#Twitter

I had the mistaken belief that the purpose of twitter was to track celebrities. Facebook was for family and friends, while twitter was more like the National Enquirer. It was that belief that led me to create my first twitter account. I followed people like deadmau5Katy Perry, Chris Pratt, & Flight of the Conchords.

My first twitter account was used strictly for personal interests. If any of you are wondering, I closed that account long ago. Which is probably a good thing because my original twitter handle was rather embarrassing.


Alex E. Proimos Flickr via Compfight cc

Now that I’m working on my professional development I can see the benefits of having a twitter. Twitter has made it possible for me to reach out and connect with other educators. As well as, find other twitter accounts with similar interests as me.

In the future, I would like to see how other teachers incorporate class twitters in their classrooms. I imagine it must be similar to #edtc300 & #saskedchat.

Which brings me to my experience of the #saskedchat using TweetDeck.

I was so impressed with TweetDeck & the #saskedchat that I snapped a picture of my screen; Just to show my family how tech-savvy I am now (Haha)!

These twitter chats are really beneficial to professional development. This is a great way to show and express our own knowledge on particular subjects. The #saskedchat I participated in was a discussion on Paperless Classrooms. It was very insightful. I learned a thing or two from my fellow classmates. I even had an individual reach out to me to discuss the funding gap between federally funded schools and provincial schools. Which is why I feel twitter chats are a great way to build up your Personal Learning Network.

First Attempt

Okay… So I was a little more confident then I should have been. I wasn’t expecting my macarons to be flawless but I thought they should have at least been a little prettier. But first things first, the macaron recipe I’m using for this post was taken from BraveTart (This is the same recipe I used a few years back).

The majority of macaron recipes tell you to weigh out your ingredients, including BraveTart. I never weigh out ingredients but for macarons I feel this step is vital.

Almond Flour

Here you can see I weighed out everything, egg whites included.

Granulated Sugar

TL: salt, sifter, vanilla, egg whites BL: icing sugar. granulated sugar, almond flour.

Recipe Taken from BraveTart

Next, I sifted together the almond flour and icing sugar.

This was the most time consuming step. The recipe calls to sift these ingredients twice but because my sifter is so small I had to pause and re-fill numerous times. I really do not like sifting. Thankfully, my husband stepped in and gave me a hand.

I then combined the granulated sugar and egg whites in a standing mixer bowl and beat the two together for a total of 10 minutes. During the last minute I added the vanilla extract to my mixture. BraveTart has laid out an easy to follow guide for this step.

The egg white and sugar mixture after 10 minutes of mixing.

There was a moment when I thought I whipped my eggs too long. Most recipes call for hard peaks but as you can see in the photo, I don’t have any peaks. I tapped my whisk against the side of the bowl and it “thunked” into my mixture. But that’s what BraveTart said to do.

I dumped the sifted ingredients into the eggs whites and started folding. This is the moment where I feel things started to go awry.

I scrapped the sides of the bowl and attempted to deflate my eggs. In the end I was left with a very smooth and runny batter.

Now, looking through my photos. This does look like pancake batter, which BraveTart says, is a sign that you have over mixed your batter.

Because my batter was runny It was challenging to pipe these cookies on a sheet tray.

My end result. Cracked tops, hollow shells, and no feet.

Hmm… As you can see, my first attempt was not very successful. Definitely need to practice my folding technique.

I also want to invest in an oven thermometer. My oven is so old. I can’t see it being accurate. So an oven thermometer would just be a good investment in general.

I had thought that maybe my oven was too low, but when I turned the temperature to 325F, I ended up burning my macarons halfway through the cooking time.

My plans for my next post will include; Using the same recipe but creating a batter with a more lava-like appearance. Hopefully by then I will also have purchased an oven thermometer.

Feedly?

I can not believe the amount of time I spent on Feedly. Prior to taking #edtc300 I was only using google to find online teaching resources. Now I have been sitting here all afternoon filling up my FEEDS.

But I admit, Feedly did kind of confuse me.


joshtasman Flickr via Compfight cc

I wasn’t quite sure how to use the search bar. Every time I tried to search something specific, it kept trying to sell me the Pro site. So if anyone has any tips to navigate this site I would greatly appreciate that.

Regardless of this minor setback, Feedly is a helpful resource. The basic Feedly account allows you to create up to 3 feeds. The 3 feeds I created include; edtech, education, and First Nation Content. So when I decide to follow an account, I can place it in any of these 3 Feeds.

Here is a screen shot of my own Feedly account.

FYI here is a article I came across about land-based education.

Land based education a win-win situation for northern students

I would just like to say, what an amazing opportunity! I would absolutely love to attend a school like the Dechinta. I can’t help but  wonder if students are allowed to bring their families along? It’s nice to see that the UofA and McGill are beginning to recognize these types of learning environments.

Here are a few pictures of an outdoor education experience I went on. These pictures were taken at Keeseekoose First Nation in the fall of 2016

Outdoor Education

Here we played a game called “Screaming Eagle.” This was how we determined who was bunking with who.

Underground Oven

 

Crystal Keshane cutting elk

Here is a friend of mine, Crystal Keshane, who is also a future educator. She shared plenty of her knowledge during this land-based learning experience. Feel free to follow her on twitter or her blog.

 

Continuing my Journey with the French Macaron

A few years back, when I was adjusting to motherhood, there was a French Macaron craze. At the time, I was left wondering why Macaroons were suddenly trendy. I was living in Southern Saskatchewan (I still do today), a great distance away from any big cities, so I had to stay connected online. After doing a quick google search, I realized that I was mistaken about the type of Macarons my friends were talking about. I had originally thought they were talking about these kind of macaroons.

The Macaroons I grew up with

Lonnon Foster Flickr via Compfight cc

I feel it’s worth mentioning that there is absolutely nothing wrong with these kinds of macroons. Actually this coconut dessert has always been a childhood favourite of mine. But I’m getting off topic.

The macarons I’m talking about are the French cookies made with an egg white type meringue and almond flour. The cookies are often sandwiched with ganache, jam, or my personal favourite, buttercream.

French macarons

Zylenia Flickr via Compfight cc

Now, because I live in Southern Saskatchewan, the process of even trying my first French macaron was a challenge. There was nowhere in the area that I could buy these cookies from. Which is why I decided to attempt to make them myself. After a few batches, I realized that these dainty cookies were far more challenging then they looked. I read many baker tips online like; let macarons sit on the counter to “dry” before baking, leave your oven door cracked, and never attempt to bake macarons on a rainy day.

Here is a picture

Here is a picture of one of my attempts at baking French macarons. 

During this time, the majority of my macarons were cracked, missing feet (the ruffled section on the cookie), or turned out flat. The picture below, circa 2013, are the two best looking cookies I managed to bake. FYI even the ugly cookies tasted delicious.

My macaron baking days were very short-lived. Actually, I haven’t really done much baking throughout these years. Raising a family and going to school has pretty much taken up all of my free time.  Thankfully, #edtc300 has given me an opportunity to get back to do doing what I enjoy.

Which brings me to my learning project assignment. I have decided to perfect, or at least improve, my French macaron skills. It has been a few years since I last baked these sweet treats.

For my first batch, based on my previous attempts, I will focus more on the folding batter technique. Once I have gauged my starting point I will be able to roughly set a plan to follow.

Next posting coming soon…

I’ve got a Confession to make…

My online presence is almost next to nothing. Prior to taking #edtc300 the only social media platform I used was FaceBook & Snap Chat. I have done my best to keep my FaceBook as private as I can and limit the posts I share. I do admit my snap chat is my most used app on my phone. My snap chat friends, all 20 of them, are bombarded with grainy photos of my children, food, and family outings every single day. I probably do have more online profiles then most people but I am very aware of what I share; including my own thoughts and feelings.

Free For Commercial Use (FFC) Flickr via Compfight cc

Throughout my education journey I have always been taught to be mindful of what I post online. This teaching has turned me into someone who lurks; Always reading and viewing what others are sharing online but never really expressing my own opinions. I did not realize that this type of quiet online presence was actually inhibiting my future employment opportunities. Read this article, provided from my online class #edtc300, for some examples why we all should develop our online presence.

Follow me on twitter @e_watsondaniels to watch my progress as I develop my own professional online presence.