Brenda’s Summary of Learning

Here is the link to my summary of learning video presentation for EC& I 831.

The Four Commonplaces of Curriculum

This course was definitely an immersive experience– understanding AND participating in social media  for teaching and learning. While most of the teachers in the class immediately dove in with great abandon, I was more like a tourist on the shore overwhelmed by this vast ocean of blogs, microblogging, collaborations, content curation and media sharing. I benefited from the open sharing of tips and resources in  the EC & I 831 professional learning network. This knowledge will surely enhance student learning.   I will complete my M ED in Curriculum and Instruction in DECEMBER (yeah)!  This summary of learning, about the theoretical and practical understanding of social media for teaching, learning, and professional development, is framed, in the four commonplaces of curriculum: student, milieus, subject and teacher. Shout out to Joseph J Schwab and EC & I 804!

Students/ Learners

Let’s begin with the first commonplace of curriculum– the student the learner;  How does digital media and help students become better citizens?

Social media is an integral part of learners’ life from an early age. This is a video of my 7-month -old granddaughter, Millie interacting with her environment – the first snow.  She is also interacting with her mom’s iphone while the phone records her interacting with the first snow. Millie is enjoying both experiences. In EC & I 831, I learned Digital communication and social media can help learners connect, create, and entertain. We discussed digital citizenship and the issue that the internet never forgets.  Mistakes can be an opportunity to learn but if your mistakes or anti-social activities are recorded – they are a forever-record that may hinder relationships and block opportunities. With apps like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, it seems we never  run out of ways to embarrass ourselves or deflate our body image.

We discussed digital citizenship and the need to protect students and our society. Teachers in partnership with students should: Advocate for and practice safe, legal and responsible use of information technology;  Adopt positive attitudes for the use of tech that supports collaboration, learning and productivity;  Demonstrate responsibility for lifelong learning; ans Be Leaders in digital citizenship.

A Commonplace learner

The learner was definitely the focus of the EC & I 831, I was one commonplace learner in this course. My tendency to over- analyze and my lack of dexterity in adapting to the speed of instant messaging made my participation challenging. Thoughtful blogging is more my style.  I am really proud of the fact that I experience learning by MOOC in the Coursera Poetry workshop. Setting up a blog  to reflect on my digital media journey was a great learn- to- do- by- doing activity.


The next commonplace for curriculum is the milieus. – I am just going to talk about the Digital milieus where we work, live and play. “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.”  was coined by a contemporary of Marshal McLuhan – John M. Culkin. We talked about how digital technology has created an environment that is changing our society. Social media algorithms detect our preferences to keep us online clicking on information, or worse yet, misinformation – influencing our decisions /accelerating division. Digital devices and social media can be tools to dehumanize and divide but also connect and strengthen community. I learned about the creative commons and online educational resources and the movement for the digital milieus  to reject the commodification of knowledge and embrace a culture of sharing and collaboration.  So refreshing and hopeful.  

We also talked about activism and the personal risks for students and teachers.  Social media affords an opportunity to gather a collective voice to change our world to be a better place to live, work, and play.


A third commonplace to consider in delivering curriculum is the subject. Connected learners have access to any subject matter and infinite sources of information. Just GOOGLE it, while, social media allows for collaboration, building knowledge and learning skills.  Teachers are freed from the chains of banking education, that is, just filling up the student with the facts and figures of the subject matter. Digital media can be adapted to suit the individual interests of learners.  One topic of particular interest to me was the epistemic discussions. What is knowledge? Who decides what is knowledge? How do learners create knowledge? So interesting in the context of digital media!


Finally,  the teacher is the 4th commonplace for curriculum. We are most prominent in the digital landscape of education. Teacher competence enhances student learning and EC &I 831 has increased my skills and understandings. Using digital applications to interact with other teachers has changed my view of social media. Before this class I considered Facebook or Instagram to be fluffy,  friendly, entertainment or twitter a place to check out controversial ideas. Now I am convinced that social media is a serious contender for professional development of teachers.

This teacher did actually take that swim in the ocean of social media. Although I may have been busy keeping my head above the water to respond to all of your fantastic blog posts and cool advice on Discord and Twitter.  I  admire your skill and energy in creating, adapting and sharing to enhance learning. I have learned so much following and reading your twitter feeds and blogs.

Teachers are truly Masters of Remix.  You, no I should say, WE select and adapt digital media tools to suit our students, the subject matter, and the context or milieus in which we live, work, play and learn.

Thanks Alec and thanks to all the fellow teachers in EC & I. Best wishes in all your future endeavors. Take care.

We are social beings that desire connection – with our world, our community, our families, our friends and our students. Digital media connects us.

  “social media” by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY 2.0


  1. Thanks for your written summary of learning. There were so many times while reading it that I was thinking that I could have done a better job of including those points in my own summary of learning. I also had a few times when I totally forgot that we had even talked about those things, so thanks for refreshing my memory. Thanks for all of your hard work this semester, and I look forward to our paths crossing again one day.


  2. Brenda, you really lowered all of our expectations by saying you’re new to video creation, and then blew us all away with a great video creation for your summary of learning! It was great learning alongside you this semester and we all appreciated your contributions to the course. It gave me a nudge in the right direction that not everyone is at the same level of comfortability with technology and I was able to incorporate that into my Digital Learning Project! Congrats on completing your Masters! All the best!


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