We gratefully acknowledge, respect, recognize and appreciate that we live, learn and work and teach on the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dun First Nations and the Ta'an Kwächän Council.
Learning in the era of COVID 19
Yukon Education and Porter Creek Secondary School
So long for now and fare thee well 'til we meet again!
Congratulations to all PCSS students.
You got through the 2020 year! It's been a doozy!
To PCSS grade 12s, it was wonderful to see so many of you at the the ConGRADulations! events on Thursday June 11th, 2020.
It was lovely to see you all in your finery, to be able to chat with you, to find out how you've been, what you are looking forward to next and to let you all know how happy we are for all of you as you move on to your next adventures!
At this time, as per the briefing with Minister of Education Tracy McPhee and CMOH Dr. Brendan Hanley, school administrators are working through the process of developing initial plans for the return to school in August 2020 for the next academic year.
This is very much a process that is in progress. Answers will come in time, but for the moment, administrators are working closely with school staff, with the First Nations and Government (Yukon Education, Office of the Chief Medical Officer) to ensure that whatever school looks like in August/September it balances the health, safety and with the educational/professional needs of students, staff and the community of each school.
Please check out the links below for information that is current as of Friday June 12, 2020.
Please continue to check in with Yukon Education for ongoing information.
Whatever your plans for the summer, I do hope that you are safe, healthy, learning about things and participating in activities you find enjoyable, and relaxing.
'Tis the Season...
Pages other than this main landing page will be, for the most part, delisted while I do some digital tidying and streamlining.
Thank you in advance for your patience as I do this work.
Getting on to Ms. Carrey's Learning Platforms
I have always encouraged them to access Rapid ID via the YESNet Website rather than using a dock icon on school laptops so that they were in the habit of how to do this regardless of where they were/are when trying to access their work.
Below you will find the first segment of the Digital Tech Survival Kit I created and distributed in my classes. I have included a downloadable PDF in case you'd like to have a hard copy.
I've also included two buttons - I use Google Classroom but I know that some other teachers prefer MS Office 365 - that give an overview of those services for students. Students have free access to both via their Yukon Education Rapid Identity credentials.
Rapid Identity provides a service - think of them as a company that builds gated communities - that allows people from different organizations (in our case, a school district) to keep their online services protected. This means two things:
- A student isn't just "signing on to Rapid Identity" - they are signing on to Yukon Education's cloud-based educational tools THROUGH the digital gateway and locks built by Rapid Identity. That is why students must go through the Yukon Education Rapid Identity Log In Portal. Lots of organizations have Rapid Identity products - just like lots of buildings may have security systems or locks designed and sold by a particular company but can't just get into other places with their "key".
- The programs and services that they access once they have entered into Yukon Education's Rapid Identity Portal cannot effectively communicate with related apps and services outside of Yukon Education's Rapid Identity 'gated community'. A student can't simply sign on to the Google Classroom hosted by a Yukon Teacher by using their personal gmail account.
These two cloud services and Rapid Identity are in place to support Yukon students in being able to access, store and create learning materials in a safe online environment without having to pay for the tools. They were in place prior to the COVID 19 situation and will be in place after we are back in brick-and-mortar classrooms. They are an extension of the regular school experience, not a replacement. Due to the fact that we find ourselves temporarily (for however long) in extraordinary circumstances, we are moving to use these tools to help keep students, their families, school staff and indeed all of Yukon safe by using these extensions while we are not able to be in the regular classroom, but students should become familiar with accessing these tools because they are the digital extension of their learning communities.
Login credentials (usernames and passwords) for subscription resources are located in Teachers' Global Conferences/Digital Resources/Teacher and Student Digital Resources flyers When accessing resources outside school passwords are required. Please ask your Teacher-Librarian or Administrator for login information OR visit the Digital Resources Conference in the Teachers' Global Conferences on First Class.
How to make the best use of this website?
Suggestions on using this website:
- Main landing page: general information for students (and their parents) for all subject areas and grade levels. Sometimes it's information about school-related health or safety issues, education or curriculum, study skills, resources etc.
- Look for upcoming school-wide events
- Look for links to help students expand and strengthen their learning skills
- Find your / your student's class webpage by clicking on the tab in the top corner of the site. There will be a drop down menu that lists current classes and pages. You may want to bookmark the class page specific to your class/your student's class.
- Look for what we're currently working on in class - great way to start conversations about learning.
- Look for deadlines
- Look for class activities, class visitors, events etc.
- Find links and information about accessing that section's Google Classroom where the instructor will post assignments and where teachers, EAs, parents and students can communicate in a privacy-protected digital extension of the physical classroom
- **** Students and parents must be invited to join a particular Google Classroom, and parents/guardians can only see the work and commentary that is common to the entire class and that which is specific to their student/child/ward.
- The teacher page has contact and schedule information.
- The Dear Parents & Student page includes observations and information on a rage of educational and education-related topics of interest.
Some materials that are used in the classroom are copyrighted and cannot be shared online. Access to the website provides information, some documentation and to supplementary information. It cannot substitute effectively for regular attendance and participation in the classroom.
The Dear Parents & Students section
You can either access these pages in the pull down menu at the top of the site (Ms Carrey's Learning Gateway > Ms. Carrey Teacher Info Page > Dear Parents & Students > Select Topic) or click on the subject headings below:
- COVID 19 Information
- Previous posts I have made above about Remote Learning and the suspension of face-to-face classes in the brick-and-mortar PCSS building
- YouTube Playlists and a Flipboard digital Magazine with information about COVID 19 *** Please note that these are included in part as a model for students both about curating trustworthy sources and finding accurate sources with limited bias (work that will be ongoing particularly in EN 10 and ENFP 11)
- Links to Yukon and Canada specific sources (i.e. the Office of the Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health, Yukon Government, Yukon Education, Health Canada etc.)
- Links to or copies of documents from Yukon Education related to the current state of Yukon Education while we are dealing with the COVID 19 epidemic.
- All About Attendance
- Lates, Absences, and Early Dismissals - expectations and procedures
- The impact of absences on academic success
- The value of social learning environments on learning
- Measuring Learning
- Assessment vs. Evaluation
- Information about standards based learning and grading
- Ms. Carrey's policies and expectations around deadlines and late assignments
- Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Learners
- Resources on mental health, suicide prevention, and ending stigma
- Impacts of energy drinks, vaping and other substance use
- Importance of sleep
- The impact of stress
- The caring of not sharing contagious illnesses
- PCSS Inclusive Learning Community
- SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Inclusivity) resources
- Resources on addressing
It's All About Learning
Classroom Expectations & Code of Conduct
Ms. C's Schedule
DON'T BELIEVE ME?
YOU LEARNED TO WALK - BUT FIRST TO CREEP, THEN TO CRAWL.
YOU FELL DOWN. A LOT.
YOU GOT BUMPS AND BRUISES.
YOU KEPT GOING.
YOU WANTED TO LEARN, AND YOU WANTED IT BADLY.
NO MATTER HOW OFTEN YOU FELL DOWN, YOU KEPT TRYING! WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, ALL LEARNING IS LIKE THOSE FIRST WOBBLY STEPS.
Classroom Code of Conduct
The Seven Grandfather Teachings
- Wisdom (Taking into account experience, information and all of the other teachings.)
- Love (Being caring and empathetic.)
- Respect (Being courteous and thoughtful of others and their resources.)
- Courage / Bravery (Doing the right thing, taking classroom-appropriate risks when it comes to sharing ideas and work.)
- Honesty (Being sincere and accurate in word and action.)
- Humility (Balancing your needs with the needs of others in the group / community.)
- Truth (Being authentic with yourself and others.)
Our Code of Conduct in Ms. Carrey's Room - Fundamentals
- Give trust and earn trust.
- Treat other people as if they are valued community members. Treat the things in the room and other peoples' belongings as valued resources.
- Be truthful AND be kind.
- Be polite, be courteous.
- Put in an effort to do your best work every day and help others to do their best.
- Participate in class with courage, even when it means doing things that might be outside your comfort zone.
PCSS Policies and Procedures
You will find details there regarding the following:
- lates and absences,
- drugs, alcohol and/or smoking behaviour and paraphernalia on school premises,
- student parking and student drop off areas
- school premises video surveillance
- violence and threat assessment and response
Supplies and Equipment
- Students received a list of required school supplies from the office (extra copies are available through the office).
- Students should arrive to class with the materials they need to take notes, store and organize notes and work, to write, to draw (informally/casually) and to interact with text. These items include but are not limited to
- lined paper,
- binders with dividers,
- and coloured pencils or markers.
- From time to time, students may work on extended projects. For these, it is recommended that students ensure that they have a USB drive, AND that they have memorized their student number so that they can access their local server using their Rapid Identity login creditials. Students should realize that any costs for creating ‘fancy’ projects will be theirs.
- Ms. Carrey is now using Google Classroom, which students MUST access via their Rapid Identity credentials. Among the applications students can access are Google Drive and their PCSS server folder, which allow them to save and access files they create/work on while at school from home or other internet-accessible locations.
- Ms. Carrey does keep some supplies on hand for emergencies. When there are extended projects to do, some limited supplies may be provided, and time to access technology will be made available when and as scheduling permits.
- Most texts will stay in the classroom because they need to be shared between multiple classes. Within the room, students are still assigned a particular copy of a text by the coded number on the book. If the item is lost/goes missing or is damaged, the student will be responsible for the replacement fee.
- Students should NOT bring to class:
- Fidget Spinners or other fidget toys,
- personal digital devices (please see below)
- ANY nut product (neither tree nuts nor peanuts).
Technology in the Classroom -
STUDENTS MUST COMPLETE AND USE THEIR RAPID IDENTITY LOGIN CREDENTIALS / PROCESS WHEN USING SCHOOL DEVICES. Logging in/on as a guest very much limits the applications available and erases all work as soon as the unit is shut down; this happens in order to ensure that students' privacy is protected as much as possible. Students cannot be sure that they will have access to the same laptop or the same COW from one device session to another
There are, occasionally, academic applications of tech devices in the classroom. Appropriate use of technology for academic purposes can increase students' ability to interact effectively and knowledgeably with information, and to communicate effectively via digital means.
Personal devices in the classroom, devices which students often use for social networking and gaming, and so are loaded with apps designed to take their attention, are often not very effective in helping students focus or learn.
The first and preferred strategy is for students to leave their personal devices safely locked up in their lockers, and to make sure that they do not share locker combinations with anyone. Students have time on breaks between classes to check their social media and games, to return texts or calls and to check for messages.
IF a student is not able to self-regulate and pulls out a digital device, they will receive a prompt to put it away.
The second time, they will be instructed to put it in the classroom "cell-parking". ** I have a multi-unit charger so that a student's device can be charging while it is not with them.
The third time (or if there are arguments with the requirement to put away the device) the student will be referred to the Vice Principal who will likely take the device for the remainder of the day.
"Away" does not mean in a pocket or upside down on a desk - it means in the cell phone "parking" (the teacher-provided device charger on the teacher's desk), it means in a bag, in a locker or otherwise not easily accessible.
The teacher and/or EA reserve the right to remove from any student any device which is distracting any student in the room from the learning at hand. Staff will do their best to ensure the safety of the devices that have been confiscated but will not be held responsible for the safety of the devices since students have been warned that the devices should not be out in class without permission..
NOTE: The office does not want students leaving class to be on their digital devices. Therefore, digital devices are also prohibited in the hall ways, bathrooms, caf and public areas during class periods. Students leaving the classroom for any reason are expected to leave their devices in their locker and or in a safe place in the classroom. If a student is found to be on their digital device in the halls etc. during class, staff have the authority to take the device and send it to the office to be locked up for the remainder of the day.
IF students are concerned about having their devices taken, they should leave them safely locked up in their lockers during class periods. The safe storage and appropriate use of personal digital devices is the responsibility of individual students.
Acceptable uses of personal digital devices in the classroom - ONLY with permission of an instructor:
- Reading a digital book or magazine.
- Looking up information for a project or directly related to the class work.
- Looking up the definition of a word, synonyms or antonyms of words.
- Taking pictures of notes on the classroom boards.
- Listening to music during individual reading time WITH permission. Please see the comment and playlist provided below.
Unacceptable uses of personal digital devices in the classroom:
- Texting or use of social media, including to contact parents during class time. Includes but is not limited to Instagram, Snapchat, What’sApp, Facebook, Facetime, Messenger etc.
- Playing games.
- Taking pictures of classmates, unless they have express permission AND it’s part of a project.
- Listening to music while any instruction or collaborative / cooperative work is going on.
Parents and Guardians, a respectful request: Whenever possible, please do not text or call students during class periods.
Sometimes, parents text to let a student know about an appointment, but a text to a student does not constitute permission to leave class for an appointment etc. It is simply too easy for students to change the settings on their Contacts. If your student needs to leave class to attend an appointment, it is best that they either show the teacher a signed note AND/OR a parent or guardian needs to phone call the main office at 867-667-8044. The office will call the classroom and ask the student to come sign out and let them know that their parent/guardian is waiting.
When you call your student during class time, this puts them in a position of either defying class expectations or defying your expectations. Students are free to receive texts and calls from parents during morning break, lunch, afternoon break and after school.
Please click here to read the Edudemic article on the 4 Negative Sides of Technology in the classroom for more information on ways using personal devices can be impacting kids.
A good website with useful techniques for limiting the impact of social media manipulation is www.timewellspent.io created by Tristan Harris, former Design Ethicist at Google, who has gathered a team of other former Silicon Valley and social media upper level staffers to teach the public about the ways in which technology corporations are capitalizing on our connection to connectivity.
If a student is found to have plagiarized their work, from either a peer or a published source of any kind, they will need to redo the work before it can be resubmitted before it will be considered for assessment or evaluation.
Attendance and Lates
Lates and absences are recorded separately but a persistent pattern of lates and absences together may be taken into consideration by staff when working with students to help students improve attendance.
The school requires that teachers inform parents and the office when a student has been absent 5, 10, 15 and 20 times.
Those same number-milestones are notification requirements for lates/tardies but are counted separately.
Please note that even excused absences count towards the 5-10-20 absences milestones – unless they are directly related to school activities, but circumstances like illness, being on the land, family travel/obligations, deaths in the family etc. will/may be taken into account when determining next steps. At 20 absences, the school administration. counsellors and teachers will need to work with parents/guardians and students to determine next steps on the basis of a review of the reasons for the attendance struggles.
If you know that your student is ill or that circumstances dictate that the will be unable to attend school, please, if possible, take the time to contact the office at 867-667-8044 so that their absence can be noted as excused. If you cannot call that morning, please contact the school as soon as possible so that the records are kept up to date and accurate.
Any student leaving during the school day must sign out at the office and sign back in when they return.
Students should pay close attention to warning bells so that they are in their classroom by the time the bell rings to announce the start of a class period. Arriving late is a sign of disrespect for the other members of the classroom learning community, and disrupts the learning environment. Students who arrive late may need to wait in the hallway until a suitable break in instruction to be invited into the classroom (the door is usually open, but sometimes we do need to close it; students waiting in the hall should knock politely on the door and be patient).. Students who arrive late should enter as quietly as possible and try not to disrupt the learning of their peers.
- 1 - 5 lates, Ms. Carrey asks students reasons, chats about possible solutions
- 5 lates will trigger a communication home.
- 10 lates Students will need to serve 1 x 25 min lunch detention with Ms. Carrey. These will be pre-booked, and will likely happen on a Tues or a Thurs. Students in detention may bring food to heat (Ms. Carrey has a microwave), but they must use the time on effective/productive academic or literary work - homework for Ms. Carrey, for another class and/or quiet reading.
- Students in detention MAY NOT be on social media or be gaming, they may not be napping, or chatting.
- 10 lates will trigger another communication home and a conversation with the student on the following points:
- Acknowledgement of the fact that by persistently/frequently arriving late, the student is not meeting school or classroom expectations.
- A brief summary of what the impact of their tardiness is on their own learning, and on the educators and other students in the room.
- Goals will be set on how to address the sources/causes of the tardiness with an aim to being regularly and consistently on time for class. Worksheets to complete the SMART Goal process can be provided.
- 11- 14 lates - Ms Carrey will remind the student of the goals and strategies discussed for being on time.
- 15 lates - Another 25 mins detention at lunch with Ms. Carrey, a review of the goals and notification to the admin, counselling, student services and CELC as appropriate.
- 16- 19 lates - Ms Carrey will remind the student of the goals and strategies discussed for being on time.
- 20 lates - school administration will deal with the student directly.
The purpose of this structure is not to be punitive. The ideal is that students arrive on time to class, prepared with the materials they need to engage in the learning. In English class in particular, this means engaging in daily structured literacy tasks. Not being present to be observed directly in engaging in these tasks means that students will need to provide evidence that they have engaged in this process. Hopefully, students will start arriving on time and prepared if they get a communication home.
It is the responsibility of individual students to catch on up missed materials and work after they have been absent or late. Extra copies of any materials provided during class will be available in the classroom and online on this website.
Absences or lates, whether or not they are excused by a parent/guardian or are school related, do not mean that a student is excused from assignments, assessments or evaluations.
If a student knows ahead of time that they will need to miss class, they should discuss with the instructor how they will stay up to date on their work and complete necessary assignments.
If a student has missed a class/classes, they need to make an appointment (on a break, at lunch or after school based on instructor availability) to discuss when and how the work will be made up. While the instructor will remind the student that this needs to be done, it is the responsibility of the student to set this appointment, to attend the appointment and to catch up any missed work.
Ms Carrey's Remote Learning COVID 19 Schedule (Sem 2)
- a lot of parents/guardians are working from home, sharing resources like internet connectivity and devices with their kids,
- a lot of households have more than one student who needs access to devices and internet connectivity
- parents do not need to add "full time educator" to their list of "To Do" items in the midst of this upheaval.
My regular "hours" will be from 9:00 am - 4:-00 pm daily, Monday through Friday.
- Although I will take a lunch each day, the time will be flexible, particularly on the days I'm doing Tutorial Hours (please see schedule below)
- I will be available via my YESNet email address (parents, you've received an email from me, so you will have that - please be sure it's on your safe-sender list) and on Google Classroom periodically throughout the day.
- You can also contact me via phone in an emergency at the number that was included in the emails I sent on April 3rd and April 14th. You can leave a message at that number if I don't pick up immediately.
Please note that as of Monday April 20th, 2020 I'm still working the quirks out for me hosting Zoom (Zoom and I seem to be on different wave lengths at the moment). There will NOT be Zoom tutorial hours on a regular basis until the week of April 27th. I MAY do a full class Zoom initial meeting (brief) on Thursday April 23rd, if the technology is cooperating by then!
Time of Day
Most Easily Reached via...
Remote Period 1 -
9:30 am - 10:15 am **
Tuesdays (Last names A - K)
Thursdays (Last names L - Z)
Zoom Meeting invitations will be sent via Google Classroom
Remote Period 2 -
No Course assigned during this period
Remote Period 3 -
English First Peoples 11
Lit Studies & New Media
12:30 pm - 1:15 pm **
Tuesdays (Last names A- L)
Thursdays (Last names M - Z)
Zoom Meeting invitations will be sent via Google Classroom
Remote Period 4 -
English 10 Lit Studies & New Media
2:30 pm - 3:15 pm **
Tuesdays (Last names A - M)
Thursdays (Last names N - Z)
Zoom Meeting invitations will be sent via Google Classroom
2019 / 2020 Academic Year - Ms Carrey's Schedule
Quarter/Term 1 and Quarter/Term 2
Quarter/Term 3 and Quarter/Term 4
Warning Bell: 8:28 am
Period 1 8:30 am - 9:50 am
English 8 - Section 01
MEN-08 - 01
English 8 - Section 02
Break 9:51 am - 10:09 a.m.
Warning Bell: 10:09 am
Period 2 10:11 am - 11:30 am
English 9 - Section 01
MEN - 09 -01
LUNCH 11:30 am - 12:14 pm
Warning Bell: 12:14 pm
Period 3 12:16 pm - 1:35 pm
English First Peoples 11 -
Literary Studies and New Media - Section 01
MELNM -- 01
English First Peoples 11 -
Literary Studies and New Media - Section 02
Break 1:35 pm - 1:43 pm
Warning Bell: 1:43 pm
Period 4 1:45 pm - 3:04 pm
English 9 - Section 02
MEN - 09 -02
English 10 New Media - Section 02
English 10 Literary Studies - Section 03
Basics for Everyone
The Writing Process
A module in the Queens University course "Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: How Students Learn" describes learning as follows:
Educational researchers agree that learning is much deeper than memorization and information recall. Deep and long-lasting learning involves understanding, relating ideas and making connections between prior and new knowledge, independent and critical thinking and ability to transfer knowledge to new and different contexts.
- "Learning is “a process that leads to change, which occurs as a result of experience and increases the potential for improved performance and future learning” (Ambrose et al, 2010, p.3). The change in the learner may happen at the level of knowledge, attitude or behavior. As a result of learning, learners come to see concepts, ideas, and/or the world differently.
- Learning is not something done to students, but rather something students themselves do. It is the direct result of how students interpret and respond to their experiences.
- While there are disciplinary differences in what students learn, it is important to keep in mind that learning content or information constitutes only one part of learning in university courses. Regardless of the field of study, students need to have significant opportunities to develop and practice intellectual skills/thinking processes (e.g. problem-solving, scientific inquiry), motor skills and attitudes/values that are important to their fields of study. In addition, students need opportunities to develop interpersonal and social skills (often referred to as soft skills) that are important for professional and personal success. Examples of these skills include teamwork, effective communication, conflict resolution and creative thinking. As teaching assistants and instructors, we need to keep in mind that there is much more to learning than content and that we should pay attention not only to the content but also to thinking processes and other types of learning."
Please note: I have chosen to bold some words. Any italics are from the Queen's University module, but the bolding is my own.
To the left is a Crash Course episode from the series Study Skills. Using the eLearning Platform Edpuzzle, I've added information and some tiny multiple choice or short answer questions to consider as you go through the video.
This particular video looks specifically at how human beings memorize and learn new information.
- Time, like money, is a limited commodity - a resource of which you have a set amount.
- Every day has only 24 hours, only 1440 minutes, only 86,400 seconds. Once that time is spent on any given activity in a day, you cannot 'get it back'.
- EVERY task or activities you need or choose to do requires you to spend time - just like buying things requires that you spend money.
- Some tasks and/or activities are necessary, either to be healthy or to meet obligations and expectations placed on you by society or your immediate communities (family, school, jobs etc). You need to eat, to sleep, to use the facilities, to get from one location to another, etc. In some circumstances you may have limited choice about how to spend your time. In the times you are free to choose, you are accountable for where and how you choose to spend that time.
- We can measure increments of how time progresses - seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millennia - but how we experience time is relative, personal to each one of us and the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
There are a wide variety of tips, tools and strategies that people can use to manage their time effectively, to essentially "budget" time the way you might budget money. Different people may need different approaches based on their circumstances, obligations, opportunities, access to other resources and personal priorities.
What is QTF?
There are six basic parts to the QFT protocol
- A Question Focus - usually developed by an instructor but can be developed by students if they are working independently.
- Students develop questions using FOUR basic rules as guidelines.
- Ask as MANY questions as you can.
- Do NOT stop to discuss, judge OR answer the questions as you think and write them.
- Write down every question as it is stated / as you think it.
- Change any statement into a question.
- Improve your questions
- Categorize all questions as being either closed or open-ended questions.
- Mark closed ended questions with a C
- Mark open-ended questions with an O
- Switch some of them up (at least one of each kind)
- Prioritize your questions
- Which do you think are the THREE questions that are most important to answer?
- WHY did you choose those three?
- How will you USE these questions?
- Reflect and debrief - what did you learn? What new statement could you make? Do you still have questions?
Assessing sources using the CRAAP test
The CRAAP test for resource assessment was developed at California State University at Chico, but is now used widely at schools across North America.
The acronym reminds students to check the resources that they use for research on the basis of five elements:
C = Currency
R = Relevance
A = Authority
A = Accuracy
P = Purpose
Tutorial 1 - Getting to the PCSS Registration/Sign in page
Tutorial 3 - Introduction to the Project Tab
Tutorial 4b - Overview of an existing project cont'd
Tutorial 6 - Sharing a Project with a Teacher Inbox
Tutorial 8a - Creating a Source for Citation
Tutorial 2 - Registering for your PCSS NoodleTools account
Tutorial 4a - Overview of an existing project
Tutorial 5 - Creating a new Project
Tutorial 7 - Adding a Peer Reviewer to a Project
Tutorial 8b - Creating a Source for Citation cont'd
Other NoodleTools Tutorials
Why use databases? Isn't Google good enough?
When something is free for the end user, the end user must ask themselves, "How is this company making money if they are providing their services to me, for free?"
In an age of social media, the answer is usually that the end user is, in fact, the product. Demographic information sold to companies that advertise on free sites make the money that companies need in order to keep providing content. Many companies are quite transparent about this, however it does pose an issue in terms of questing content - how do companies that are using advertising money for their main source of income decide on which content to highlight or promote?
The short and long of it is that the accuracy of a site's information is only a portion of how trusted a site is by users - and that is less than a quarter of the analytic 'oomph' that puts a search result at the top of a Google results page. As important is how popular, or how many clicks, a site or page has already had - not whether or not the content is accurate / reliable.
This makes the academic databased available through the PCSS Library/Learning Commons an ideal starting place for school project research.
Any student who plans to go on to post-secondary education must know how to navigate academic databases, and how to navigate the web for accurate, reliable and relevant information. (Please see the tab on the CRAAP test, above.)
There are many analogies you can use to help you visualize the process of writing - that it's like building something, like carving something, like making a meal, or like traveling, like weaving threads together into fabric or dancing, but all of those things are also actions.
Like any action, the process of writing has steps, can be broken down into sub-steps and those steps can be learned and practiced so that a person becomes more skilled at using the process.
Start by choosing / identifying:
- Topic / issue / focus
- Purpose (WHY is the person writing? Remember PIE ) Sometimes Purpose is also called the "Mode" of a piece
- To persuade
- change opinions, ideas or thoughts
- convince of a point of view
- change behaviours
- provoke critical thought or discussion
- To inform
- share factual information
- provide instruction or guidance
- To entertain
- make happy, sad, curious, horrified, angry
- distract, offer escape
- share a relatable experience
- To persuade
- Format (the HOW of structuring your writing)
- Chronological (items/events in the order in which things happened)
- Cause and effect (this then that)
- Compare and contrast (similarities and differences)
- Point by point analysis
- Type of writing (WHAT are you going to write?)
- Fiction (usually descriptive, entertaining, does not claim to be entirely factual, does not require evidence):
- Short Stories
- Plays / Scripts / Screenplays
- Non-fiction (based in fact, provides evidence and details):
- Articles (journal, news, research)
- Fiction (usually descriptive, entertaining, does not claim to be entirely factual, does not require evidence):
Useful Links for all Classes
Home of Ram pride, here's a link to the Porter Creek Secondary School website. Head there to check out everything from the school calendar, dates for upcoming events like when the next Three Way Conferences are (formerly known as Parent Teacher conferences), or sporting events, links to vital information on grad requirements from the Counselling Department, messages from the Principal, and other key information.
Seriously. You should have that site bookmarked!
The most wonderful thing about Libraries is that, unlike Tiggers, there's more than one! Perhaps, you cannot find what you need in the Yukon Education Library system / at the Porter Creek Learning Commons. Perhaps, it's the weekend, your computer has had a temper tantrum, melted down and you desperately need a place to get some work done. Perhaps you simply crave the smell of information all around you. Whatever the case, the lovely still-newish downtown location of the Whitehorse public Library, at the foot of Black St. next to the gorgeous Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre is the place to be. Check out their collection, book some time at a workstation, do a bit of reading, a spot of research, whatever floats your boat down at the riverside.
One of the THE most informative sites on the web, Grammar Girl (Mignon Fogarty when she's not wearing her SuperHero Grammar cape) provides humourous explanations and examples of the pitfalls of grammar in the wackiness of the English language, and provides style advice (as well as stylish advice) on how to avoid those same pitfalls.
Plus, she manages to work aardvarks into grammar. That's working language like a boss.
TED talks are some of the most well-respected and most watched presentations in modern learning media. With events hosted around the world, on topics in every area of learning, they are acknowledged experts in hosting the experts who share knowledge on just about any issue.
This blog includes basic information on how to make your presentation powerful, polished and effective, from a TED in-house expert on the Art of Presenting.
If you have a presentation to create, no matter what class you are doing the work for, this blog is worth the time to review.
Access to these databases is provided by Yukon Education for all Yukon students. Unlike a simple Google search, using academic meta-sites (sites that allow you to search other sites) mean that all of the information you find is from reputable sources.
Combine using these resources with Noodle Tools, and the CRAAP model of source assessment and you are well on your way to being an exceptional researcher in any subject area.
Remember to get the user name and password from your instructor. Once you have the general pw and user name you can set up an individual acct on these databases and save your searches, results and organize your information.
IF you want to try and access these tools from home, you MUST first go to the Yukon Libraries site (link in button) to sign in from under the Yukon Education IP umbrella.
Lots of people like to listen to music while they work. However, if the language centres of your brain are engaged with listening to or singing along with lyrics, that distracts you from other tasks that need the attention of those parts of your brain.
Instead, consider listening to either fully instrumental music (see the Spotify list below for some examples) or music with lyrics in a language you don't know, so that the voices become another instrument.
The Library - it's not just where the books are, anymore. Now it's a Learning Commons, a place where you can access online data, work with friends and peers, play board games, study, create and take in multimedia information, search the entire Yukon Education digital and hard copy database, including the growing collection of eBooks, research and reserve fiction and non-fiction materials... If there is a heart to Education it is in the Learning Commons, and this link is the digital connection to that heart.
See the panel to the left, where I defined the very cool word Grok? It sounds like a made up word from Star Trek or something, but nope, it's real. I know this because I looked it up.
We live in the midst of the Information Revolution. It's up to you to use the tools and the power at your disposal to make sure that you use the information wisely so that it doesn't use you (I feel like I can hear Obi Wan Kanobi's voice somewhere...).
A good basic dictionary and thesaurus is a super-tool to make sure that you don't sound like a tool.. There is nothing wrong with not knowing what a word means, how to say it, or when to use it, unless you refuse to learn about it. People, whether or not it's fair, judge us on how we sound when we communicate with them. Make sure what you say and how you say it represent the best of what you have to offer the world.
I prefer the Learner's Dictionary because unlike the regular Merriam Webster site and many other dictionaries, online and print, I find that you don't end up having to look up half of the words in the definition!
NoodleTools is your Yukon Education-funded membership one-stop-shop for planning research projects, tracking all of your research, storing all of your research and even collaborating with your peers and your teachers. Wowza! Your membership, provided by the Department of Education, covers all of your courses and any project you choose to set up, no matter what subject area, grade or course. You can keep your citations, your notes, your projects outlines - all in one, handy dandy place.
(for registration and sign in procedures see the video under the "Just for Rams" page. If you forget or don't know your sign in / registration information, see your instructor.)
Grammarly has a handy free tool (not as comprehensive as their paid membership, obviously) to help you catch basic grammar, punctuation, and form issues in your writing, as well as apps for Windows and OSX, and mobile devices.
Word choice an variety are part of what make Language Arts and art. The key to using a thesaurus is choosing a synonym with just the correct nuance of meaning to match what you intend to communicate.
Thesaurus.com is handy because it helps you rank and sort words by how relevant, complex or lengthy the synonyms you searched are,
Having a difficult time understanding the text on a website or in a book, magazine or article? Copy the text or url into the window in Rewordify and get a simplified version that takes context into account. Lots of other handy tools!