Final Blog Post: How I Helped Others Learn!

Hello and welcome to the final blog post for EDTC 300. Our task for this final blog post is to talk about how I contributed to the learning of other students in the class. Unfortunately for me I am not one for social media and did not keep good track of these details, but I do have a few examples!

I don’t have any pictures of it, but I commented during the class instruction and helped some students with certain ideas. As well I let the class know about “Lucid Chart“. I’m sure some people knew about it already, but others have commented on the blog post I made about Lucid Chart saying that they think it looks interesting!

As well, I also commented on Blog Posts from time to time. Here is one example of replying to a comment on my blog, as well as commenting on another blog:

commenting on Erinn

commenting on Hillary


My main example of helping other students’ learning has to be my video “EDTC 300: Everybody’s Name in Japanese!

Here are some comments on the Tweet I made:

Twitter and Japanese video

Two different students in the class referenced my little activity in blog posts as well. Danica even made a video:

Thanks again Danica! Maytlind referenced it in one of her final posts too!

Helping Maytlind

As well, Justine mentioned my video on Twitter!

Justine Twitter mention

On a different note, my professor Katia Hildebrandt also replied to one of my Tweets!

Katia Twitter

Overall, I did not contribute to other students’ learning as much as I probably should have, but due to my distaste for social media, I think some is better than none!

Thanks for reading one last time folks, it’s been a wild ride. I wish you all the best in the future and I will see you next time.

  • Garrett



Japanese Skill Blog #10: Final Post

I started off the learning project this semester with a basic understanding of Japanese. I have had instruction in it in the past, but for the past three years I haven’t learned any so I figured it would be a really good way to get refreshed and learn some new stuff!

I started off with learning random words with the help of Rosetta Stone and gradually learning more Katakana! I had forgotten pretty much everything I learned except some Hiragana characters, so I had to also relearn those! Rosetta Stone really helped with that.

Random Japanese words

Gradually I kept learning more and more words, until I felt confident enough with my Hiragana once again to move onto learning Katakana. This is where the real work began, however, I created a Katakana Chart later in the semester that helped me out big time. Before I created that though, I was using similar, yet less helpful charts to help my learning.

I then moved into some sentence structure and grammar things. For example I learned present and past tense words! I talked about it a lot in my third blog post.

Later I took a break from learning new Katakana and instead tried to find a really good online source to learn from. In my fourth blog post I talked a lot about different YouTube channels. I think I decided my favorite is Puni Puni Japan.

Over the rest of the semester it was on and off with learning words, katakana and sentence structure. Last week I asked a buddy of mine who knows Japanese to help me write a short speech about my family! As my family knows I’ve tried to pick up Japanese through this class once again, they wanted me to write something for them! This is what my friend and I came up with in the end (all my friend did was help translate words I did not know). I apologize if there are any mistakes! There are probably many, but I still had a lot of fun creating this!

Here is the speech in English:

My family is made of four family members.

I have one brother.

He is an older brother.

My older brother is 25 and is very cool.

My older brother and father can understand French.

My mother is a nurse, she works at a hospital.

My mother is kind and admirable.

As well, my mom is short but my dad is tall.

My father’s eyes are blue. His hair is brown and short.

My father often reads books, he’s smart!

My mother and father used to live in Nova Scotia.

Here it is in Romaji Japanese:

Watashi no kazoku ha yonnin kazoku desu.

Kyoudai ga hitori imasu.

Niisan ha ichibanue desu.

Niisan ha nijugo de, totemo kakoiidesuyo.

Niisan to chichi ha furansugo wakarimasu.

Watashi no haha ha kankoshide, byouin ni tsutometeimasu.

Haha ha shinsetsude, rippadesu.

Soshite, haha ha sega hikukuikedo, chichi ha sega takai desu.

Chichi ha me ga aokute, kamiga chairoi to mijikaidesu.

Chichi ha yoku hon wo yomukara, atama ga idesu.

Chichi to haha ha Nova Scotia ni sunde imashita.

Here it is in Hiragana/Katakana:












Here is a video of me delivering the speech!


As always thank you for reading and keeping up with my educational journey!

  • Garrett

Summary of Learning: Lucid Chart Video

Hello and welcome to my Summary of Learning video submission for EDTC 300! Within the video I talk about subjects such as Facebook in the classroom, educational blogs, classroom tools, digital citizenship, etc. I apologize for going over the 6 minute mark but I feel as though limiting myself to such a short time frame did not accurately reflect the work I put into making my concept map. Speaking of which, I used the tool called Lucid Chart, which is an extremely handy tool! The only unfortunate aspect is that the free version is very limited. Therefore I signed up for the premium membership for $5 dollars.

Here is the link to my Lucid Chart: EDTC 300 Summary of Learning Concept Map

Furthermore, I made a video that summarizes my learning experiences within EDTC 300 while I commentate over my concept map. Again, I apologize for the length of the video, but I think it turned out really good regardless.

Here is the link to my summary of learning video: EDTC 300 Summary of Learning

Thank you for reading and thanks to all those who watch the video!

  • Garrett

Learning to Code

This week we were asked to try out either “Code Academy” or “Scratch“, which are two different websites that help you to learn how to code. I did the introductory lesson on Code Academy, and it was quite informative! I have had minimal experience with coding, but when I was 16 my friend and I wanted to become video game developers so we jumped into it. We got as far as making a questionnaire using Python before deciding that it was just too difficult haha! It was a lot of fun to learn but it was so hard to wrap our heads around it.

When I was young my dad once told me that learning to code is essentially learning a new language. I didn’t quite understand what he meant until I learned that there are several different coding “languages”, and it literally is “learning a new language”. I find this concept fascinating, but looking at code for too long starts making it all jumbled in my head. I guess the same could be said for Japanese though, so it must just come down to lots of practice.

The introductory lesson in Code Academy really brought me back to the days I mentioned previously, and reminded me of the joy of slightly changing variables which result in drastic consequences. I quite enjoy that aspect of coding, and the introductory lesson does a great job at highlighting that. It literally asks you to break the code by messing with the variables beyond recognition. I appreciated that it showed the real time process of your actions having consequences.

The second part of this blog post asks me to give my opinion on whether I think coding is important or not. I give a firm “yes” to that question. Everything we are capable of doing on the internet is thanks to the power of coding. However, I think the question meant to ask whether or not we think that coding is important for the classroom, to which I answer “sort of”.

Coding in itself is really not for everyone, especially not for every student, as it requires a level of abstract thinking that not everyone can do. I think there should be a course in high school that offers introductory level coding on a widely used coding language. It would be helpful for future web designers, video game designers, etc. As well, it would give students a far better grasp on the level of work that is put into every single piece of technology we use today. It would also give students a chance to find out whether or not they even enjoy coding at all! Some people who have never tried it might find that it is their passion after taking a course on it in high school.

So is coding important? Yes! Is it important for high school? Not yet! Could it be important for high schools in the future? Absolutely! I will go back to my previous statement and make the assertion that it *MUST* be an optional elective (Hell it may already be in some places). If a student who does not like working with technology is forced to do a class on coding, it could sour it for them forever. Let students who want to learn, learn. Do not force students who do not want to.

  • Garrett

Japanese Skill Blog #9: Katakana Chart

For my learning project this week I created a little printable Katakana Chart to hang up on the bulletin board behind my desk. I’ve found that a lot of Katakana charts online are needlessly confusing, so I figured I’d make my own! Learning Katakana has been way harder than learning Hiragana I find. This is mainly due to the fact that I keep getting all the Katakana symbols confused with the Hiragana symbols! I have attached it above in the highlighted section!

I have been thinking a lot about voice acting lately and whether or not it is of use to learners like myself. I remember one of my Japanese friends saying one time that watching anime is basically useless when learning Japanese because they talk in such an exaggerated way. Therefore I am inclined to agree with the sentiment for the most part, however I do think there is some benefit to hearing people speak Japanese at all. Any interaction with the language is helpful!

I am gearing up for my final learning project post, the culmination of all my practice, for next week’s blog post. I am starting to get nervous because I figured I knew what I was doing but I am starting to second guess myself. I am sure that it will turn out good no matter what, but I am still nervous!

Sorry for the short post this week, but I have nothing new to offer other than that I have been learning more Katakana!

  • Garrett

Japanese Skill Blog #8: YouTube video

For our learning post this week we were asked to make an educational artifact that could help the other students in EDTC 300 learn the skills of other students! I made an 11 minute YouTube video showing everybody’s name in Japanese! I wrote them all out on paper and recorded myself pronouncing them!

For everyone in EDTC 300, I hope you take the time to find your name in my video!

Here’s the video: EDTC 300: Everybody’s Name In Japanese!

To help with some of the translations, I used this name translation website.

Furthermore, with some of the letters I forgot how to draw, I used this YouTube series: “Write Right” to help me out!

Hope you like the video!

  • Garrett

Talking About “Fake News”

For this week we were asked to write about how we (myself and the other teachers in training) plan on teaching digital literacy, and more specifically, how we will teach students to spot fake news. As I am an English teacher, I think the opportunities to teach this subject is more slim compared to someone like a Social Studies teacher (although that is my minor). However, there are times that it can be slipped in, such as assignments that require research.

My general plan is to do just what I stated, incorporate it into assignments that give students access to computers. As well, there are a few resources that our wonderful professor Katia Hildebrandt has provided that would be exceptionally useful to show to students. Two in particular stand out for me that I think would be extremely accessible to students.

The first of these two resources is this comic. It takes a slightly humorous and scientific approach to why people reject news that is opposite to their valued world beliefs. Furthermore, it talks about how it is okay to change and grow because of what we learn. We do not have to simply accept or deny something, instead we can sit on it and think about it, then re-evaluate our world beliefs to see if new information has changed our mind. I feel as though this would be beneficial to students because it only takes about 5-10 minutes to read and is in a comic format.

The second resource professor Hildebrandt provided that I find interesting is a TED educational video that talks about how to find more reliable news sources. The best line of this video is when it states: “With freedom comes responsibility.” I like this line for two reasons. Firstly, it is close to the famous Spider-Man line “With great power comes great responsibility.” Secondly, I think students undervalue just how much freedom they have by simply living in Canada. The very fact that we can choose where we get our news from is evidence of that. The line makes me hopeful that students might think deeper about how lucky they are. The video itself is very useful to students because it is less than 5 minutes and gives concrete examples of how to find more reliable news sources.

To end I would like to share this article on why the term “fake news” is problematic in itself. I agree with her conclusion that the term is too simple to accurately portray the greater issue here. It’s not that it is only “fake”, but it is purposefully misleading. The word fake is too broad to describe the many different reasons why people will willingly falsify information meant for the average consumer. I cannot remember where I heard this phrase, but I remember hearing that we have left the “information age” behind and are now in the “misinformation age.”

Thanks for reading.

  • Garrett

Powtoon First Impressions

For this week we had to use a new educational tool and write a quick review on it. For my post I decided to use Powtoon. I had never used it before but had seen various examples online, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Honestly, I wanted to give it a bad review because of how frustrating it was to use, but in the end I came away with a positive feeling. While it did crash on me 4 times, in which two of those times I lost progress, it still only took me 45 minutes from starting fresh to publishing. It’s pretty intuitive for any new time user and has plenty of options to choose from. Furthermore, when you first make your account, you’re given 3 hours of premium service, so I got to make a premium Powtoon for free!

The options are slightly limited for what sort of background animations you can choose, but overall there’s a nice variety. I wanted more Japan oriented backgrounds but instead I had to choose more nature/outdoor backgrounds. It still worked so I cannot be too displeased.

Overall I would recommend it to a student because it’s far more interesting to look at than a PowerPoint, and it’s free! While it may crash from time to time, it is still worth using. Here is a link to the Powtoon presentation I made:

5 facts about my learning project Powtoon animation

Thanks for reading this week.

  • Garrett

Japanese Skill Blog #7

Hello once again readers! Today’s skill blog will be on the shorter side because I just want to write out some sentences and translate them from Japanese to English!

わたし は カナダ の ハリファックス から きました。

(Watashi wa Canada no Halifax kara kimashita)

Basically, “I am from Halifax, Canada!” I believe that is the right way to phrase the sentence. I have talked a bit about Hiragana versus Katakana and where to use each. Here you can see that the words for “I am from” are in Hiragana, and the words for “Halifax” and “Canada” are in Katakana. That is because the words that originate from Japanese are in Hiragana, and the words that originate from places outside of Japan are in Katakana.

Playing around with particles a little bit, I figured that I should figure out how to say that I read books! Or I am reading books. Since I am an English major, and that is what I primarily do, I figured it would be valuable to know how to say that!

わたし は ほん を よみます。

(Watashi wa hon o yomimasu.)

“I am reading a book.”

If I wanted it to be past tense, I would simply change the “masu” in “yomimasu” to “yomimashita”. Or “I was reading a book.”

This next one is something I was taught a while ago by a friend of mine who knew Japanese! She said it’s super important to know because you’ll probably be asking it a lot!

これ は にほんご で なんといいますか。

(Kore wa Nihongo de nantoiimasuka?)

“What do you call this in Japanese?”

It would be useful for when you are picking something out of a lineup and not knowing what it is called. So you would point at it and ask the question above, “What do you call this in Japanese?”

Another question that is supremely useful to know how to ask is this:

トイレ は どこ に ありますか。

(Toire wa doko ni arimasuka?)

“Where is the bathroom (toilet)?”

There’s just a few sentences that will be useful to know! And even though the reading books one is not extremely useful, it’s good to know some basic sentence structure!

Until next time!

  • Garrett

Digital Identity

Hello and welcome to this weeks blog post! I didn’t have a group of fellow students to do the cyber stalking, so I am just going to talk about digital identity.

Digital identity is a very strange concept to grasp because when we think of identity, we usually associate things that are within you or apart of you or something you do. With digital identity, it is an ethereal concept that we cannot physically grasp. To have something so intrinsically bound to you, while also having no physical connection to you, is a breeding ground for having an identity crisis. This article suggests that having multiple online identities is completely normal, and I would say that I have to agree!

Generally I try to not associate myself with my online self. I like the idea of being someone else online, especially on Reddit. I am an exaggerated version of myself there, and the things I say are not connected to ME, but the ME that lives in the ethereal web. With that said, I still have to uphold my morals when I am acting as my online self. I would never offend anyone, or do anything that could bring shame back onto myself in real life.

My anonymous online self can study and comment on topics that I wouldn’t want people to know about in my real life. For example, if I were a gay man but grew up in a very religious family, I could have far more freedom with my online self than I would if the things I looked at/comment on were tied back to my real identity.

That can also be a dangerous for individuals who want to be a more vile version of themselves online. There is a reason that website like 4Chan are completely anonymous, as it allows people to be a far more barbaric version of themselves. With that said though, I would much rather people get out their evil feelings online than in real life. It’s like a release valve for people who can barely hold their bad words in. I wish people weren’t like that, but I think that would be far too idealistic.

There is a certain danger to having your real life identity tied too closely to your online identity. As this video suggests, one tweet can absolutely destroy your life. For some people, this is completely justified. For others though, your life can be completely ruined by a lie that someone else said, or by you simply not articulating your words well enough and a misunderstanding being born because of it. Having these identities too close can be a nightmare!

For a thought exercise, imagine that Trump only went online anonymously. I think the American people would be far less likely to be embarrassed on a weekly basis. He could be his vile self and nobody would know. Some would say that it is better we know about these people’s real thoughts. However, I would argue that our online thoughts do not accurately reflect our real thoughts because of the disconnect between reality and the ethereal web. We can shoot things out thinking that no one will see it, so why should it matter.

There’s no right or wrong answer to any of this. This is just one man’s ramblings about a topic that I am by no means an expert in!

  • Garrett