Welcome to Bernie’s Blog! EC&I 832

About me

Hi!! My name is Cymone Bernauer and before I became a mom and wife, I was a hip and cool athlete at the University of Regina that was afforded many opportunities to travel, build relationships, and learn valuable life skills. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, as well as a teacher, a coach, a mentor, and a student. My kids are my world, my passion is health and wellness, and my roots continue to grow in Regina , SK. I enjoy lake life, being active, reading fiction, watching my shows, and enjoying a beer or glass of wine (depending on the season and reason)! In true extrovert fashion, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, engaging in banter, and making people laugh. Cheers!


Digital citizenship and media literacy infusion in Wellness10…an update (March 14th!)

Sorry, this post was left in my drafts and was too good not to add!

Oh boy…this blog prompt has forced me to align all the things I’ve been working on this semester. I’ve been taking photos of key slides from class presentations, classroom/gym/weight room sessions working with digital media, videos of myself teaching about digital citizenship, and documenting ideas and reflections for medias we, my students and I, are learning to use in my project folder. Some examples are below…

I have created a list of the Wellness outcomes and allocated Ribble’s 9 elements to each subject area and linked key resources (mine and others) to them. I have a few more big ideas to work through with my class, some of which I hope to document in my project- dealing with digital stress from MediaSmarts and creating a social media campaign for mental health, while others will be completed in these last 3 months of the semester and you will have to guess that they went well! My students will complete a Microsoft Form for feedback of major digital tools we have used this term which I will include in a review section of my project. I also plan on sharing my Wellness digital citizenship and media literacy guide with my colleagues in both the public and catholic school divisions and seek feedback that I will include as well.

The process is the key, I am fully invested in what I am doing with/for my students. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? I am 95% confident that it will all come together in a few weeks time folks. I am also 95% confident that I will be spending plenty of time sorting through all of my data! Better too much than not enough though right?

Wellness 10 Digital Citizenship and Media Infusion…Final Project Update

Well well well….

It really is game time folks…this is my FINAL final project for graduate studies. I feel quite proud yet the product is unpolished, heck, it’s straight up not done. Don’t get me wrong, I have been collecting data and evidence since the 2nd week February with uncertainty for how I would put it all together. Here are my thoughts: I will use either google slides or PowerPoint to create an interactive vlog of my curriculum resource package. Is that what I am calling it? I don’t know yet. I do know that I will have a PDF version available for download with links to all the goods. I have had the great opportunity to actually do lessons with my class and collect artifacts, evaluations, and student feedback along the way. I have recorded myself in 3 lessons but will not be including these as evidence because there are students in most frames and after last weeks ethics and morals conversation it’s better I keep it out. I will however share a lot of their work (with permission of course). So, I will provide an intro to my topic then I will got through the curriculum outcomes and link to lessons in google docs and slides, assignments, Mentimeter segments, Kahoots and of course sample work from FlipGrid, JEFIT, Padlet and all the assignments. I will speak to the elements of DC within the S framework that applies and I will identify the media used. I will add reflections for most pieces, specifically how the lesson was received, how I learned some of the apps and their functionality, and feedback from students and colleagues who will have taken a peak through the document (hopefully).

Have I bitten off more than I can chew?

Thoughts and comments are always welcome!

Keep it Simple, Keep it Safe-Ethical considerations with tech and my students

This is the approach I take when it comes to my job as an educator. Christine talked about using and sharing resources and Bart mentioned sharing student work as ethical concerns they, and I, face daily. Will I do better at referencing photos I use in my lessons and give attribution to authors and colleagues? YES! Will I consider the page limit to photocopying and the streaming site permissions? I should start! The most important ethical concern for me when it comes to integrating technology in the classroom whether using online platforms to communicate or assist in learning outcomes is student privacy. I always refer back to the LAFOIP policy whenever I am unsure about something because I quite frankly do not want to lose my job over a fancy new idea.

Photo: openeducationalberta.ca

As Dylan outlined, educators must act in ‘loco parentis’, which means we must protect and act in our students’ best interest. To ensure I don’t cross any boundaries or ruffle any feathers I always use platforms and applications that are encouraged and supported by my division. I always set expectations and procedures to maximize student comfort and safety and ensure all students have the opportunity to engage in the digital learning experience.

For example, I love the fun and exciting things you can do with TikTok, but because it is not supported by our division I use FlipGrid in similar ways. If I used TikTok I would have to follow the students to see their work and I don’t want to get caught up knowing or seeing something that could cross professional boundaries. Despite the application or platform being used-Microsoft Teams, FlipGrid, and Padlet in my class- and the settings I can use to make students feel less exposed or vulnerable when sharing with the class, some are still hesitant to put themselves out there for fear of being judged or even worse bullied, and some students do not have access to a device. I feel like I do a good job adapting to get everyone engaged with the learning outcome without the entire focus being on the technology.

Like may other teachers I’m sure, I am continually deleting friend requests received by students when they discover my handles. I simply tell them at the start of the semester that I have enough friends and am too boring for them anyways so to not even bother. Something that is a little harder to resist is posting pictures to my personal platforms of my students or players I coach enjoying a particularly fun PE or basketball experience.

I do resist, however, and send the pictures I am so proud of through our school social media account liaison to post. I don’t take risks when it comes to student privacy and the time it takes to check to see if media releases were completed for each student is not a luxury I have.

Communication is another ethical concern I face daily. Full disclosure, in the past, as a teacher/coach, I would message the team captain using my personal device and ensure all communication goes through her and is ALWAYS about basketball. This year I started to use the Microsoft Teams platform (pictured above), which is of course supported by the division, for communicating with the team which has been very efficient and effective (and safe). When it comes to student learning outcomes there are plenty of tools that are supported by my division that teachers can use. We may just may have to spend extra time figuring out how to use the unfamiliar application. Just as I am starting to get the hang of Microsoft Teams and all its functions and capabilities our division is moving towards using Edsby next year. After reading through Christine’s project posts it seems like we will need quite a bit of teacher learning time to figure out how to navigate it to best suit ourselves, our students and their parents. I do believe the communication piece between the teacher and students/parents will be of most benefit. I am hoping it will be like the Microsoft Teams chat where I can select a student and send a quick, direct message.

Even with Twitter I think extra long before I post because I don’t know who will see my posts. I have written and deleted a number of posts, especially since after we had Boots come in and talk about teacher advocacy. It’s actually not that simple and I am not in a position to be fighting to keep my job. I am bound by the STF code of ethics and there are just too many eyes online for me take risks. It actually surprises me that there are professionals in our field who don’ t consider all that I mentioned above. They either aren’t aware of the risks, the ethical, moral, legal implications, or they simply don’t care. Yikes!

Do as I say, not as I do…

The old adage “Do as I say, not as I do” comes to mind when I reflect on the way I interpret and analyze information versus how I want my students and children to. I tend to rush to conclusions, jump on bandwagons, and go with the masses on many issues. I’m sure my behaviour is due to to the ease and influx of shares, likes, and comments on social media platforms I use because if its all over it must be true, as stated in the Defining Fake News article from this past week, “social media makes the bandwagon heuristic more salient”. An average day of making sense of information, media, and the world around me includes listening or reading somewhat attentively to similar perspectives typically on Facebook (algorithmically assigned to me feeds) and Twitter first thin in the morning or after I send the kiddos off to bed. I am well aware that the information in my feed is tailored to specific perspectives and I will use critiques found on these platforms to formulate my own position.

I also watch late night talk shows where parody and satire are common and I’m never really sure what is real or not…but am most certainly entertained. I am happy to report that I do not get sucked into the clickbait, primarily because my time is so limited online that I do what I need to do and get off (check on current affairs, friends, and shop!). Quite frankly, I am easily swayed, which is in line with the point from that same article, if a reader lacks trust they will be more susceptible to the misinformation. I, reluctantly, have been far too busy to do source and fact checks for all the information that comes across my news feed but after learning just how susceptible I am to misinformation, and of course because I am teacher and must be ‘in the know’ on current affairs, I will look to these keys Holly suggested going forward:

The strategies I currently use to analyze and validate information include checking with my sister and hubby as well as the colleagues I engage with on a daily basis at school. If I’m not sure about something I will typically google search it, paying close attention to the sites I click on and the sources behind the site, to find out more but, as previously mentioned, I don’t take the time I should to properly investigate information I am exposed to. I am proud to say that I do not share ‘news’ unless I am 100% certain of their validity…(as you can probably guess, I don’t share a lot!).

My sharing is primarily funny memes that U relate to or cute pictures of my kids. We should all follow Busby’s (2022) summary from the article he shared going forward as educators, citizens, and parents:

“We must educate our students and society to ignore the pressures to share information as quickly as possible, and instead become informationally literate and do [our] due diligence to confirm the accuracy of what [we] are reading and sharing”.

Why literacy skills are critical in a fake news world…

Me: Oh my goodness did you hear about…?

Hubby: Are you serious? That’s not real.

Me: Are you sure? It’s all over the internet.

Hubby: (eyes rolling, head shaking) You can’t trust everything you see and read on social media babe.

This has been my life with my hubby and sister for the past few years. They are critical thinkers and in the know about current affairs. They do their research (and quite frankly spend more time on their devices than me). I am so focused and busy on my own life, my responsibilities, job, kids, coaching, my next meal, that I don’t spend time doing the work it takes to actually use my critical thinking skills and determine if what I am hearing, seeing, reading is in fact real. I reluctantly admit to sharing propaganda, fabricated stories, and jumping on bandwagon’s because I am easily influenced, if the details seem good enough, and who can resist some good satire and parody from late night talk shows and SNL?

In any case, as an educator and parent, I need to get my s%*- together and be a better role model. In another digital citizenship lesson with my grade 10’s this past week we revisited the THINK motto and used tips from Fighting Fake News in the classroom when considering the authenticity of a post and of course sharing that post. Students admitted to both posting and sharing when their emotions are high, they never do a reverse image search, and typically accept the first source they find. Most of them are hearing these tips for the first time and they are 15 years old!

Teaching students to be literate with media is absolutely critical especially since most of them, all my students, get their news from social media and accept whatever comes through their feed as accurate and truthful. The article Chris shared summarizes that “we must teach all of our citizens how to be researchers and scientists when it comes to consuming information“(Leetaru, 2019). All versions of literacy (digital, media, physical, mathematics) require the “ability to identify, interpret, understand and communicate” as per Bart’s article, and critical thinking skills are…well…CRITICAL to the process!

I appreciated Ms Mihial’s SPEA share about not being fully literate without being physically literate!! I teach wellness and PE and work everyday with my students to identify performance cues for skills and movements, develop those skills, find motivation to use those skills, understand why we use those skills, put them to practice to gain confidence and competence, and

Photo: ‘Home’ Movetohealthychoices.ca

recognize that we all use them in different ways. I used the same ideas for media literacy in my lesson- identify the types of fake news we are exposed to daily, what are the facts, check the sources, check for bias and motive.

In our fast paced, information disordered world, we simply don’t make the time to evaluate the information. We must teach our students to do their due diligence, and we must do the same as leaders, so we can all be effective and productive learners and citizens in the 21st century.

Week #8 Teachers and Schools Up for the Challenge?

Infusing digital citizenship is an easy enough transition right?

Because I am taking a digital citizenship ad media literacy class the answer is YES, it’s an easy transition for me. But what about those that don’t take these classes? When reviewing the key takeaways from this past weeks literature on the role of educators in teaching digital citizenship I feel that teachers are on a spectrum. They are either not addressing media literacy because they aren’t aware of its importance or relevance, they are already (unintentionally) talking about media messages that support our curricula because they want students to be critical thinkers, or they are digital natives who are comfortable and/or trained to include digital citizenship in their practice.

Photo: Carbon Valley Academy: What are 21st Century Skills?

In any case, it is clear that students need to gain 21st century skills in order to be successful in todays society and they need to understand how to navigate, critique, and construct digital media effectively. It surprised me slightly that the Digital Citizenship SK Ed Planning Guide was published in 2015 and neither the ministry nor our divisions have clear mandates around teaching digital citizenship in our schools. My division has a guide for teachers to work through but it does not delve into Ribble’s 9 elements. Mostly, I think educators are unaware of the need for competencies that develop from media literacy as outlined in the European report provided by Gerry. The workshops I have been exposed to were meant to teach us how to incorporate technology into the classroom with applications. We need a (dare I say mandatory) workshop for ‘Intro the Media Literacy‘ and a follow up with ‘How to teach media literacy in your curriculum‘, as well as ‘Here are some sample lessons and resources to get you started‘. Teachers don’t know about it! As Megan and many others argue, even if they knew about it, they still lack resources. We quite simply need more to go on, we need direction, we need to identify the need for it. We need to add to our current citizenship policy for curriculum and instruction a digital citizenship policy. If the need for teaching digital citizenship is identified and emphasized by our government, divisions, and school leaders they must also provide or direct educators to resources like MediaSmarts but perhaps the greater issue is without training or background knowledge they might not know how to implement the resources effectively. Maybe the powers that be are banking on us to just figure it out, or as Brittney says, leave it to teachers to fit it in somewhere somehow, we are after all teachers so we are definitely amazing, but a little more support (our plates are heaping) and guidance from leadership and colleagues might bring enthusiasm and passion for pedagogical change.

Photo by Canva Studio on Pexels.com

When teachers recognize the importance of media literacy and have a few ideas or, as per Christine’s article, guiding questions to use to support curriculum resources they are currently using, a transition could be relatively smooth. Last year in Health 9, I showed a video about plant based diets and had students consider key questions throughout the video: ‘who is the author’?, ‘are there sponsors’?, ‘what does the data suggest and who are the experts’? ‘who is the intended audience’? Simple discussions about the resources and information we use will get students thinking critically about their constant exposure to various types of media in their daily lives. I believe there is a space in every curriculum to include digital citizenship and media literacy but the problem is lack of teacher knowledge and urgency. So how do we get the word out? Collaboration, professional learning opportunities, and leadership are at the top of my list. A few years ago, an administrator at my school started an initiative where every week at the morning staff meeting a different teacher volunteered to share something cool and innovative they were doing in their classrooms. Would you do this in your school? Would you be willing to take the lead for digital citizenship advocacy? The good stuff is as contagious as the not so good stuff (STI’s and COVID)! Insert health teacher joke!

Week #7 Digital Identity Key Concepts

I was on Facebook 10 or so years ago and noticed there were a few inappropriate pictures of me posted by friend from her Bachelorette party (you can guess how sketchy those were) and immediately told her to take them down. My digital identity as an educator has to be classy, kind, and professional essentially, an extension of who I am in real life (IRL). I do reserve the sillier, outgoing, a little bit crazy stuff to my social media with the selected lucky few that I actually a. like, b. talk to, and c. trust. My different platforms have varying levels of the true me but they are all essentially me. I shared this with my grade 10’s this past week as well as Alec Couros’ Ted Talk about digital identity and we spent a few minutes on the Star Wars kid. When I first saw that video, 10 years ago, it never occurred to me that he was embarrassed to have it online or that he would be bullied for it. Nowadays, as my students shared, people go to great lengths, create anything to get noticed or go viral online. “He should be proud that 900 million saw it”, said one student. This led me to share words from Alec, that things used to be “private by default and public by effort” but now things are so easy to put out in the digital world, in may cases we don’t even know the extent of our digital footprints, we actually have to learn how to keep things private. I had the students then google their own names and (as if they hadn’t done it before) seemed surprised at what was out there. They also completed a survey I modified to reflect on their digital footprints.

Digital Footprint Survey

I used Keith Metcalfes (2019) interpretations of digital identity to teach students the many ways their online activity can shape their identity (or identities) from the personal info (credentials) they share, to the tendencies and interests of their searches and purchases, and even reputation through online interactions. Metcalfe and Alec, mention the movement away from dualism, in that eventually who we are in real life will be represented the same as who we are online. “The world is gradually moving toward a time when individuals’ online identities matches their real-life identities and provide a global and accurate view of who the are, what they do, and how they see themselves” (Metcalfe, 2019). I support this movement personally because I value relationships, integrity, and kindness. I support is as an educator by having students reflect on their online and IRL interactions and challenge them to choose an identity they can be proud of now and in 10 years from now. It is so easy and contagious for students to adopt a variety of digital identities to suit their day to day needs.

Is this dualism teaching them how to cope effectively with conflict or stress? Is this teaching them that social etiquette only matters IRL (in real life)? Is it teaching them how to build meaningful relationships, as Sinek suggests is lacking in our society? As Rae states in her summary of Alec’s video, we “need to teach children that each person’s digital footprint should be nurtured and carefully curated”. Students need us to guide them about their activity and interactions online that shape their identities and I believe we must encourage them to be the same person online as they are offline. If we wouldn’t say something to someone’s face why do it online?

I used a video from common sense, Who Are You on Social Media, in my class last week to help students reflect on their digital identity and motives of curating their online lives and it led to a great discussion- image, validation, pressure, standards, social norms. With these responses I can’t help but consider all that we losing… ourselves, our integrity, empathy, and essentially meaningful relationships. To avoid this, we could use Davis’ (2011) Spheres of Obligation as a jumping off point for student discussion on how we, and the people around us, are affected by and consequences of our digital identity(ies).

Spheres of Obligation (Davis, 2011)

I understand Dylan Johns’ concern about the lack of student exposure to digital citizenship and identity learning with the lack of curricular mandates and resources to support this learning so it is up to us as we move forward to collaborate and share the good things we are doing in the classroom so more teachers can learn to appreciate the importance and relevance of digital citizenship in students lives and follow suit.

Week #6 Project Process

This week I focused on getting students familiar with the Microsoft Teams platform, specifically, attaching and submitting assignments, navigating the folders under files, working with the class notebook section, and ensuring their notifications were set to ON. We also played around with the JEFIT app we will be using to support our fitness training throughout the semester. Students were annoyed at first and concerned that they wouldn’t have enough storage space but once they began to put together their first task the negative vibes chilled out! It was pretty neat to see the ways they were interacting with and supporting each other throughout the lesson.

Next week is a digital citizenship focus for wellness outcomes W5 self-management and W8 relationships. Stay tuned for process, pics, and possibilities!

Week #4 Major Project Direction/Connections

If you read my blog two weeks ago you would have seen the possibility, also the complete and utter chaos of my mind! Thanks to the meaningful and engaging presentation by Mike Ribble I know now what I need to do to create change and opportunity in my classroom.

Just as Kara plans to create a curriculum resource for her littles, I too plan on building an effective resource package that infuses digital citizenship and media literacy for the Wellness10 curriculum. It is my intention to not only build for my own classroom but to share with colleagues in divisions throughout the city. I have already polled a number of my teacher pals to find out what, if anything, they are doing to achieve outcomes using digital media. Collaboration is key to success!

I love the framework presented by Ribble, which as it turns out also resonates with Jill, known as the S3, and will be using the safe, savvy, and social process as my project outline. In semester 2, which began last week, I have two fresh crews, some background knowledge, and new ideas…LET’S GO!

Photo from Ribble and Park (2019)

It is my intention to teach my students how to be good citizens as well as how to use different medias responsibly and safely. As a jumping off point, for the SAFE section of the S3, I will build a lesson around digital communication, literacy, and etiquette (really good lesson plans and resources on MediaSmart) which fulfil the respect, educate and protect categories Ribble speaks to for building digital citizenship to prepare them for, and guide them through, the infusion of digital media that is coming their way this semester. For example, we will use menti-meter to facilitate class discussion around netiquette and adobe posters with perhaps Padlet to create and display students digital footprints. For the SAVVY section I have begun to research and select appropriate media that students might enjoy learning to use (and seem user friendly for me) and we can decide if they are effective or not for achieving outcomes like Microsoft Teams notebook, FlipGrid, JEFIT, Edpuzzle, and QR codes.

Photos: Mixtmode- Padlet-logo; Apple app store-Microsoft One Note; Apple app store- Microsoft Teams; Apple app store-JEFIT workout planner; Twitter- Flipgrid (@Flipgrid); QR-code-generator.com

I should mention that I do recognize the challenge of, as Christine points out, inequity of digital access and digital fluency and will have to be creative in ways I can support and engage all students in learning. The most fun part of the journey will be the application of learning, the SOCIAL section. For this I plan on engaging with my students in health awareness campaigns that they will collaborate, build, monitor, and evaluate with the goal of affecting positive change in our school and communities (both near and far).

The key for me, I think, is to remember that less is more, whoever said that! If I can stick with a few media apps that myself and my students can really get to know I think we can really make the ‘medium the message’!!

Questions for thought (reply if any of these trigger you):

Do any of you try to do too much and come up short in the actual purpose/objective/message of using digital media? How do you decide what to try, what to trash, what to treasure? Finally, do you collaborate with colleagues to benefit more students or keep your work under lock and key?

Week #3 Education and our digital future- Bernie’s Thoughts and Concerns

After reflecting on discussions and readings from this past week I want to share my thoughts and concerns going forward in infusing media in our educational practices and professional pedagogies.

The skills youth need to participate, learn, and grow in the 21st century have changed significantly since I was in school, and even more so since my parents attended. The participatory culture that this generation, and the last, are part of has demonstrated a critical need for developing specific skills in education if they, and future generations, are to be functional members of today and tomorrows media/technology-centered society. The skills outlined in Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media education for the 21st century can all be accomplished if the teacher, digital immigrant or native, knows what he/she is doing. The concern I have witnessed in observation and conversation is the traditional teachers or, digital immigrants, reluctance to learn new skills to include digital technologies to help students achieve outcomes. Whether is is a fear of change, lack of self-confidence, efficacy, or simple complacency this will contribute to the participation gap that currently exists for many youth who do not have access to or knowledge about using digital technologies. A commitment to equal opportunity and professional development, and most importantly TIME- time to learn, time to collaborate, time to experiment- by teachers, administrators and policy makers is critical if we are to give youth the skills they need to be successful in the future.

Another huge concern I have is supported by Sinek (2016), Turkle (2012) and Jergenson (2012) in their presentations about the ways that we are controlled by our devices. We can’t stand to be bored, we need instant gratification, and seek affirmation and social acceptance yet at the same time we are so consumed, as residents, by our devices that we lack real world experiences, specifically the ability to develop deep meaningful relationships. Our reliance on online connections is pushing us further from real life connections. Perhaps at school, it should be a space for social interaction, cooperation, and problem solving without devices. Don’t our youth spend enough time with technology outside school hours? Now we want to use BYOD and tech-time to fill the moments in between lessons instead of encouraging students to interact with one another. We must, as Gunpreesh also suggests, find a balance, this I know!


Education, as we have witnessed in great depth throughout the pandemic, has changed and will continue to change. Henny (2006) speaks to 9 things that will shape the future of education and, as a digital immigrant, I find I am constantly trying to keep up! As teachers only have so much time and keep getting stretched thinner, keeping up with ‘free choice’ and ‘personalized learning’, although incredibly beneficial, is exhausting (perhaps less for the digital natives)! Currently, relating to the 9 things, I am proud that I use project based and experiential learning, I can give my students opportunities to learn in diverse times and places (due to pandemic necessities I acquired that knowledge and skill set), and give my students opportunities for ownership where they are involved in the way they experience the curriculum, they have a voice and a choice in activities, assessments, and learning strategies.

The moral of this story, I think, is change requires buy-in and commitment to the process and the students through personal and professional development. Networking has never been so easy, as I have been engaged with Twitter these past 3 weeks, we must collaborate and support each other as we continue on this digital wave or we will drown!