Category: Course 2

Online 13 Course 2 Fantastic Final Projects

Online 13 Course 2 final projects are a testament to our global collaboration as a cohort. Three groups came together across time and space to co-create diverse and unique units and professional learning experiences that integrate COETAIL course learnings. We are beyond impressed with all three projects and are pleased to share them below. 


by Justin Ouellette | David Berg | Megan Vosk  | Danielle Richert | Kimberly Shannon

A masterful product of global co-creation, this professional learning experience is phenomenal. This team of talented educators chose project option 2 and developed an engaging, well-resourced professional learning experience with embedded breakout sessions and a myriad of tools, resources, and participatory experiences. In addition, they planned for a closing Unconference session to foster reflection and action. You will enjoy learning from them and exploring their embedded tools and resources here

Digital Citizenship Mini-Unit

by Brandon Inman | Josmary Adams | Lana Yashchyna | Coleton Tillett

Four elementary educators create a unit essential for students to develop as Digital Citizens, which really connects to being good overall citizens. This unit takes us into the nature of empathy, kindness and participatory culture for young learners, while also helping them stay safe. A wonderful mini-unit to engage students in dialogue, tools and resources. Enjoy it here

How Does the Digital World See Us?

by Civen Ho | Michael Juntke | Abigail Lopez-Salazar

A wonderful unit that incorporates many aspects of digital citizenship while empowering young learners to become creators and kind participants. Students will learn about privacy and copyright as they create their own videos to share, and their learning will culminate in learning about feedback as they reflect upon each other’s videos. Please find the unit here along with a helpful SlideDeck for implementation.

Course 2 Final Projects are a testament to the talented educators in COETAIL Online 13, to the COETAIL experience in general, and to the power of global collaboration and co-creation.

“The smartest person in the room is the room.”  

~ David Weinberger


Celebrating Contributions

In Course 2, we focused on becoming global contributors. We reflected on collaboration and co-creation. The balance of privacy and participation. The importance of becoming discerning consumers and creators. We have read numerous points of view, shared personal and professional stories, and gained insights from one another. We have contributed immensely! 

Our Online Cohort 13 participants have shared fantastic insights in their weekly blog posts. Here are a few important ideas from Weeks 3 and 4. 

Brandon Inman asks us to consider “How much thought do teachers put into exposing their students to the latest educational technology before they actually know what it is about?” Check out his steps for showing up safely! 

Coleton Tillett reminds us that “One of the most beautiful aspects of childhood is curiosity. When we are young everything is new. We look at the world with fresh eyes and can’t help but wonder about it, to ask questions, to investigate.” 

Lana Yashchyna shares that “Balance is the answer: be yourself – care, create and share responsibly and freely with the intended audience, differentiate the purpose of your posts and the communities to where you contribute to.”

David Berg notes that “many of us are caught in the middle of the change. We were taught using methods that fit the time, when information was not digital. Now, we need to teach the next generation the skills needed for the digital world.”

Civen Ho reflects forward, stating that her “goal for the coming school year is to provide more opportunities for students to question, discuss and check the information they have found online.”

COETAILers we hope you are proud of your fantastic contributions. You have shared so many amazing stories, insights and reflections! As we continue our journey together, please help us improve. Look for a survey link in this week’s email. Thank you for all of your contributions. We cannot wait to see your collaborative final projects!

More about Curiosity & Truth

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What role will you play in promoting curiosity and truth? 

This week’s question resonates deeply for a number of reasons. Firstly, I believe strongly that curiosity is one of our greatest core skills and one that we should continue to cultivate throughout schooling and our lives. Through curiosity, we play, create, innovate and experience joy. Ultimately, it is through embracing curiosity that we continue to learn, grow and discover for the whole of our lives. 

Truth is not such an easy concept. My MFA thesis explored truth as perception, and currently, in my PhD program, we are exploring the idea of counter narratives. Each culture, language, even individual, carries a truth that is hers, and yet, that truth may not be the same truth as the person next door. Truth is perception and perception is how we experience the world. 

Having said that, I am still an advocate for truth-seeking. You see, as soon as we recognize the bias of our own truths, we become free to explore the truth of someone else, and this is how we begin to cultivate compassion and empathy. Therefore, the resources for this week help us navigate a world in which, not only do multiple truths exist, but multiple truths get posted in a single moment. 

In 2013, I attended a literacy session with Mary Ehrenworth, Senior Deputy Director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. We were discussing the argument component of the Common Core State Standards and she noted that the term argument was deliberate. To argue is to reason, cite evidence and consider. It is not persuasion, as we used to call it, or propaganda. When we argue, we consider multiple perspectives, or as I have defined it above, multiple truths.

I believe the term ‘argue’ in the CCSS was intentional to ensure that we become more able to reason and consider the perspectives of others. However, it is fascinating how often we use the term persuasion and argument interchangeably, when they carry very different connotations and effects. 

What role do we play in promoting curiosity and truth? We must remain curious. We must consider narratives and counter narratives. We must embrace multiple and various perspectives. We must continue to argue and reason, and ensure we T.H.I.N.K.


Seeing the Balance


In many ways, we can see this week’s theme of finding balance in the previous two weeks. In Respect the Remix, we are grappling between consumption and creation, copying and innovating. In this balance, we find exciting new possibilities captured well by many of your Week 1 posts, captured beautifully by Danielle Richert who noted 

Both the creation process and the writing process are spurred on, are electric with possibility and (dare I say) a little bit of magic when we ask, “This is great, but what if I just…?”

She goes on to pose a provocative question: Is the key to teaching, learning, and honoring creations, and by extension copyright measures, of others as simple as becoming creators ourselves?

Justin Ouellette also posed an important question when he asked: “How do you un-demonize the word “copying”, all the while teaching your learners to respect and pay tribute to the work of others?”

Megan Vosk captures the theme of balance in her statement, “There is a fine line to be walked between copying and giving credit, and the skilled creator is able to navigate those waters successfully.”

Kimberly Shannon describes the brilliant possibilities when we find the balance in the remix, stating

Inspiration is transformed into your own creative work because we become open to the way our eyes see and interpret the beauty in someone else’s work.

She then poses the ultimate question, reflecting on an assignment that required her to simply copy: “My artistic struggle has me wondering, is this the environment our learners are working in as we implement traditional content and assign specific guidelines to follow?”

Image by Einfach-Eve from Pixabay

In the Evolution of Connections, you reflected on the balance between positive and negative Social Media, sharing delightful excerpts of your conversations with students. Your posts and insightful comments from Week 1 and 2, showcase a balance between reflection and action (reflexivity), wondering and inspiring, consuming and creating. 

In Week 3, you will be intentional in your focus on Balance, this time exploring the duality between participation and privacy. How do we find balance in the digital domain, harness the power of global connection and creation, while still allowing space for privacy and offline flourishing? 


The Power of Virtual Connections

Remix. Evolve. Connect. Collaborate.

These words, drawn from our course 2 topics and themes certainly speak to the power of global, online connections. This week’s resources focus on Social Media and participatory culture. There are many opinions about this topic and what the readings showcase is the power of social media, which can be both positive and negative. As I reflect upon my own experiences, I have numerous positive examples and some that were not so positive. As an advocate of evolving digital tools, I am always reflecting on how we can ensure positive iteration, ensure responsible and safe use, and ensure we are flourishing with the media that surrounds us.

Inspired by my own COETAIl journey in Online 12-13, I designed a model titled Consume to Create. The model shifts from connections via social media to learning and reflection with online content to collaboration and communication, or what is now being termed participatory culture. Essentially, I wanted to highlight that if we engage with consumption that inspires creation, we are harnessing the power of online connections. COETAIL inspired numerous positive online collaborations for me, and I engaged in deep work with people I have not met in person (or at least have never worked and lived with in the same country). Some of these collaborations are small and some have culminated in projects like the Compassion Summit

As we engage in the course 2 final project, it is our hope that you will develop meaningful global collaborations and connections that inspire your work forward.