I Am Responsible … #ETMOOC

I am responsible for what I learn in #Etmooc. A video post from Benjamin Wilkoff inspired this blog.

Yes, ETMOOC and the amount of information we are presented with is overwhelming, but I LOVE that:


  • I have choice in setting my learning goals
  • I have learned how to curate the information I am interested in using tools like pinterest or rebelmouse or many others
  • I get to take the road I want to travel on in this journey
  • I get to share what I want, when I want
  • I am learning to focus and filter
  • I get to collaborate with those of my choosing
  • I am choosing to learn from so many people, but filter what it is that I learn

I am so grateful for ALL the wise people who contribute to #ETMOOC, so that I can choose what works best for me.

I think ETMOOC is like being at an amazing banquet with a glorious feast presented in front of me. I get to choose what in that feast will be healthy for me. Yes, it is difficult to choose and there will be frustration in the choosing, and I might even want to avoid some banquets, but in the end I ultimately choose what is best for me and me alone.

By choosing what will work best for me. I know that choice can and will affect other people. By taking care of what it is I need, I can affect others in a positive way.

Check out:

Thanks Ben for making me reflect in more ways than one.

Go to: http://www.haikudeck.com/p/9RSM928Doj/choice

Connection In a Self- Directed Learning Environment: Learning and Teaching in the Digital Age

What’s going on inside the building of Bishop Carroll is not only exciting, but innovative, educational and engaging. Not only are the halls of Bishop Carroll High School buzzing, but inside the offices of several educators learning is taking place.

Bishop Carroll High School is a part of the Canadian Coalition of Self- Directed Learning

Bishop Carroll works together with other members of the coalition to improve the self-directed experience of all the learners. These schools meet together on an ongoing basis as well as convene at a yearly conference to look at ways of improving the model for students.

All of us at Bishop Carroll agree that we have never been in a school where so much focus and dialogue on instruction takes place on a regular basis. In fact, our staff has biweekly professional development meetings to ensure that we are able to collaborate on best practices and share new ideas. Teachers are continually focusing on how they can make things better for students in a self-directed learning environment.

Bishop Carroll has been around and functioning for over 40 years. Changing visions and learners have meant that staff has also adjusted to honor the shift.  Within the last four years, the staff started making a technological commitment. Innovative practices, sharing, collaboration, encouraging our students to experiment with different formats and technological materials has produced growth for not only students, but also teachers. Students have many choices in how they choose to receive information ranging from personal exploration of a topic, pod casts, discussion forums, Google- docs, multimedia presentations, digital learning guides and a focus on digital citizenship.

Technology has not replaced teachers, but has enhanced the learning experience for both the teacher and the student. Technology can be seen as a launching pad for further and more in depth discussions.

Three of us at Bishop Carroll have signed up for an educational experience like none other.  Seeing as we already focus on technology as part of our teacher professional growth plans, we felt that getting involved at an international level would be very beneficial. This is a first MOOC for all three of us. What is a MOOC? It is a Massive Open Online Course. We are taking #ETMOOC and are so happy we are involved in this process as it reminds us of what it is like to be a student in the 21st century. For more information go to ETMOOC

How are #etmoocers like students in our self-directed school?


  1. are self- directed learners.
  2. set our own learning goals
  3. at first experience an increase of  anxiety in a new learning environment
  4. are following a personalized program
  5. are excited about learning in a place that honors the way we want to learn
  6. are encouraged to be autonomous and have opportunities to direct our own learning
  7. are taking risks (we ask students to do this every day)
  8. are critically examining what we do and why we do it
  9. look to teachers to guide them through the process
  10. are self- paced, involving continuous progress
  11. are student centered environments with a focus on active learning, reflection and collaboration
  12. ask for HELP, and often it’s  just a click away

Today we chose to collaborate to write this blog post as part of the sharing experience. As we progress through this open forum we hope to continue to share best practice in both the teaching realm as well as what we are doing in the role as school counsellors.
Happy blogging
erin heather susan


REFLECTIONS … DON”T GIVE UP… and other lessons from #ETMOOC

Why am I blogging? What difference will it make? Should I be overly concerned about sharing my thoughts publicly?

I am blogging because it is part of the course I am taking called ETMOOC, but I had also dabbled in blogging because I want to be able to help High School Students navigate through the tough parts of life and if reaching out through social media will help I am choosing to be in.

I also want to help school counsellors find more ways that can reach and teach their students. A part of what we do as school counsellors is to assist students through psycho educational means.

Yalom (1995) expressed many therapeutic factors when it came to psycho educational groups and I believe a few of these could apply to assisting students through social media. 

The most important to me is the instillation of hope. If anything I say or do is able to instill hope in the heart of even one student then it is worth it.

If something I say about school counselling is able to help a school counsellor and as a result a child is helped then blogging is worth it.

What skills do I need to be able to do this? What skills will they need to help them?

I believe my 33 years in education will help me, my training in counselling and psychology should help me, but this is a new way of helping for me, so I have so much to learn.


I want students to do this and so must I. Taking time to reflect on what it is I really want to do and say.

Lesson 1: Write my blog posts in word first. Read them over. Even when posted read them over and edit again and again if necessary. 


Lesson 2: Make sure I am responsible in what I put out on line. Before I posted I asked my daughter if she would be OK with what I wrote and if it was OK to post a picture of her. She was OK with it. So I posted.

Being digitally responsible and demonstrating digital citizenship. As I navigate through all the tweets and connections, I recognize that I will learn so many new things. In doing so I hope to pass some of these learning’s onto our students. They already know I am taking this course.


Lesson 3: Model what it is that I would expect students to do as digital citizens. However, like them I am sure I will make some mistakes along the way and isn’t that how we often learn the most important lessons in life by making mistakes.


Lesson 4: Mistakes will happen. I will fail at my attempts to do some things and I will be successful at others. Today, I had many failures in attempting to try a new skill. I felt like giving up, but I did not. I asked for help and gratefully received the help I needed. 


Lesson 5: Even when the going gets tough, I will ask for help and not be embarrassed that I do not know something.  I will not give up even though there will be days or moments when I feel like it.


Lesson 6:This has become my mantra for this course. I will work through my fears and anxieties and know that all will work out in the end.


How is that for self- reflection? I have done my ETMOOC homework. I have commented on others blogs. I am posting blogs and learning about new tools and strategies.

I guess when all is said and done I love learning, especially when I am not being graded. I have to tell you there is so much freedom in that. It certainly for me makes me want to learn and keep learning especially when it is something I am interested in.


Not easy for me with this crazy amount of information. Below I put together a wordle using words from this blog post and they came out in the shape of a foot. I know I need to keep one foot in front of the other and FOCUS.

A word that pops out in the wordle is HELP. Most importantly in all of this I need to reach out. 

I need to

  • HELP myself
  • Ask for HELP
  • HELP others

Thanks ETMOOC for letting me reflect and get excited about learning new things. I look forward to week 2.




Making the Connection … School Counselling ETMOOC

Over the past few years I have dabbled with technology, but I would not say I had a passion for it. With the amount of hours I am spending on my laptop, IPAD and I Phone, paying attention to ETMOOC, I am definitely headed in that direction. It all started with Alec Couros getting me going on twitter.

However, my real passion is School Counselling. I absolutely love what I do and I now feel technology can assist school counsellors like nothing else has. I believe Dr. Erin Mason @ecmason is an inspiration when it comes to this area.

Her dedication to this area is one of the things that has led me to even be interested in something like #ETMOOC. The SCOPE Blog: is taking an in depth look at tech tools for the School Counseling profession and I believe after ETMOOC I can add a few more tools to that kit. SCOPE is School Counselor Online Professional Exchange for those of you in this field.

This process of connecting the two areas that I feel passionate about is where I believe I am headed. That will be my goal. This will be my focus. Melding these two things I am passionate about to make the difference in the lives of students.

I am in the infancy stages of really making this happen and I will be looking to others who are way more experienced than me to assist me on my journey.

I get easily frustrated when technology seems complex. I have many lessons to learn and #ETMOOC is pushing me to reach further. Exciting, yet scary all at the same time.

Reflecting on this experience, I am hopeful I will move me forward in a new direction. Exactly what that new direction will be I am not sure. That’s the scary and exciting part that can bring about some anxiety. Something I am sure students in our self- directed school community experience, but is relatively new to me.

Making my learning more visible, makes me reflect and see more clearly which is virtually impossible seeing as I have kerataconus. However, seeing more clearly happens in the mind and how joyous is that.

I do look forward to new discoveries and connections. What will I learn next? It’s all up to me. That is what ETMOOC is all about.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us” Joseph Campbell

I will wait patiently to see what is in store for me.


Role Reversal Part of the #ETMOOC Experience

Tonight as I sat down to enter my #ETMOOC chat, my daughter was making a great supper. As I began to open up my laptop, get my cell phone ready so that I could  to begin to find the hashtag to enter a twitterchat for #etmchat , here’s what my daughter said. “Mom put that away we are eating supper!”

I said, ” I can’t because I am in a class and this is part of what I have to do”. She told me a few more times  to put down the technology and I continued on to keep up with the chat. I repeated what I needed to do and finally she accepted it. How many times in the past had I told her to put away her phone etc? It almost made me laugh as I realize now how when my kids are engaged in something they feel is important to them, they don’t want to stop.

On the other side of that, we have been very fortunate as a family to have many dinners together where we are all fully engaged in conversation and not distracted by technology.

So many life lessons to learn as I journey on with my #ETMOOC experience. As my professor used to tell me all the time when I did my Master’s in Counselling,”trust the process”. So I will!

So many things to learn. Isn’t life about learning lessons, no matter how old we are?

So happy to be a part of the inaugural chat. Thanks to my new online colleagues at #ETMOOC.


Educate From The Heart To The Heart

I hope all school counsellors and teachers do this. As school counsellors we deal with such emotional issues and if we cannnot connect to the heart of a student we will never be able to help them . I know what I do impacts those around me and everyday I attempt to do the best I can by reaching out with heartfelt compassion to those around me. I do not believe I am always successful, but I know it is my goal everyday to do so.

In my attempt to assist students along their journey in life, I reach out attempting to make a difference. This jumping out of my box into the ED tech world is my way of touching the hearts of many students so that they can get the supports they need. Counselling is more than assisting a student in my office. It is reaching out to students on a more global scale. It is being able to use technology to reach and teach them.  I will promise to use this process to educate from the heart using technology and all the tools ETMOOC gives me.

This week my daughter found this heart tomatoe in our fridge. I guess it was meant for this blog. So this post is from my heart to yours.

ImageSchool Counselling With Technology From the Heart.

Connecting with like minded people…My ETMOOC Introduction

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Hoping you enjoy my Introduction. I am learning … so playing with all the options to see how this works. This video shows how to embed a smilebox slideshow into your wordpress blog.

Still figuring things out!
If I deleted any comments sorry . You will have to repost.