Exploring Influential Individuals in Ed Tech: Christine Pinto

The list of influential people in the field of Ed Tech is long, Christine Pinto has paved her way into the field of Ed Tech by finding innovative ways to bring play and technology together for young learners. Pinto has been recognized on the top 30 EdTech’s 2021 K-12 IT Influencers list. She is a kindergarten teacher in southern California as well as an active blogger, on her blog Innovative play. On her blog Pinto shares resources and offers advice for teachers on how to integrate tech into schools for younger students. Pinto is all about empowering young learners by developing scaffolded lessons around the integrations of technology and apps within the classroom. Pinto believes in extended learning experiences through multimodal approaches to support, conversations and documentation of students’ learning. Christine works to find natural ways to integrate technology into learners’ play environments. Pinto has also become well known for the slow chat she and Jessica Travel hosted on Flipgrid. 

Christine’s choice to focus on primary years was a bold one and the reason I choose to highlight her role in Ed Tech. Using tech with young students is not easy. Many young students are still learning to read and write, nevermind using and navigating an iPad or Chromebook. Christine’s work in Ed Tech is invaluable as she redefines what young students’ are capable of when using technology in the classroom. She gives teachers, parents and educators the tools and platforms to develop young students’ foundational Tech skills. Teaching students to use technology to support their learning at a young age enables them to have the skills and foundation to thrive in an ever evolving world of technology.. 


Here are some links to check out some of Christine Pinto’s active platforms.


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pintobeanz11/?hl=en

Christine Pinto also uses the hashtags #GAFE4littles (Google Apps For Educating 4 littles) and #Inovatingplay

Interview with Christine Pinto: https://youtu.be/NGD1wBCIorc

Books: Christine Pinto and Alice Keller Book Google Apps for Littles:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38600930-google-apps-for-littles

Christine Pinto and Jessica Labar-Twomey Inovaiting Play: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/innovating-play/9781951600457-item.html

25 Years of Ed Tech.

This week in the MALAT program we continued to explore the book 25 Years of Ed Tech by Martin Weller. Specifically, we were asked to look at two chapters, one that was relevant to our field of work and one that contradicted or field of work. I choose to explore Chapter 11: Open Educational Resources (OER) and Chapter 12: Videos.

Chapter 12 explores the rise of videos in ed tech. It explored how videos came in and replaced many common practices such as watching TV, lecturing, as well as being a new way to gain information. The rise of videos created new opportunities for anyone to share videos gaining popularity and seeing the introduction of influencers. With the rise of videos in 2005 also prompted the idea of flip classrooms. This means learners learn a concept on their own at home watching a video or a lecture and then come to class to apply the concept. Weller claimed that  videos “use as an assessment format is still relatively limited” (Weller, 2019 p.89). As an elementary school teacher I have to disagree with this statement. In the last few years there has been a shift in younger years k-5 of using video as a tool of assessment. When giving students a final assignment, video is included in the options for how the students can present their assignment. Students are learning how to make imovies, flip grids, and stop motions videos and can use these to demonstrate their learning. For students who face barriers to writing, videos provide an alternative way for students to show their learning. Instead of a student writing their test they can take a video of themselves answering the questions as an alternative to writing it. Laura and Lee touched on the idea of videos providing a form of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the podcast between the chapters. While Laura and Lee did not specifically address using videos as a form of assessment in the podcast, Laura concluded the podcast with a powerful statement. While Lee referred to videos in education as being a “crutch” Laura argued that they can be a useful tool if videos are “more meaningful, purposeful and intentional with our videos” (Pasquin, 2021). 

Another topic explored in this week’s reading included Open Educational Resources (OER). This chapter delved into how in 2004 MIT prompted a movement to create and licence resources so that they can be accessed online without cost and be reused and repurposed. OER has changed the game for elementary teacher education and is relevant to the field of teaching. Having resources readily available online to adapt and use in the classroom is invaluable. No longer having to recreate the wheel, spending hours learning and creating lessons for every topic, OER has created an online community for teachers to share their resources and lessons for others to use. One of the biggest sites that came into practice in 2006 is Teachers-pay-Teachers. While there are some costs associated with Teachers-pay-Teachers there is an abundance of free resources. 


Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. Athabasca University Press.

Pasquin, L. (Host). (2021, January  28). Between The Chapters:Talking Videos with @readywritting (No. 12) In Between the Chapters. Publisher. URL


25 Years of Ed Tech (Part 1)

This week our cohort began to read the book 25 Years of ED Tech by Martin Weller. This book is an overview of the history and progression of technology in education starting in 1994 and ending in the year 2018. Some of the topics for the chapters I read this week included; Wikis, E-learning, Constructivism, and The Web. I have not previously explored the history of ED tech and was surprised to learn how many strong foundations in technology had already been developed between the years 1994 and 2001.

A common compelling theme that was reiterated throughout these first few chapters is that these early years of technology may have not achieved what each was instead but rather they paved the path for later advanced technology. The chapter on wikis stood out to me. In particular, when Weller (2020) says “ It is not necessarily that wikis as a technology have not fully realized their potential, but rather, the approach to ed tech they represent -cooperative and participatory- has been replaced” (p. 41-42). Before reading this chapter I had thought of wikis/Wikipedia as a place to quickly get information and not as a reliable source of information. As a teacher it is one of those things that you chat with your class about, don’t use Wikipedia as it can be edited and changed and is not credible on its own. What I had not previously thought was the importance wiki played in the foundation that Wikipedia represented as a place to collaborate and share. This theme was also reiterated in the chapter on e-learning when Weller (2020) says that “e-learning set the framework for the next decade of ed tech” (p. 47). Lastly, this theme of paving the way was also shared in the 1997 chapter on constructivism. Constructivism, similar to much of the technology around this time, was quickly adopted as the new way of teaching/learning. Reflecting on how I use technology in my classroom I see many lessons and curriculum that reflect aspects of constructivism, specifically student-centered learning where students heir experiences. Similar to how wikis and e-learning created a platform for later technology to build upon, constructivism was a foundational framework that has been adopted and used in balance with teacher instruction and student experiences to create authentic learning opportunities for students. 


Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. AU Press, https://doi.org/10.15215/aupress/9781771993050.01


Podcast With Geroge Veletsianos

This past week in the MALAT program we had the opportunity to ask George Veletsianos questions we had about research. For anyone who isn’t familiar with George Veletsianos  is “a full Professor in the School of Education and Technology at Royal Roads University. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology and the Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Flexible Learning” (Veletsianos, 2021). There were a variety of questions asked all dressing unique and various topics within the umbrella of research. To give an example of some of the types of questions asked here a few from our class document; what risks do students take when they share academic work publicly on a blog?, How do you address biases? and What did you wish you would’ve known from the start?

Dr. Veletsianos responses were insightful, helpful and comprehensive. I found it very valuable how he broke down how to start with your scope, narrowing it down first and then expanding your scope based on the results of your literature. The analogy of thinking of it as a reverse onion was a useful analogy to think about approaching research visually. During his podcast Veletsianos made a comment about competing literature reviews and knowing where to start. He made a comment ensuring that your research is adding value to what is already in existence. This will helpful for me to keep in the back of my head going forward and completing additional critical analysis as well as going forward  and doing a literature review myself. He highlighted the need to only review the revenant and guiding literature not the entire data base of literature. The point of the literature review is to use this literature to help show and highlight the importance of your research. 



Veletisano, G. (2021) About Me. WordPress. https://www.veletsianos.com/about-2/

What Makes a Good Research Question?

This week in the MALAT program we explored what makes a good research question. 

After exploring various sites I created a bullet point list that summarizes some of the key findings. Before developing your research question it is  helpful to consider these few things;

  • What type of paper are you writing (History, Biology, Analytical or Argumentative) your research question will change depending on the type. 
  • Doing pre-research is recommended before developing your research question. 

A good research question needs to be…

Researchable – This means that your research question can be answered using information available such as, primary or secondary sources. It also means that your question can be answered.  

Clear and Focused –  McCombes argues that a good research question “ should aim to improve understanding and suggest possibilities rather than asking for a ready-made solution” (McCombes, 2021) 

Specific – A good research question needs to be specific so it can be answered. If the scope is too broad, the question will not be answered thoroughly enough. The question needs to be specific enough so it can be manageable within the word count/time constraints. (Popp. A & Hung. P, 2009) 



Developing research questions. Research & Learning Online. (2020, November 20). https://www.monash.edu/rlo/research-writing-assignments/understanding-the-assignment/developing-research-questions.

Hung, P, Popp, A. (2009). Learning to Do Historical Research: A Primer How to Frame a Researchable Question [Blog post]. http://www.williamcronon.net/researching/questions.htm

McCombes, S. (2021, March 22). Developing Strong Research Questions: Criteria and Examples. Scribbr. https://www.scribbr.com/research-process/research-questions/#:~:text=A%20good%20research%20question%20requires,argument%20to%20provide%20an%20answer.&text=The%20answer%20to%20the%20question,and%20interpret%20what%20you%20found

Unit 3 Reflection

Dave Cormier shared about creating positive pro-social spaces online, in his presentation  The Participatory Open, he asked the question “how are we making the world better, how are we making it represent our values” (Cormier, 21:40). This question resonates with me and guides my decisions  as I think reflectively on my goal to cultivate my digital presence and share my passion for AAC, while bringing awareness and understanding.  

Incipiently, I thought I was cultivating my digital presence within a community, however thereafter exploring Teaching Crowds (Dron &Anderson, 2014) and Digital Learning Environments (Veletsianos, 2016) my digital  presence more closely aligns within the constraints or rather the lack of constraints in a network, as there is no boundaries within a network (Veletsianos, 2016).  Dron and Anderson (2014) argue that a “network provides an ideal context for sharing information, ideas, and questions” (Dorn & Anderson, 2014) On Instagram, the content I am sharing is centered around programming, personal experiences, and ideas about integration of AAC, thus supporting the values of a network more closely than that of a community. With a new understanding of networks, I plan to continue to build my network by fostering a place for digital relationships to develop. Dron and Anderson (2014) in figure 5.1 it shows that networks provide a space for high levels of disclosure. This week my focus will be on creating content for my followers to engage with and to continue to share their experiences and challenges.  



Dron, J, & Anderson, T. (2014). Teaching Crowds. Athabasca University Press. Chapter 5.

Stewart, B., Phipps, L., & Cormier, D. (2019, April 10). The Participatory open: Can we build a Pro-Social, Pro-Societal web? [Video]. You Tube. https://oer19.oerconf.org/sessions/the-participatory-open-can-we-build-a-pro-social-pro-societal-web-o-127/

Veletsianos, G. (2016). Digital Learning Environments. In N. Rushby & D. Surry (Eds), Handbook of Learning Technologies (pp. 244). UK: John Wiley & Sons, Accessed on May 06, 2021. From; https://www.veletsianos.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/digital_learninig_environments.pdf

My Social Networks

As a part of this week’s activities, we were asked to show a visual of our digital networks. The visual above was created with Kumu. Kumu transforms an excel spreadsheet into a visual to show networks and connections. Each node represents a person that I am connected with. From the legend, youcan see that the networks represented include Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, and Snapchat.

 While many people used their data from linked in to create their network, I do not have a strong digital presence on linked in, so the data was retrieved individually from each platform. This presented challenges within my network. While this visual paints a clear picture of what my digital network looks like at a glance, it is not accurate. In “real life” there are many more connections between social platforms. My friends, coworkers, and peers do not use the same name consistently on all social media platforms. Kumu did not make the connection between a Facebook friend named Kristine Irvine who goes by @kristy_irvine on Instagram, therefore leaving gaps within my networks. This highlights the importance of understanding your digital footprint within digital networks. To expand my digital presence it is important to understand how to create a digital presence that remains continuous among different social platforms.

George Veletsiano in his chapter on Digital Learning Environments describes two types of participation in digital networks, friendship-driven, and interest-driven. George defines friendship-driven participation as “behaviours and interactions with peers as [we] go about day-to-day activities” (Veletsiano, 2016, 224). This is different then interest-driven participation as interest-driven participation is “activities structured around interests, hobbies and /or career aspirations” (Veletsiano, 2016, 224). Looking at my map according to George Veletsiano my participation in my digital network is heavily friendship-driven. My interactions within my digital networks are often instant messaging, sharing videos, and keeping in touch with friends. Going forward this emphasizes the need to develop more networks that are interest-driven, specifically centered around career aspirations, to expand my connections within my network. 


Veletsianos, G. (2016). Digital Learning Environments. In N. Rushby & D. Surry (Eds), Handbook of Learning Technologies (pp. 242-260). UK: John Wiley & Sons, Accessed on May 03, 2021. from; https://www.veletsianos.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/digital_learninig_environments.pdf 

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Cultivating My Digital Identity

We have been asked to Cultivate our Digital Identities. This is a diverse topic and will look different for everyone. For my plan I started by asking myself who I want to be online. Trinidad Lupion tells us that to cultivate your digital identity you must, “make your virtues stand out. Once you evaluate what you can offer and not someone else, make it stand out.” (Lupion, 2020) This quote inspired my goal to cultivate my digital identity as a professional. I also guided my plan using ethical principles as described by Dianne Forbes (2020). I composed my plan similar to an IEP (Individual Education Plan) as that is what I am comfortable and familiar with.

Initial Digital Identity Digital Plan

Goal : Cultivate a space for people to access information and resources about Augmentative and Alternative Communication, while bringing awareness to AAC.

-I have a strong understanding of how to teach a student to use AAC.
-I have years of experience working with Touchchat, Novachat, and Proloquo to go.
-I have participated in training from various Speech Language Pathologists around using AAC as well as participating in various virtual workshops.

-How the Touchchat, Novachat, and Proloquo systems work.
-Navigating social media platforms in a public manner and Networking
-Being confident enough in my abilities to share my learning and findings
-Maintaining confidentiality when sharing about students learning/work

1.1 Create an Instagram account where I can provide weekly updates about using an AAC device. This may include something new that I tried that week, a tutorial about using the device or a story about the device.

1.2 Reflect back on my experience using AAC on my personal wordpress blog. This page will be a place for me to connect literature and research about AAC and my personal experiences.

-Reach out to other professionals who work with AAC devices to share -experiences and to network my social platforms.
-Dive deeper into literature around AAC, specifically in regards to the benefits of using AAC, promoting a community around AAC, and how to promote language.

-I will have a network of people who use and access my content regularly as evidenced by likes, shares, comments and reposts.
-I will feel more comfortable about sharing my experiences online as evidenced by the frequency of posting content online.

Forbes, D. (2017). Professional Online Presence and Learning Networks: Educating for Ethical Use of Social Media. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(7). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i7.2826

Lupión, T. (2020, September 16). Build your digital identity. GMOL Solutions. https://gmolsolutions.com/en/blog/build-your-digital-identity/

Comparing Tension Pairs

Dave Cormier and David White both offer interesting perspectives on tension pairs. David White refers to our digital interactions as being either visitors or residents. David explains that using certain digital technologies we can identify as visitors and others we can identify as residents. He refers to the tension pair as a continuum, emphasizing that your identification as a visitor or a resident may change based on content. (Le Cornu. A & White. D, 2011)  Dave Cormier’s perspective of tension pairs differs from David White’s, Dave offers the idea of analouge and digital, paired with collaborative and individual. Dave’s map focuses on what someone is trying to achieve or get done. Dave’s perspective is centered around interactions instead of the tools used for interaction. (Cormier, 2018)  Both Dave and David’s mapping perceptions can help one gain a better understanding of how we interact with social media and the footprints we leave behind. However, I thought that mapping my digital identity as a visitor and resident created a clearer picture of my presence online. I wonder if I had the chance to use Dave’s tension pairs in a group setting if I’d have more of a connection to this pair. 



Cormier, D. (2018, March). Digital practices mapping: Intro activity for digital literacies course, Accessed on April 24, 2021 from: http://davecormier.com/edblog/2018/03/31/digital-practices-mapping-intro-activity-for-digital-literacies-course/

White, D. & Le Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement, First Monday. Accessed on April 24, 2021 from: https://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049

Visitor and Residents: Mapping my Digital Identity

Mapping my digital presence was an eye-opening experience. It was a distinguishing way to identify how many social platforms I navigate in my day-to-day life. David and Alison offer a relevant perspective on mapping our digital presence, they claim “we are all members of multiple communities and have to negotiate our roles and identities as we navigate the ‘nexus’ of communities we belong to”.(Le Cornu. A & White. D, 2011) I recognize this as an important point, as when I began to map everything out I noticed overlap and crossover between platforms. When mapping my role as a visitor or a resident I found myself questioning what community I belong to when using certain social media platforms and what role I have embodied while using that platform. 

I noticed after mapping out the social media I use that I have a strong presence as a visitor for my personal and professional use. While I am a resident in my personal use, I do not have a robust presence as a resident in my work and academic social media. I hope to reflect on this experience and repeat it in a year to see how this program has impacted my digital presence, specifically related to my presence as an institutional resident. 



White, D. & Le Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement, First Monday. Accessed on April 20, 2021 from: https://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049

White, D. (2013). Just mapping. Accessed on April 21, 2021 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK1Iw1XtwQ