Stronger Together

EDTC 300, Uncategorized

 

Hi friends!

This is my personal learning network post where I will map out and demonstrate the means in which I connected to other educators through different technology platforms. Using Google Community, Twitter, and WordPress blogs, I was able tointeract with my peers and other educators throughout the world to create a community of growth through technology.

Google Community:

Through this platform I was able to have all of my peers within my edtc300 class right at my finger tips. We all utilized this tool to ask any questions dealing with assignments and technology we may have needed assistance with. Take a look at an example of a problem I presented to the community and a few responses I received very quickly:

Having this tool was extremely useful and quite a stress relief. This could be really useful within a classroom when it comes to any assignments for students. No matter the subject or topic, students would be able to turn to their peers for resources and help. As teachers, we have too many different things to worry about, and if the students can figure out a solution before coming to me, it is not only productive but helpful. It also gives the chance for student who might have the same question to not even have to ask it!

Twitter:

Oh Twitter! How I have grown to both love and not enjoy you! Twitter was my biggest challenge this semester in creating a developing my personal learning network. I have never been the biggest fan of this platform as I talk too much and the characters it allows me is simply not enough to get my point across. However, it has been a wild ride and has allowed me to understand the importance in not only being clear and concise when making a point, but has allowed me to connect with educators locally and around the world.

My following and followers elevated in numbers with those whom I have class with, those whom I am motivated and inspired by, and those that care about the same goals in education that I do:

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I made sure to tweet out every blog post I made. This connection between my blog and twitter definitely increased my reader count and produced a lot more replies left on my posts:

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I retweeted and replied to my classmates posts throughout the week, hopefully letting them know that I not only agreed with what they were saying, but I supported their intent behind the tweet:

I even got to be a fan girl when I followed Mr. Alfie Kohn! I retweeted his tweets one to many times as I couldn’t help showing my devoted support of his theories and strategies:

Although he never replied, I will continue to keep retweeting and replying to him, haha!

I also used twitter as a means to showcase some articles about personal matters, but matters that my colleagues and even students could relate to. Things such as anxiety, what I was learning in other classes, as well as procrastination were some of the different topics I shared:

Finally, I was able to contribute to an #edchat earlier on in the semester. This was a phenomenal experience. Although hard to follow because it goes so darn quickly, I found I got the hang of it about half way through and began having conversations with educators from around the world. The conversations I was having were both meaningful and motivating as I realized so many educators hold the same beliefs I do. I wrote a blog post about this, but Ill post some photos down below as well! I interacted with many educators, but my most memorable was with Tamara Excell, whom is an educator located in Seattle! Isn’t that amazing! Mark E. Weston, who was facilitating the #edchat also joined our conversation. His twitter is the infamous Shift Paradigm. I felt oh so special! Our conversation was based around grades being detrimental to students learning (inspired to Alfie Kohn). Take a peak:

Although I have had the challenge of keeping up with posting on twitter, this was still a great experience overall. I was able to connect with people that confirmed why I wanted to become a teacher. I also just felt really cool when people retweeted or replied to me lol!

My Blog:

As part of themy edtc300 course we were to create two blog posts a week, as well as comment on three of our classmates posts each week. I actually really enjoyed this task each week as it allowed me to stay connected with my classmates, learn more about each, and it gave me some ideas on how to organize my blog and posts.

I kept a comments log throughout the semester on a simple word document in order to make sure I was on track each week. I contributed to a variety of my classmates blogs and posted comments of both support and some that had some extra resources within.

Daniel’s blog is one I followed consistently. I really enjoyed his learning project and class posts. His “Privilege” and “Burnt Out” posts really motivated me to share some resources:

 

Loved following some of my peers on their learning projects as well. I commented on many of my peers blogs, some more in depth, and many supportive comments in general. Olivia Jensen presented some great blog posts on her fetching skills with her Frisbee and her dog that were hilarious to read so I made a few comments on her posts:

fetching.png

 

Carol Todd’s visit was extremely powerful and many of my peers blog posts for that week were empowering to read. Laura Bieber had one post that really stuck out to me regarding Carol’s visit:

 

 

If you would like to take a peak at my comments log from all of the posts I left a comment on, click this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1J81AwGcV6_QAxFR6_8ydiYXpr-04c1vm-QuGAQ9EUbQ/edit

I also responded to the comments left on my own blog. I was amazed by all the amazing resources my peers  had left me; not to mention the support and encouragement I received :

 

 

So there it is my friends! This is my summary of how my personal learning network came to develop throughout this semester. Through all of the platforms listed above I had both successes and struggles, but I made it through and feel much more knowledgeable on how to connect with others through technology, how to create a digital citizenship and how to feel comfortable with doing so.

Check out my summary of learning this semester with Jessi Gaja. In this video we go through our experience with building our personal learning network on top of gaining knowledge about different platforms through technology:

 

That’s a wrap!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Encore

EDTC 300, Learning Project, Uncategorized

 

Hi friends!

This is my final #learningproject post for my #edtc300 class.

I had chose to learn how to play the guitar as I have always wanted to, yet never seemed to jump on the band wagon. A.K.A I want to become a rock star. Before I go a bit more in depth as to how my project has gone, I want to give you an overview of each week. I would like to think the process was as graceful as this dog skipping along:

mood GIF

(via giphy)

But it was not quite as elegant.

Overview of posts:

Week 1Learning to Play Guitar

This week explains how I came about my decision to learn how to play guitar and my motivations behind this choice.

Weeks 2 and 3 – How Do Rockstars make it Look so Easy

These two weeks were focused on getting comfortable with my positioning of my hands on the guitar strings. Using the videos and website “GuitarJams” I was able to learn the following chords:E Minor, C Major, A Minor, A Major, and D Major. I noticed some struggle with pain in my hands as they are quite small and not very flexible. My goal was to loosen this up so I was not focusing on my pain, but  more so the chords and connecting transitions to begin strumming notes chords together.

Weeks 4 and 5 – Guitar Chords Don’t Have to Be Tough

Having a job where I travel, some weeks there was such little progress that combining two weeks would contribute to creating more meaningful blog posts, so here was another two week combination for my readers. These weeks I had discovered that shorter videos were the ones that benefited me the most. They allowed me to sit down for a short amount of time and get my practicing in while I was on the road or stationed in a hotel room. It also allowed my anxiety that homework often gives me, to get my sessions done quickly and effectively. I discovered Yousician where chords were taught within one to two minute YouTube videos to create an ease in learning guitar. This was the first week where I filmed myself playing a few chords to create a visual for my viewers as to how far along I was coming. In this post I also introduce my pluses and deltas system as well as a summarizing question for my readers to contribute to a discussion that related to that particular post. I will explain these tactics later on in this post.

Week 6 – Smoke on The Water

This week was the first week I was able t introduce a video of myself playing an entire chorus of a song. Although simple. this was the first week where I felt an overwhelming success! I played “Smoke on the Water” in which it took a lot of practice and attention in order to switch from chord to chord. This week I found strumming to be the most difficult, however my transitions really came together.

Week 7 – Twinkle Twinkle Little Rockstar

This week was yet another successful week of learning another new song, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, otherwise known as a children’s classic, haha! I really enjoyed learning this as my boyfriend had mentioned if I learned this song, that I would be able to learn any song. The Chords in this song are the base of many others, so I felt amazing when I was able to get this down. I specifically learned the song from this YouTube video from Quail Guitar Studios. This video was very calm and clear in the instructions, so it was quite easy for me to follow along. After this week I had decided to discover the WHY behind people playing guitar, and I visit that within the next post down below.

Week 8 –  Strumming Some Love

After wanting to learn more about WHY people decide to play guitar or why they have a certain joy behind it, I focused this weeks post just on that. I link to an article as well as some videos of American Idol Auditions that have inspired me and continue to motivate me throughout this journey (mainly because I want to be them).

Week 9 – Back to the Basics

This week was simply a refresher of the past three learning project posts. I became unfamiliar with what I had learned. I thought this was really important to document as the struggles are what creates a learning opportunity and makes it meaningful. I re learned “Smoke on the Water” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and was successful in doing so. I felt a little unmotivated I had forgot, but hey, it happens! All part of the learning.

Week 10 – Breaking the Routine

This week I explained my struggles with anxiety and depression and breaking my routine of progressing my learning project. I felt as though I had been doing so well and then it suddenly came to a halt when homework began piling up (as it does near the end of every semester) and I had a break down. Again, this was an important struggle to document as it contributes the my learning experience. I was able to continue to practice the things I have learned up until this point as well as take a break form learning anything new in relation to guitar. Instead I switched my gears to learning about how to be productive when anxiety hits and I gained comes resources I could use for my students when it comes to dealing with anxiety and depression. Although this week was rocky, I was able to turn it into something positive.

Pluses and Deltas

Each week I used my system of Pluses and Deltas to discover what I had accomplished and where some areas of opportunity arose that I could focus on for the next week. This was a great tool I used as it allowed me to keep track of what I wanted to work on as I could reference back to it when I needed to understand what to work on. I found this kept me motivated throughout. This idea derived from my part time job at Sephora where I train a group of employees and each day we go through pluses and deltas to see what needs to be addressed the next day. Here are my main Pluses and Deltas for the end of this experience for now.

Main Pluses:

  • I learned more than I had expected to! Two songs is a huge accomplishment.
  • My hand positioning continues to improve and does not hurt anymore.
  • I really enjoyed this experience and am motivated to continue.

Main Deltas:

  • Confidence in strumming without lucking where my hand placement is
  • Remembering individual notes
  • Don’t let struggles effect my learning journey, they are part of it!

Summary Questions

At the end of each learning project post I posed a question to my readers so they could join me in my learning journey. These questions could be asking advice for the following week, to simply starting a conversation about their own learning projects. I figured keeping my readers involved with reading and motivating them to leave a comment with a question would be the best way to entertain readers and keep them reading. Here are some questions I asked:

  • So my question for my readers is, do you or someone you know struggle with anxiety? If so, what are your or their best practices to staying productive during the hard times?
  • WHAT is something you do that you love and WHY do you practice or do something that you love?
  • Are you finding a sense of calm in your learning journeys?
  • Any tips on gaining confidence of feeling the chords as opposed to looking at them?

As you can see they can be quite open prompts, or really specific questions. My motivation was simply to have my readers involved. I found that the more broad the question, the more intense and critical responses I received.

Online/ Tech Resources

The following resources are the ones I used during my experience with learning guitar. Learning through technology platforms is not easy until you find the right one. That’s why I went the route with trial and error to find what worked best for me, and when I did, it worked out perfectly. This is important for teachers to think about as students have many different ways in which they learn. Many options for learning resources online should be given to the students so they can explore what works best for them.

  • Guitar Jamz: This was extremely helpful to begin. Slow and steady pace for learning, and great explanations. I found as I went on, the shorter the videos the more helpful. So as this was great to start with, I did not keep with it throughout the semester.
  • Yousician: This is the program/ videos that really guided me through my experience. The videos are clear and concise and having a busy schedule, it allowed me to gain a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time.
  • GuitarSix : is a blog that focuses on strategies to help recall the knowledge and skills while in the process of learning guitar. After losing recollection of how to play the two songs I learned, this was extremely helpful moving forward and avoid forgetting again.
  • Quail Studios Guitar: Again, another video platform, this one specifically taught me how to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. Great easy to follow video, that is calming and rather nice to watch. Great teacher within the video and clear instruction. This channel provides many different songs to learn, categorized from easy to more difficult.
  • Others Comments/ Support: It truly was the #edc300 community that allowed me to thrive and stay motivated during this whole process. Without the support, feedback, conversation and critical questions they asked me, I could not have done it without them. It really helped to know my peers were working on the same assignment as me and having successes and struggles just as I was. If I was stumped with what to write about, or how to format a particular blog post I simply looked to them or asked them for inspiration and they always gave it. Students could really benefit from an assignment where a community like this develops.

Where Am I Now/ Assessment of Learning

I am still practicing guitar as I have found a new found love for it during this journey. I mentioned anxiety and depression that is stress related within my last post. This new skill has given me a resource to find serenity in times of panic.

So have I truly developed my skills? Yes! I am so proud of how far I have come in this learning journey, and what I have learned. I did not have a computer until about two years ago so my tech knowledge was slim to none. Knowing I took my learning into my own hands and used the internet to teach myself something new is extremely rewarding. I am so proud of myself!

dance dancing GIF

(via giphy)

I have learned a lot during this experience. First off being my new love for learning through online resources and technology. This has opened my eyes to a new world of teaching through what our world is becoming ruled by. Our students are so dependent on technology and this class has given me hopes that I can use their obsession to guide their education. This will create an innovative and interactive classroom that will spark students interest and allow them to enjoy learning.

I have learned patience is key in a learning project. I found through this experience that I was not only looking up resources for how to play guitar, but also how to stay organized, how to have patience with learning something new, and how to handle stress and anxiety alongside of learning a new skill. Without these tools I would not have been successful. I think its important to incorporate these for students as well so they have a set of resources for motivation.

Finally I have learned to keep up! Especially with having weekly blog posts, commenting and doing my learning project, it is important to stay on track. I found myself flustered if I didn’t. Creating a schedule for practicing and writing these posts became a must during this process. Students would need an organizer for an assignment such as this so they could feel confident in keeping up too.

Overall, this assignment was a fun an innovative practice that I really enjoyed. I love that I found a passion for a new skill, but also learned some new techniques to finding resources online, potentially gaining some new material for a future classroom of my own.

In the classroom this could be a useful idea for students within many different subjects. Its an interactive way for students to take responsibility of their own learning through online platforms. They are not only learning to have confidence in learning a new skill, but gaining skill in technology and creating relationships through online resources.

I will leave you with one final question: Are you continuing on with your learning project? If so, why are you choosing to?

Thanks,

Alyssa

 

 

A Long Reflection Finally Surfaced

EDTC 300, Uncategorized

Hi friends.

This post has taken me awhile to build up the courage to post as I have been reflecting.

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of listening to Carol Todd speak about digital citizenship, the importance of teaching our students the safety measures along with utilizing technology, and her daughter Amanda.

Check out Amanda’s story here:

After hearing Carol speak about her daughter’s story and the struggles she went through, my mind opened to new possibilities and the importance of technology in the classroom. Not only is it important for technology to be used within the classroom for an interactive and progressive experience for the students, but teaching the safety behind using these platforms (specifically social media).

My very close friend has been negatively effected by social media platforms and the misuse of them. She now has trouble finding a job because of a “promiscuous” photo once posted. A truly great human is now affected by depression and social anxiety because of a horrific experience that she now reflects upon. She once said to me: “I wish someone would have told me how negatively the internet can effect someone. If I had been warned, this would not have happened.”

Carol spoke about the platforms often used within the classroom such as social media tools like Twitter and Instagram. Students these days, use these as well as Snapchat to gain acceptance and connect with new faces and stay in contact with old. Although extremely useful and progressive, these application can become a tool to essentially create a negative image upon someone. Digital citizenship and identity is something that we need to be speaking to with students so they understand that even their actions and decisions with these platforms at a young age can affect their futures.

This makes me think to back when I digitally sleuthed my colleague Jessi Gaja. I was not able to find anything that could reflect negatively upon her digital identity, however that is because we have has the training to practice creating a safe and positive digital citizenship for many years. Students in elementary, high school and even other faculties of post secondary are not exposed to the importance of safety on the internet.

In classrooms, not only exposing the safety precautions needed to take place, but showing the consequences or using examples of the negative effects that can happen is so crucial. To get you started, I did some research on finding some lesson plans on internet safety. Although catered towards younger grades, these plans could easily be manipulated to benefit older students in coherence with social media apps. Check this out:

https://educators.brainpop.com/bp-jr-topic/internet-safety/

Carol Todd’s visit was extremely heart felt and educational. I truly appreciate her taking the time to speak to us about the importance of technology as well as the needed training of why digital identity and the safety measures needed, has to be taught within the classroom.

To Carol Todd:

Thank you Carol, so very much, for all that you do and being fearless in sharing your own story along with Amanda’s. The work that you do to make educators and everyone around the world more knowledgeable about digital citizenship, internet safety and the importance behind each is truly inspiring. Not only are you so very appreciated, but creating an environment around the world that will truly help others.

Alyssa

Breaking The Routine

EDTC 300, Learning Project

Hello friends!

This is my week ten #learningproject post. I know I’m posting this quite late, but I have been recording my notes each week so I could sit down later on and finish up my blog posts as it has been way to hectic the past two weeks to get any small assignments done as the big ones were standing in the way.

With no finals this semester all of my semester projects were due, therefore they needed my attention.

My title “Breaking the Routine” is simply because week ten I had to take a break from my learning project. I did not quit all together as I had been picking up the guitar to continue practicing my “twinkle twinkle little star“, and “smoke on the water“.  But in general, I put learning anything new to a halt. Not only because of my assignments, but because of my mental health, which I think is important to share.

scared paper bag GIF by davidsaracino

#anixetyatitsfinest

(via giphy)

Dealing with anxiety and depression for many years, I notice that as soon as school becomes extremely stressful I tend to have a bit of a break down and separate myself from the tasks that need to get done. I did a little research on finding some articles and blogs that could help me stay on task. The blog/article: 7 Ways to Turn Anxiety into Productivity, was the most motivating I have found in years. If you suffer from, or know someone who does (and teachers you will certainly have students who do) please take a look.

So for this week in my learning project, I read a book. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with learning about guitar, but more so about how to cope with anxiety and depression to stay on track and work through the struggles. So all in all this week was actually quite productive because reading this book pushed me through the hard times to pick up that guitar and at least practice what I has already previously learned. This read allowed me to have enough strength to preserve my knowledge.

I read What You Must Think of Me by Emily Ford. The novel What You Must Think of Me by Emily Ford is an emotionally heart breaking and refreshingly honest retelling of life experiences, while dealing with social anxiety and depression. Outlining her struggles to get help, readers gain insight into the strategies that can lead to a happier and healthier life. The sub headings within each chapter switch back and forth from her narratives in experiencing social anxiety, to outlining exactly what the disability is by definition and showcasing studies to support why certain treatments may or may not be successful. Ford gives clear and concise advice for specific situations that can cause social anxiety, giving readers preventative measures so they might not have to go through as many struggles as she did. Alongside of preventing a life of trauma, she proposes many strategies of how to gain control of already possessing social anxiety. Each section connects to the next as if she were telling her story chronologically and what advice she could have used at each stage in dealing with her troubles.

I think it is extremely important to outline the struggles and opportunities that come along with the learning project. How can one truly learn if there is no room for improvement or not set backs?

In true fashion of my learning project posts, here are my pluses (accomplishments or things that went well this week) and deltas (room for improvement or areas of opportunity).

Pluses:

  • I was still productive even though it was a tough week mentally.
  • I was able to harness my anxiety into something positive.
  • I kept up my practice with the songs and notes I know and have already learned.
  • I feel better!

Deltas:

  • I did not build upon my prior knowledge towards learning guitar.
  • I am going to have to work extra hard in my final week of learning.

So my question for my readers is, do you or someone you know struggle with anxiety? If so, what are your or their best practices to staying productive during the hard times?

Thanks for reading,

 

Alyssa

What I Now Know About Technology

EDTC 300

This is is Jessi Gaja and myself’s Final Summary of Learning Project for our EDTC300 class! Take a peak:

In this video we outline each of the platforms we used throughout this semester, our thoughts on them, the changes and successes we had, as well as how our learning projects went.

I think the video summarizes what I learned this semester very well. Going into this semester of very little knowledge within the technology world, I feel as if I have no become an expert.

The tools we learned about are something we could easily use within the classroom to keep students entertained, intrigued and curious.

Please watch and enjoy!

 

Alyssa