I just finished watching a TEDx Talk video, with Joe Ruhl, that I had saved a few months back.  I honestly couldn’t remember why I had saved it till I watched it again. Joe Ruhl is inspiring. His passion for teaching is obvious and infectious. He has created a desire in me to want to be the most amazing instructor I can be.

In this video, Joe talks about inspiring his students and teaching them what he calls the 5 C’s.




Critical thinking


Four of his 5 C’s are considered essential twenty-first-century skills all children should learn. He added CHOICE to the list as a characteristic of the classroom.

Joe believes in a student centred learning approach in his classroom. He explains in this video a bit about how he uses the 5 C’s in his classroom.  At the end of the video, Joe Introduces a number 6 “C” and what he calls the most important C of all.


What are your students going to remember most from your teaching? What do you want them to remember most? Do you want them to remember that you gave challenging final exams? That you were always on time for class?

Or do you want your students to remember that you gave an extra 10 %? That you stayed late to help a struggling student or that you spent extra time creating interesting games to help your students as a review. For me my students are individuals. They each bring a little something special to my classroom. I want them to know that I see their special skills, that they don’t go unnoticed and that I truly am interested in their personal wellbeing and their families. I want to inspire them to fall in love for their new profession. To be the most amazing dental assistants they can be.

I have included a link to the TEDx Talk Video: Teaching Methods for Inspiring the Students of the Future with Joe Ruhl. It is almost 18 minutes long but I do recommend watching the full video, the last two minutes is when He really gets into inspiring your students.



Quote retrieved from Pinterest  at




I am currently finishing up my PIDP 3240 course. For one of our assignment, we were to share teaching tools and web media. I started a discussion on the website Slideshare. SlideShare is similar to YouTube but with slides instead of videos. People can create slide presentations on their topic then post to the site. There is thousands of topics to choose from and some amazing slides uploaded. SlideShare can be a great media addition to your classroom presentation.

My one piece of advice, when using someone else’s information, is to always make sure it’s correct information.  One SlideShare I found had incorrect information on dental instruments! It had a picture of a ball burnisher (which I am sure makes no sense to anyone not in the dental field) under the heading carving instrument! Anyone in the dental field can tell you a ball burnisher is a finishing instrument.

I have used SlideShare in the past as an extra studying tool or home resource for my students. I am only a substitute instructor in theory and so my PowerPoints presentation are prepared for me. I have found that sometimes our PowerPoint presentation in the classroom are designed around us talking and filling in the blanks. They might not be the best resource for a student that is struggling. I have found some excellent SlideShare presentations on dental topics.  Some of these slides use visual aids that can help target your students that may have a variety of different learning styles. I feel this is a website that any instructor or student should check out.


The extra link below is for any CDA instructors out there? This is a SlideShare I used recently on dental instruments. It has 99 slides and lots of details but I mainly liked the middle portion which broke down hand instruments with pictures, explanations of design and uses.


Quote photo retrieved from Pinterest at




First Exposure



First exposure to material before class is not a new idea; many of us routinely assign readings, papers or problem sets as preparation for class” (Bowen, 2012, p.59). It is easy to assign reading but it’s hard to enforce it. This is the new millennium, we have a pile of resources at our fingertips. The challenge is figuring out which resources and/or teaching techniques will help motivate our students.


What scares me as an instructor, is to have students that look like deer’s in head lights. This is defiantly not my goal. I try my best to encourage students to do the readings I assign, but as a student myself I fully understand the difficulty in finding the time. If there is no assignment or evaluation tied to my readings, there is no real gain, and it makes it less of a priority in my busy schedule. As adult learners our time is valuable. We are trying to juggle work, family life and school.

On the flip side, as an instructor, I find it real hard if my students haven’t done their readings. I feel like I am delivering a pile of bad news. I don’t want to spend my two-hour class listing off facts and reading from a PowerPoint.  I want to be engaging my students in discussions. I want to target the areas of information where they are struggling the most. I want to enhance their learning with activities to help them apply their new knowledge. My goal is for my student to walk out of class feeling like that have learned something valuable, not with their heads spinning with new information, wondering how they will pass their final evaluations.

I want to create the classroom experience Weimer (2016) describes, “What students need are not hard or easy courses, but course experiences that result in lots of learning- where they master the material, further develop the sophisticated learning skills necessary for lifelong learning, and where the encounter leaves them breathless to learn more.”


In our program, we have an online platform where our students have access to all the PowerPoint presentations and handouts ahead of time. We encourage our students to read over them before class. When students take the time to do the readings the whole classroom atmosphere changes. Classroom time can be spent working on applying that new information instead of scrambling to take notes and memorizing facts. I am not saying that you won’t need to teach the information, but you can focus on the area of concern, quality, instead of quantity of information. “What research shows is that learners in courses that incorporate online learning in some fashion, often called “hybrid” courses, learn more than people who only have traditional classroom meetings and resources” (Draves, 2014, p.40).  The struggle is finding new ways to encourage and motivate students to use the resources they have, so they can come to class prepared.


Since starting this course on Media Enhanced Learning, I have found lots of great resources to incorporate into my classroom. I am most excited about the learning site Kahoot. I think by using Kahoot’s to create interactive online quizzes/games, I can encourage the students to do their pre-readings. I would use this evaluation tool at the start of every class or every couple of class when new material is introduced. I would base these games on information from their readings and then we can walk through the results together.  In chapter 4 of “Teaching Naked,” they explain the importance of having low stake assessments, with high standards to help motivate our students. “By giving consideration to the format of exams and examples we use, faculty can increase motivation and lower stress” (Bowen, 2012, p.97). These types of games and assessment are a great way to encourage students in a low-stress environment.  The evaluations don’t count for marks but students have an idea of how they are doing. With an online game, the instructor can see what areas most of the students answered correctly and focus on the areas they are struggling in. This can save valuable class time and hopefully provide more time to focus on applying the new knowledge. I am mainly a clinical instructor so I am really looking forward to the next time I get to fill in for a theory class to try out my Kahoot’s app.  I will have to give my students advance notice so they can be prepared with their devices and with their readings.



Bowen, J.A. (2012). Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom    Will Improve Student Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Draves, W. (2014). How to Teach Adults. River Falls: Lern.,

Weimer, M. (2016, March 16th). It’s Not About Hard or Easy Courses. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from Http://

Picture was retrieved from:

Creating an Info-Graphic



I recently had an assignment for my 3240 class, where we got to decide which project we wanted to do. Our options were an interview and an essay, creating a learning community, an Info-Graphic and Podcast or  PowerPoint and a Podcast.    I chose to do an infographic and Podcast since I had never done either project before, so I figure this would be a great learning experience.  This was defiantly an interesting project. It brought me out of my comfort zone, which is why I picked it. It was something different which is nice for a change. I wanted to try doing an Info-Graphic so I could understand what it was all about in case I want to use it as an assignment for my students. I liked using my creativity, it was a fun assignment.  I used the online site “Piktochart” to create my Info-Graphic. This site was pretty easy to figure out. It had lots of icons and graphics to choose from. Just like most sites you can access more tools if you want to sign up for the upgrade. I didn’t do the upgrade at this time since its a monthly fee and I have no future projects at the moment.

The only issue I found was that there was no spell check on the site. For the most part, I used word and transported my information over but I did add a few things directly. I would just recommend  double checking before publishing your final project.

Have fun creating!!

You can follow the link below to check out my finished project:

Create your own Info-Graphic at Piktochart website below:


Picture retrieved from Pinterest site at the link below:




Hybrid Course


Whether in person or online the emotional power of our subject and its human connection is an important part of what we teach. This means that face-to-face instruction will always have a deep value and that even in an online classroom the art of teaching will still be at a premium”(Bowen, 2012, p. 239).

You might be able to find endless course subjects online but will you find a teacher that knows you as more than just a name? There are some things that are not available in an online course. Creating personal relationships with teachers or students is one of them. What about building bonds with your peers? Online courses offer multiple opportunities to do group projects and collaborations but with so many courses online it can be a revolving door of new peers.

This is where the hybrid course fits in. It combines the increasing demands for online learning with the benefits of face-to-face instructional time.


Being an instructor is a social experience to me.  I enjoy getting to know all my students. I want to find out about their learning styles and what teaching techniques work for them. Lecturing is not an ideal way to connect to your students.  Lecturing is a way to deliver subject matter and a poor way at best. “… the assumption that traditional classrooms are stimulating and congenial learning environments brimming over with interpersonal empathy and intellectual energy, while online classrooms are lonely and isolated, needs hard scrutiny” (Brookfield, 2015, p.170). I feel that hybrid courses are the answer we are looking for. A hybrid course offers you the option to deliver your subject matter online with voiceover PowerPoints or videos, this helps to free up classroom time to focus on group discussions, assignments, and creating personal bonds with your students. I have been instructing part time for three years, I am always learning, always changing and exploring new things. I know that information and technology is always changing too. As an instructor, my job is to deliver the most up to date content, in the most engaging and motivating ways. This means staying current, doing research, understanding my students, and probably most important being flexible to changing with the times.


Times are changing and so are our students. They need to have a reason to come to class, especially if it is something they can do at home.  With a hybrid course, you can get the best of both worlds. In the Article, How to Successfully Teach a Blended Classroom, by Taunya Tremblay, she explains, “While you remain an expert and important source of instruction for your students, you may find your role shift to more of a learning facilitator.” Isn’t that the goal of a learner centred instructor? Be a facilitator, a mentor.  My goal is to use classroom time to answer questions and help students work through their assignments, to facilitate their learning.


My program is designed with theory and clinical courses. We do our best to use online resources like Moodle, to share articles, PowerPoints and have group discussions. We have also started to post our clinic demonstrations online as a resource for students to use at home. If classes are missed or students are struggling, they have access to these videos whenever they want.

With more new, young, and enthusiastic instructors joining our faculty the goals to change to a hybrid course are in the future.   This is the first year we have used Moodle for more than just student’s grades.  I know that these are just the first steps in changing to a hybrid course, it is not an easy process. It takes lots of planning and organizing and I don’t think it’s something you can do overnight. We have a long ways to go, but from what I have read in Teach Naked by Bowen, it is a slow, time-consuming process, but the benefits to our students are worth the work.



Bowen, J.A. (2012). Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom    Will Improve Student Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Tremblay, T. (2016, February 2nd). How to Successfully Teach a Blended Classroom. Retrieved from

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.




As an instructor I don’t just teach, I want to motivate and inspire.I wanted to become an instructor because I love my career. I love my patients, my bosses and my co-workers. I wouldn’t be able to do the job I do without any of them. Don’t get me wrong not every day is amazing, but the challenges we face teach us to grow, and change and come back and do it again the next day.

A few months back I started following Amy Purdy on Facebook. Her posts caught my eye because she was talking doing a photo shoot for a fitness magazine. Amy is a double leg amputee and Paralympic medal winning snowboarder. I was instantly in love with her. She shares her daily ups and downs on facebook like we are friends having coffee. I have followed her to Brazil where she performed at the opening ceremonies for the Paralympics and most recently to the hospital where she ended up after a rare illness.

From her hospital bed, she shared a link to her TED talks video. I have watched lots of TED talks on education and as much as I find them interesting but not many have inspired me. Today I wanted to add a post to my blog that was from me. Not on education, not on new media and technology but a post that inspired me to enjoy every day, live every moment, fight the battles you don’t think you can win. But most importantly be amazing!! You never know who is watching you. Whether it’s a student, a co-worker or your child, someone is out there is thinking you are amazing so don’t let them down.




As part of my PIDP 3240 course we have multiple forum based discussions where we share links to articles and online resources. One of the resource that caught my eye was the website Kahoot. For any of you unfamiliar with the site, you can create online quizzes, surveys and discussions. They have 11.2 million public kahoots you can use if you don’t have time or don’t want to create your own. I have had no problem finding quizzes that fit in multiple topics for my certified dental assisting program. I am pretty sure with 11.2 million there is something for almost every topic out there. The hardest part is going to be figuring out which one fits your needs best.

I was so excited to have an opportunity to introduce Kahoot to my students yesterday.  I had been trying to find the perfect class to incoperate an online game/quiz. In my class I was introducing the facial and cranial bones and  I was lucky enough to find a Kahoot that covered the exact same information I was teaching.

I used a Kahoot quiz as a review of what I had taught that class. I wanted to keep it short and pretty basic, nothing overwhelming for their first time.  I decided to play the team mode vs one on one, to make it less intimidating for any struggling students and more of an overall collaborative experience. I have to say Kahoot was a hit! My students loved it! They thought it was lots of fun and the perfect way to end our class for the weekend.To top it off the other instructor in my program could hear all the laughing and asked where she could find the link.

Kahoot was also helpful to me. From the student’s results, I learned that on one question 5 out of the 7 groups answered it wrong.  This feedback shows me what area of the subject matter my students were struggling with and now I have a starting point for my next class.

I would highly recommend this website to new and experienced instructors.

Have fun! Explorer! Learn!



Why do we continue to lecture, when the results keep telling us they are not the best way to deliver content? Why do we teach to only one learning style?  Students have changed, they expect more for their instructors and the same old boring lessons day after day are not going to be enough for them.  We all know why we do it because change is hard, it’s messy and takes a lot of energy. It’s not that we are lazy if we were lazy we wouldn’t be instructors. This job is not designed for lazy people. I have never worked so hard at a job as I have as an instructor. But I have to say the rewards are just as huge as the effort you put in. The day you get to pass your students their diploma’s, is worth all the hard work. It makes every late night and early morning easier.  It reminds me of being a parent. I can barely remember the sleepless nights and the exhausting days because the reward of a watching my children grow is a hundred times larger than any sleepless night.

Lucky for me I am a new instructor, I am not set in my ways. I actually don’t have any ways yet. Change is easier if you have never set expectations. My courses are planned, laid out and tied with a pretty bow but they aren’t mine. They aren’t my information, my research, I am not tied to them. It’s time for me to get creative, start using some of the new tools I have been learning about from my PIDP courses and put my students learning first. It’s time for me to start making some changes.

What You Should Know Before You Post on YouTube

I use YouTube not only as a source of informational videos for my students but also for myself. Whether it is for my own online schooling or for research on a topic for my class. To date, I haven’t been big on posting to YouTube only a few small items, but I am sure as I grow as an instructor  so will my YouTube posts.

My biggest concern with posting on YouTube is the same as posting to any site online. Where does it go? Who can access it? And what rights do I have? I came across a Ted Talk with Margaret Gould Stewart, and she explains a bit about YouTube’s policies and how you can protect yourself by registering under their content ID.

I have never heard of Margaret Gould Stewart before this video but after I read her Bio it sounds like she has moved on to Facebook. I am curious to see if she is in charge of copyrights with Facebook? I might have to do some more researching.


“If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further resistance,” Sir Ken Robinson

Wouldn’t it be great if we could light a spark under every learner in our classroom? Whether it’s an adult or a child learner, see their sense of wonder and excitement. I know I am teaching adult learners, but I think that they still need that spark of curiosity to get them motivated and engaged.  I love that my course offers students a chance to be successful in multiple types of evaluations. I feel it’s important to keep our students stimulated and inspired, so we can achieve success.  I know that we will never stop testing our students. Written evaluations are not going away anytime soon. What I do like is the idea that we are changing. That we can take a classroom full of students and know that they are going to be diverse in their on learning. That they will excel in different levels of knowledge and skills. I don’t see change happening overnight, but I believe it coming.

 “Standardized tests have a place, but they should not be the dominate culture of education. They should be diagnostic, they should help”

                                            Sir Ken Robinson


Here is a great Ted Talks with Sir Ken Robinson. I find his talks very inspirational.