Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Softball Canada Canadian "A" Fastpitch Championships

This entry really has nothing to do with anything, except for the fact that I felt like sharing with my classmates what has been taking up all my time this summer. This summer I decided to move up and play Senior "A" fastball, knowing that I am still eligible to play junior ball. This decision was based on the fact that I thought moving up would allow me the best opportunity to play the highest calibre of ball that I could, without playing on the National team. Deciding to play on this team meant a lot of time commitment, meaning that I would have to sacrifice other things that I love to do during the summer months. So the question, I'm sure your all wondering is "Did this decision turn out to be the right one?".

Well ........... I couldn't have asked for anything better. I loved every second of it and don't regret my decision for a second. During my four months off from school I have had the opportunity to travel and play in tournaments in Saskatoon, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Playing on this team has also given me a Provincial Championship which allowed my team the opportunity to represent Saskatchewan at the Canadian National Championship in Vancouver from Aug.7- 14.

The Canadian National Championship in Vancouver was extremely exciting. I had the opportunity to play against the best women's fastball players in Canada, including women that play or have played for Team Canada. This isn't the first time that I have been at a National Championship for fastball, as I have gone for the last three years to the Junior National Championships. But this National Championship was way more exciting for me because the level of ball was that much better. My team "The Regina Extreme" finished FOURTH at the National tournament out of twelve teams. It would have been nice to get a medal, but finishing fourth isn't something to be ashamed of. It is just the competitiveness in me, knowing that a medal was one win away.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Filamentality is a fill-in-the-blank interactive web site that guides you through picking a topic, searching the web, gathering good Internet sites, and turning web resources into activities appropriate for learners. It helps educators combine the Filaments of web with a learner's mentality (get it?). Ha Ha "Filamentality" helps you spin pieces of the web into your own learning activitie(s).

So what does Filamentality do?
- provides educators with a web-activity template that helps promote you Web site info, titles, introductions, questions, etc.
- builds a web page for you and posts it
- provides online support that helps you pick a topic, search, write good questions, etc.

Different Filamentality Formats:
- Hotlist
- Treasure Hunt
- Sampler
- Scrapbook
- WebQuest

How are Educators using Filamentatlity in their Classrooms?
- Web activities for their students
- training
- student centered and published work
- collaborative activities

Click on the link below to discover what Filamentality is all about .......


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Just BackFlip It

Whether a learner is researching the web for new information or double checking previously used sites, some method is required to keep track of where the information is located. Many learners utilize the "Favorites" function to capture these URLs. Unfortunately, over time, the "Favorites" list can become unwieldy with a multitude of entries which dictates time wasted to scrolling the list.

Given the ever increasing 'digital divide', some learners may be forced to use libraries, schools, or web-cafes to conduct their web searches. Without owning a personal computer, the task of compiling usable URLs becomes onerous. BackFlip is free and can be logged onto at any computer terminal making the research lists portable.

BackFlip was introduced by Tim Hickman in 2001. It is a tool designed to help capture, organize, and retrieve URLs the learner wishes to keep. It is mostly user-friendly, security conscious and easy to navigate. BackFlip works on Internet Explorer, Mac, Linux, and Netscape. To start using BackFlip simply click on the link below and follow the step by step instructions. Remember BackFlip is FREE. Always a nice little added bonus!


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My Own View of Digital Life

Digital life is a collection of the virtual world technologies that are bringing life to the digital realm. All of them create environments where people live in a digital form. These worlds mix the real and imaginary. They are unique venues for innovation and self expression. The closet modern version of this technology is Google Earth - a detailed 3D visualization of the Earth. Even though Google Earth is a simulation, one of its main functions is to augment geographical information with digital information. Life is slowly becoming more digital and digital is becoming more alive.

In terms of my own digital life of private vs. public it is kind of exciting and a bit unnerving to think that information is being unleashed and re-shuffled and that everything is becoming increasingly more connected. We are accelerating into our digital future from all directions - pushing digital towards life and pushing life towards digital. Even though I will continue to try and separate my private vs. public digital life, the advancements in technology is making it extremely difficult to continue to do so.

Monday, July 30, 2007


For this blog entry I thought I would share some useful information with my classmates. One of my professors taught my class about the DEEP Web and the many benefits that it holds. So you might be asking yourself:

What is the DEEP Web?
The DEEP Web contains web resources that lie below the surface web.
* Surface web = web that is indexed by search engines and subject directories
* Most of DEEP Web is in searchable databases

DEEP web Stats:
* Deep Web contains 7,500 terabytes of information (19 terabytes of information in the surface web)
* Deep Web contains nearly 550 billion individual documents (1 billion in the surface web)
* A study at the NEC Research Institute (2001)published that Internet searchers are therefore searching only 0.03% of the pages available to them today.

When to use the DEEP Web:
* Directories and Portals when you:
- have a broad topic
- want selected, evaluated, and annotated collections
- prefer quality over quantity
* Invisible or Deep Web (search sites and databases) when you:
- are looking for information that is likely in a database
- are looking for information that dynamically changes in content
* Search engines (general and specialized) when you:
- have a narrow topic
- want to take advantage of the newer retrieval technologies

Here are some "Hidden" databases that you as educators or future educators might find useful when teaching:

* Educator's Reference Desk
* Nature Serve Explorer
* FindArticles
* Complete Planet

Sunday, July 29, 2007

PhotoStory 3 - Digital story

The assignment of making a digital story using PhotoStory 3 proved to be an interesting experience. It wasn't overally hard to make the story once I had decided exactly what I was going to do my story on. What seemed to take me forever was to decide on what exactly I wanted to do my story on. Did I want to do it on Fastball Nationals that I went to last year in Montreal or did I want to do it on family or friends??? Boy ... this was turing out to be a hard decision. Finally after days of pondering, I decided to do my digital story on the most interesting team bonding experience that I have ever taken part in. To view my digital story please watch the video below:

Cougar Women's Hockey - "It's A long Way to the Top" from Stephanie and Vimeo.

Monday, July 23, 2007

PowerPoint Extreame Makeover

Many educators use the presentation software PowerPoint in the classroom as a teaching and learning tool. PowerPoint provides opportunities for teachers and students to incorporate multimedia into their presentations to liven them. What I have learned by watching PowerPoint Extreme Makeover by Dean Shareski (fetured below) is that my own PowerPoint presentations are not being as effective as they could be. Through this short video I have learned some great tips that I will continue to use when I am doing a PowerPoint presentation. I suggest that if you would like to make effective PowerPoint presentations you should watch this short video: