Monday, May 15, 2017

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jen Giffen




Watch the Interview Streamed Live  HERE

Recently I attended the Canada Connect Conference, in Niagara Falls Ontario.  It was a really engaging conference with lots of good sessions and fantastic presenters.  During the presentation I did with colleague, Melanie Kitchen, I had a great conversation with Jen Giffen.  Jen had a lot of great ideas of her own and I could tell we could have talked edtech for a lot longer.  So I asked her to come on the #CWAG Program and tell me more.  I will ask her about the conference and her thoughts on the state of Edtech in Canada and in the schools she works with.  Can't wait to chat.

Here is a little bit more about Jen:

Jen Giffen currently works as a Digital Literacy Resource Teacher with the York Region District School Board, just north of Toronto, ON..

She earned her B.Ed (I/S English and Mathematics) at Queen's University and her M.Ed (Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning) at OISE at the University of Toronto.

She is a Sketchnoter, Google for Education Certified Trainer, and Apple Teacher. She has a keen interest in EdTech and is always looking for new tools to enhance the learning environment to engage students and increase critical thinking skills.

She spends her free time playing with her three little boys and coaching and participating in competitive cheerleading.

Connecting with Jen:
Twitter:  @virtualgiff  
Instagram: @virtualgiff  
Website: http://virtualgiff.com



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Gaming and Gamification Part 3: Tangential Learning- The Trojan Horse Every Teacher/ Parent Needs to Know About

Many of us have learned about the story of the "Trojan Horse".  A good summary of the story can be found HERE (Shmoop)

This story came to mind when I heard about the concept of Tangential Learning.  Many educators I have talked to have not heard of this concept, and yet, I would argue EVERY educator and parent should know about it.  So in a nutshell, what exactly is it?  Well the classic definition is this:  Tangential learning is the process by which people educate themselves on a topic when it is presented in a context that they enjoy (source).  A really great video on the concept can be viewed below:  ****There is a 4 letter word in this video*** For Parents and Teachers its worth watching anyway.



I experienced tangential learning as a child watching the cartoons and movies.  How many of you remember Bugs Bunny Cartoons?  These cartoons featured Al Capone type Mobsters, Beethoven Musical Selections, and Napoleonic adversaries galore.  It wasn't until years later that I realized the cartoons contained snippets of classic music and art that I was able to remember for schoolwork and quizzes.  
Today's gaming climate offers an incredible amount of tangential learning possibilities.  From the classic WWII games like Medal of Honor to the most recent Assassin's Creed, history topics abound.