“One” Life

via GIPHY

At the beginning of Ohler’s article he asks the question, “Should we teach our kids to have two lives, or one?” I then thought back to lecture where Katia  discussed real life and digital life as one.  We discussed a teacher’s role in preparing students for a society and world full of technology.  As both digital and non-digital worlds are the reality for today’s students I believe they need to be encompassed into one life.

In Jurgenson’s article he discusses, “how we have mistakenly been taught to view online as meaning not offline” in a literal way and has labeled this as “digital dualism.”  The term describes the parallel time spent online and offline.  For example, time spent online is less time spent offline, we are either looking at our devices or we aren’t, we have cell service or we don’t, when we are out with friends we are texting or not, etc.  Jurgenson goes on to make a valid point of which I had never previously considered. He states that social media depends on our offline activities as fuel.  For example, we continue to appreciate nature walks and socializing with friends as we always have but these experiences are the fuel or content for our social media posts.  Jurgenson believes that by posting about and sharing our offline activities actually have us appreciating these activities more.  It means that we may never fully log off as we are consciously collecting fuel for our next post.  However, Jorgenson believes that this does not mean we have lost our sense of curiosity and wonder but rather has enhanced it.

When thinking about my future classroom it is important to be aware of different perspectives such as these.  I personally want to embrace technology and utilize it in the classroom to meet curricular outcomes in all subject areas as technology is ever changing and will only keep growing.  Often, the younger population already know more about technology than their teachers and the adults in their lives.  We need to take these opportunities to learn from them as well. I want to foster the importance of creating a positive and responsible digital citizenship within my students.  I want them to know how powerful technology is when used responsibility but also how destructive and hurtful it can be to others and oneself if not.  I want them to be able to use technology to make a positive impact on others whether it be through digital sprawl (social media), digital etiquette, digital law, digital literacy or any kind of digital communication.  However, most importantly is the development of respect for oneself and others in their “one” life, whether it be online or off.

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Say Cheese(cake)

My dad’s birthday was on Sunday and he had been dropping hints since I made my mom an Instant Pot cheesecake for her birthday that he wanted one as well.

I made this Peanut Butter Cup cheesecake for my mom’s birthday. It was a huge success and she declared it the best Birthday Cake she has ever had! To beat my grandma’s baking legacy is a huge accomplishment in itself!

For my Dad’s cake I made the #17 New York Cherry Cheesecake as he loves cherries.

The #17 name comes from the person testing the recipe sixteen times before deciding it was perfect.  So it should be foolproof right?

This is how I made New York Cheesecake #17:

First the crust:

1 cup of graham wafer crumbs

Pinch of Sea Salt

2 teaspoons of brown sugar

Then add 3 tablespoons of butter (melted)

Mix together. Crumbs should stick together. If not, add more butter.

Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper and spray the sides with Pam.

Pour crust mixture into bottom of pan and press with fingers until evenly distributed across the bottom.

Place the crust in the freezer while you make the cheesecake batter.

For the cheesecake batter use a small bowl and add:

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

2 pinches of sea salt

2/3 cup of white sugar

Stir

In a medium bowl add:

16 ounces of cream cheese (room temperature)

Use hand beater on low speed to break it up. Beating for 10 seconds.

Add half the sugar mixture from above to cream cheese. Beat to incorporate (20 to 30 seconds).

Use spatula to scrape sides of the bowl to incorporate all batter.

Add remaining sugar mixture. Beat until incorporated (20 to 30 seconds).

Use spatula to scrape sides then mix with spatula.

Then add:

½ cup of sour cream

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Beat (20 to 30 seconds)

Blend in eggs one at a time! 20 to 30 seconds. The recipe says not to over mix the eggs as this will affect the outcome of how it bakes and tastes at the end.

Use spatula to scrape sides and ensure everything is mixed into batter.

Remove the crust from freezer and pour batter on top of crust.

Tap and shake the pan so the surface smooths out and pops the air bubbles.

Running a fork on the surface of the cheesecake helps pop more of the air bubbles. However, popping all air bubbles is impossible!

Then tap and shake some more to smooth the surface.

Now it is time to cook the cheesecake in the Instant Pot.

Place 1 cup of cold water and the trivet into the pot.

Use a foil sling to place the spring form pan into the pot.

Pressure Cook for 26 minutes and then a full natural pressure release which takes approximately 7 minutes. I set an alarm for 7 minutes and then released the rest of the air but there was very little left.

After lifting out pan with foil sling I dabbed the excess water off the surface of the cheesecake with a piece of paper towel.

It came out beautifully. However, when cooling it cracked in the middle. Which I read is common and there is a bunch of theories to “help” it not crack but it still might!

I let it fully cool, removed it from the pan and put it in the fridge overnight.

Normally, I would just buy a can of cherries to put on top. However, since it was my dad’s birthday and I was striving for the “favourite child medal,” I made a cherry compote.

I used an entire package of frozen cherries.

I poured a ¼ cup of sugar on them and let them sit for 20 minutes.

After sitting in sugar for 20 minutes I added 2 teaspoons of orange juice.

Cooked on high pressure for 1 minute and natural pressure release for 15 minutes. Released the remainder of pressure before opening pot.

This cherry compote can be used on other things, such as yogurt, ice cream, etc.

So now you are probably dying to find out how it tasted?

It got rave reviews from the family. They said the texture was perfect and the cherries were to die for!

The Birthday Boy and his Cheesecake.

An Instant Pot cheesecake is now expected for every birthday, whether I like it or not!

via GIPHY 

Putting the YOU in youTUBE!

In his video Wesch discusses a variety of ways of how Youtube has influenced the world. He says some people think that many posts are all hype such as videos of people singing and dancing. However, Wesch feels that what we really need to evaluate is what they are dancing in front of.  Their audience is actually billions and billions of people in places all over the world. This forms a community, a type of community that has never been encountered before.  Wesch likes to think of it as a celebration. A celebration of new forms of expression, new communities, emerging identities, empowerment, stronger voices and presence, created by anyone with a webcam.  Creating global connections that transcend space and time and forming new and unimaginable possibilities. When media changes, human relationships also change. Wesch says, “we are the centre of this mediascape.” He encourages the audiences to rethink media including how we fit into it. Youtube is user generated content that can potentially become bigger than anything any well-known label can produce. For example, Youtube is how the Soulja Boy song came to be. There have since been many remakes of the song Soulja Boy which are done by people recreating to what they have learned through Youtube.  Once again confirming Wesch’s believe that this technology is a type of celebration.

Students are interacting with technology at much younger ages that they did previously. Many students are already making videos and posting them to Youtube or other media platforms. This means that the incorporation of technology into one’s teaching is inevitable. I believe that incorporating the different forms of technology, as well as teaching what is appropriate and not appropriate to post, is very important in today’s classrooms.  Using a platform such as Youtube with students can open up many doors for individual, group and full class work. The possibilities are endless with any subject area. On a school level, it will be necessary to follow specific protocol with students but these extra precautions are worth the effort.  Using this technology provides a unique collaborative tool amongst a wide range of grades, students and even teachers.

During lecture, Katia stated that, “we have to realize there are a lot of bad things that technology can be used for, but there are also a lot of good things it can be used for”.  It is impossible to avoid media platforms such as Youtube in our classrooms as our students will know about it and may even already be using it themselves.  Online identity is not separate from a student’s identity – it is part of their whole identity. The Participatory culture video viewed in lecture stated, “we don’t just enjoy, we participate,” allowing people to become successful in ways that we never thought possible. Welsch refers to this as unimaginable possibilities. Justin Bieber’s rise to fame is just one example of participating culture creating an unimaginable possibility.  Justin was initially discovered on Youtube and is now well known in many countries.  Thus, utilizing Youtube in our classrooms, allows students the opportunity to become involved in a positive participatory culture while achieving numerous learning outcomes and maybe even some unimaginable possibilities!

Let’s Get Cracking!

This week my instant pot and I partnered with Julia Papic on her keto journey.

We made hardboiled eggs in the Instant Pot

We used the 5-5-5 method that can be found at this video.

1) Pour one cup of water and place trivet in pot.


2) Place as many eggs as you want to cook on top of the trivet. Does not matter if they are touching or piled on top of one another.


3) Put lid on, make sure it is flipped to sealing.
4) Cook on high pressure for five minutes.


5) When finished do a natural pressure release for five minutes.
6) Then pour cold water on eggs and let them sit for five minutes before peeling.


7) In the video you will notice that the shells practically fall off.

8) Cut open and enjoy!

If I have learned anything from cooking in the Instant Pot, is that it is worth purchasing one for the hardboiled eggs alone!

Julia agrees and is keeping her eye out for a sale! Converting people to this “pothead lifestyle” post by post!

Go Bananas!

This week I tried baking banana bread in my Instant Pot.

Ingredients

½ cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

3 medium bananas mashed

2 cups All Purpose Flour

1.5 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

In a bowl mix together butter, sugar and eggs.

Beat on high with hand mixer until everything is combined.

Peel and break up bananas into a separate bowl. Mash them and add to a different bowl.

Add all of the dry ingredients

Mix all together with hand mixer

Add the chocolate chips fold in using a spatula.

Spray spring form pan with Pam and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Pour the mixture into the spring form pan.

Gently shake the pan to even and smooth out the  mixture.

Lightly cover the pan with paper towel and then tinfoil

Add 1 ½ cups of water to the Instant Pot and add trivet in the bottom of pot (see previous post).

Make a tin foil sling (see previous post).

Put the pan into IP using the tinfoil sling and place on top of the trivet.

Put the lid on and seal pressure valve (see previous post).

Cook on high pressure for 55 minutes and then 10 minutes Natural Pressure Release (see previous blog post).

Note:  My banana bread was not fully cooked so I put it in again for 10 minutes and another 10 minutes Natural Pressure Release.  This time it was cooked perfectly.

This is the recipe that I followed is:

This above recipe is from the Facebook group This Old Gal. When I first got my Instant Pot I joined a variety of Facebook pages as this is the easiest access to Instant Pot recipes. At the time, I thought it was the only way. However, since having my Instant Pot, I discovered that there are Instant Pot cookbooks and magazines in print.  Unfortunately, the reviews I have read and/or the FB comments about these resources have not been extremely positive and many of print resources are not readily available in Canada.  Due to these poor reviews, and the fact that I am enjoying learning from the Facebook groups, various blogs and videos, I have not pursued looking into the print resources.  The online resources are an effective way for me to sift through all of the information quickly by searching for specific help and recipes as I need. Plus there is no shortage of online information as the Instant Pot is quickly gaining “celebrity status” in cookware!

I enjoy the Facebook pages as there are many IP user comments with tips and tricks to help others when first trying the recipes. In addition, those posting often include an informal rating of the recipe, including things such as how they liked it and whether they would make the dish again.  The popular “must try” recipes come across the feed multiple times which makes it easier to decide what to try next as it can be overwhelming at first with the number of postings in the group.  Another reason I enjoy using the online recipes is that I can easily bookmark them on my computer. Now that I know most of the Instant Pot lingo I find the recipes are clear, well laid out and easy to follow.

Instant Pot Lingo 101

This post is to introduce you to many of the different terms that can be confusing when first using the Instant Pot.  The scariest thing for me when I first got my Instant Pot was the lingo used in the various Facebook groups and recipes.  It was like another language!  My mom has an Instant Pot so she was able to give me the run down on what each term meant!

Natural Pressure Release (NPR).  NPR occurs when the Instant Pot to is left to release naturally when the cooking time is done. Leave the pot sealed for the amount of minutes the recipe says, usually it is 10 to 15 minutes. I always set a timer so I don’t forget! The steam releases gradually when the timer goes off, then flipping the switch to vent quickly releases any of the steam left.  However, after 10 to 15 minutes there is not much steam left to release.

Quick Pressure Release (QPR) is the term that refers to releasing the pressure immediately when the cooking time is done. Immediately flip the switch to vent and all the steam quickly releases (can take several minutes). It is advised that you do not release pressure under a cupboard as it can ruin the finish over time. I cover my IP switch with a tea towel so that most of the steam is absorbed into the towel.  To be extra safe, I also use a handle of a cooking utensil to flip the switch to avoid being burned by the steam.

Tinfoil Sling

The tinfoil sling is a great invention. It allows you to take a pan in and out of the pot as soon as it is done.

First you start with a large piece of tinfoil.

Then you start folding it into pieces.

Until it is all folded and it is long and skinny.

Then you put it into the pot on top of the trivet. Place pan in center and fold over the excess edges of tinfoil.

Grab the two ends and lift the pan out.

Sealing and Venting Switch

Sealing occurs when the IP is building up pressure.

Flipping the switch to venting allows all the steam to release when done cooking.

Trivet in the Pot

This is the trivet.

This is the trivet in the pot with water at the bottom.

To steam vegetables I use this foldable metal steamer with the water underneath. Placed in the pot the same way as the trivet.

I hope this introduction to this Instant Pot lingo helps you when reading my blogs or when you give in and buy your own Instant Pot! 🙂

Just Tweet It!

I was a bit nervous going into my first twitter chat using tweetdeck and joining #EngageChat.  I was scared that it was going to move so fast that I wouldn’t be able to answer in time, that I wouldn’t fully understand the questions or that I wouldn’t be able to contribute and respond to others’ responses.  However, this was not the case at all. We started off by saying who we were and where we were joining from. There was ample time to respond to the questions as well as to comment on others people’s answers and like comments. I tended to like many comments so I did not have that much time to comment on others. The questions tonight were surrounding leadership and leadership in schools, etc. This topic allowed for a variety of answers and discussions. The leader of the discussion also commented, gave feedback, etc. He gave me feedback on one of my answers as well. It was nice to know that people cared to learn about other peoples’ thoughts and interpretations despite coming from very diverse backgrounds around the world.  I also, quickly realized that one is not judged if they do not fully understand or misinterpret a question or that their tweet was not perfectly composed, etc.   Participants were just genuinely interested in other peoples’ thoughts and interpretations.

After my first experience with first twitter chat I think that it is valuable and one can learn lots from participating.  Basically, there is a twitter chat offered at any given time. There are local ones as well as worldwide chats. Engaging in these chats allows one to learn different perspectives/views of others. I particularly think I would learn a lot by engaging in other Education chats that discuss such things as, how teachers do things in a rural area, urban area or other parts of the world. Also, I think they would be get valuable for getting ideas and strategies in numerous areas (ie. teaching, planning, assessment, technology, etc.).

Retweet from Discussion Facilitator

Feeding Feedly

I signed up for a Feedly account and subscribed to a variety of blogs. The process I followed was to search different hashtags of interest and then read the blog’s description.  I then looked at how many followers the blog has. This gave me a good idea of how many other people follow/read the blog. In addition, I looked at how many articles are published weekly on the page and I searched hashtags such as: #edtech #education #teaching #instantpot #news.

One of the Instant Pot blogs I started following is called “Instant Loss -Conveniently Cooking Your Way To Weight Loss.” What I noticed with many of the Instant Pot blogs is that very few have a huge amount of followers. However, this blog has 386 followers which considerably higher than many of the others with only 100ish followers. I also followed this blog as they publish an article weekly featuring many people’s Instant Pot weight loss journeys as well as many useful recipes. There are many recipes on this blog that I am excited to try and feature on my Instant Pot learning project blog.

Another blog I started following is called “This Old Gal.” This is a blog on the Instant Pot as well. I already am in the Facebook group of “This Old Gal.” The majority of recipes that I use come from this Facebook group. I wanted to compare the similarities and differences between the blog and the Facebook group. That was the main reason I chose to follow this blog. However, the blog has 649 followers and posts two articles per week.

An Edtech blog that I decided to follow is called “Free Technology for Teachers.” I chose this blog as the title seemed like it would contain very useful and relatable information for a preservice teacher who wants to learn more about technology and how to incorporate it into my future classroom. I also noted that it has 76K followers and publishes 26 articles per week. This high number of articles indicated to me that it is an active blog containing up-to-date with the most recent classroom technology. There is no way to look at all the articles each week however, when I have some spare time, I feel as though it will be a useful blog to scroll through.

Laura’s Feedly Homepage

Shredding It!

Shredded chicken has never been easier.

Most Instant Pot recipes require one cup of some type of liquid.  I have always used a variety of sauces as my liquid. This recipe features teriyaki sauce.

Instant Pots can cook meat from both a frozen or unthawed state quickly. I normally just cook meat from frozen since I usually forget to take it out to unthaw in the morning.

For this recipe, I poured one cup of teriyaki sauce into the pot, added three frozen chicken breasts and cooked on high pressure for 20 minutes. I then did a quick release (flip the button to vent and all the steam releases within a few minutes) and opened up the lid to three perfectly cooked chicken breasts.

This is where it gets good . . .

Use a hand mixer to shred the chicken.  It finely shreds the chicken in seconds and mixes in the excess teriyaki sauce keeping the meat moist.

I normally eat the shredded chicken on salad without even bothering to add salad dressing.  However, it can be also be eaten alone, on rice or with anything else you wish.

I used this recipe as a guide but made a number of changes as described above.

Becoming A Better Blogger

I grew up on a farm outside of Indian Head which is located approximately one hour east of Regina. After graduating from high school I earned an Early Childhood Education diploma, with great distinction from Saskpolytech. During my studies, I completed internships in various locations. I had the opportunity to work in a preschool, daycare, family centre and on the pediatrics ward at the General Hospital, to name a few. After earning my diploma I worked at the Regina Early Years Family Centre where I planned and implemented various programs for the visiting families. I later was hired to be the Assistant Director at Play and Discover Early Learning Centre (daycare at Saskpolytech). As the Assistant Director, I learned many new skills while working with the children and their families. It was from these various experiences and employment opportunities that I realized my passion for working with and teaching children thus, finalizing my decision to pursue an Elementary Education degree through the University of Regina.

I do not have much experience with education technology. However, when working at the Regina Early Years Family Centre, I was responsible to create and blog about the Centre’s weekly activities.  As this was a drop-in Centre and there were three locations, I featured activities and upcoming events occurring at each location so that visiting families could stay updated while others, who stumbled upon the internet blog, could also learn about the Centres.  This was my first experience blogging and was quite a learning process. Since returning to University last year, I have had to do many blogs in various classes. It was nice to have that initial baseline knowledge however, these courses have taught me much more about what works effectively.  Even after this first week of class, I have made several improvements to my blog that I would not know without having an entire class focused on the topic. After these two very different experiences, I have realized that I enjoy blogging if it is on a topic of interest to me.

One of Laura’s many blog posts for the EYFC!