  There are many good resources online to help teach about cyberbullying, but I prefer reading personal testimonials.  David Truss commented on one of my recent blog posts and shared a project that he had completed with his class where they created Wikis.  Interested in his teaching methodology, I read through his blog and came across his account of a cyberbullying incident that transpired in his class while his students were completing their project.  His honesty and learning how he dealt with the incident were very enlightening, and I would highly recommend reading about it.

The role of the teacher is changing – this we know.  I feel that before it fragments into separate roles, as Stephen predicts, we as teachers will continue to take on more and more of these roles.  Being a peacekeeper in my classroom and modelling my need for all students to feel safe and accepted will remain one of my most important roles as an educator.  Are there any roles that you feel we did not mention in class but that you feel are a part of your teaching?