Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wrap Up

Tomorrow evening will be our last ecmp355 class. I must say, I'm excited and relieved but on the other hand, kind of bummed as it was one of my most interactive and intriguing classes I had over the semester. I learned so much about the power of the web, all the different types of free media, and the importance in contribution we each have. Technology is changing and with that, so should education, so this course is beneficial for us future teachers.
As the internet is based on networking and socializing with one another, did my knowledge on social learning expand. I remember hearing from my father (on numerous occasions) how I'm wasting my time using sites as Facebook or Myspace, "You could be doing something more productive." But little did he know, I was contributing to the online society. But beyond the idea of Facebook, I kept a blog, an online journal with class assignments (tech tasks), and personal entries. It allowed others to see my progress and my struggles, as it did the same for my classmates. Students would normally not want to share assignments they've done, but this class was different as it allowed each one of us the opportunity to help, and learn for one another. We came up with different solutions, solutions that suited our learning, and intrigued us on an individual level. We could present things in other ways other than just using the written word. Photos were used, audio was incorporated, music and moving picture as well. Sometimes we could do it alone, other times we needed a helping hand, and even though we didn't physically come to class every Wednesday evening, learning still took place in the comfort of our home.
Of course to add to the mixing pot, we were given different classrooms from around the country/North America/world. We would interact and share what we learned with others and in exchange, would gain experience. For some it worked, but for others, it didn't. This project would require much co-ordination and consistency. Thankfully, my stirring pot had both. Stephanie Olson and I started with a bang, as I began my half of the work the next day. My job would be to keep up 13 of her students blogs, and comment them. I helped correct small errors, give them advice on how to make their entries more intriguing but also I would create just small talk so that her students would know they weren't just appealing to another "teacher", but an audience outside of that. It was amazing to see how fast these kids learned, and with that I too would learn and realize how children are ever learning. They soak things up so quickly and are ready for the next thing.
In contrast to my mentorship with Stephanie's class, I found it hard to come up with things to do with Seth Dickens Italian students. Because of the small age gap (his students ranging from 17-19 years), I felt I lacked any authority or "spine" to say anything as I too was in a similar path as them. We began with creating an introductory video, which some students could relate, but my following video would eventually fall through. Time was shortened and I was unable to create my informative video on what Personal Learning Networks(PLN's) were. The idea of visiting the students via skype would too fall through as the vast time difference would interfere with both our schedules.
Eventually I lost contact with both teacher within the past two weeks as school is drawing to an end. Projects, essays and assignments for other classes would fill my time, but I would like to maintain these relationships with these teachers for possible future projects. Who knows.
As much as I learned about other people and technology, did I notice in myself a change. I sensed growth in knowledge. I would learn and soon apply this apprehension in my future. I'm proud to understand the importance and the influence I can have within this internet world, and can than incorporate into the classroom.

Photo found using flickr
By futurowoman

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Final Project: DIY #2

In theme of my first DIY video tutorial, I decided to make a second video for those that don't have a sewing machine and don't want to spend money on material.
I wanted to have a more eco-friendly approach as using old articles of clothing and making them into something new and exciting (instead of throwing them out). I decided I would leave the storyboard out of this, as it was more of a spur of the moment video I created to accommodate to different needs and resources. In result this is what I ended up with.

If anyone wants to pursue more sewing projects, I recommend threadbangers, a youtube channel that provide innovative ideas for a greener environment.

Final Project: DIY Leggings

It is such a relief to be able to say that I am finally done my major project for this class. Due to this project, among several others, I have somewhat neglected my mentoring, but I'll leave that for another blog.
My original idea was to post a second storyboard to this, using the script and the photos embedded onto a blog, but their were far too many photos, and it would be time consuming. Instead, I will just immediately post the video.
So now, here's the world's premiere of my very first video tutorial on how to make leggings. Enjoy!

Ps: I would like to thank my aunt for letting me use her machine, which was a last minute call after my machine failed on me. Ivan who helped film me and keep my cool. And Ivan's mac, because my own laptop ended up crashing. Sorry the video clips are so sporadic.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Incredibly Frustrating

Never have I been so frustrated with people before. I feel as though I have been repeating myself, and now I'm a lovely shade of blue. And I am surprised by the ignorance and stubborness of these people, these people of the same generation as I am.
The topic of course is the U-Pass.
For those of whom don't know what this U-Pass thing is, I will fill you in. So during the month of Feburary and March, the University of Regina introduced a new referendum, to allow for all students to have a bus pass and have the express bus routes continue, and run longer all for the cost of $69 a semester. Students that lived outside of the city were the only people that could opt out. Now for this last year the university had the transit system provide an express route, which are availible in certain area's in the city, such as the north, east and south, that took students directly to the university, in a matter of 15 minutes. The bus routes ran from 6:30am until 9:30am and ran again at 2pm until 6:30pm. This was basically a free "trial". Now the gap from 9:30am to 2pm was inconvenient but what this referendum would do is have these express routes have the full availibilty from 6 to 6.
Students were truely torn by this referendum as people debated its importance. The students on the opposing side didn't understand how it would benefit them as they drove to school, and how an additional $69 was going to "kill" them. This is where I turn that lovely shade of indigo. To begin, the students that truely are the ones "suffering" are the ones who currently take the bus (either that, or they want to reduce their carbon footprint). Those who can afford the luxury of a car, especially with the teetering (upward) gas prices, have some better economic being. This bus pass is also applicable to regular buses, weekdays and weekends, and would lower the cost for us from $69 a semester, over what students regularly pay, which is $48 a month. Aswell the increase in time the express bus routes is splendid as it becomes more convenient and availible allowing for an alternative for those who drive to school. It helps the university lower its carbon footprint, and promotes a greener environment.
Now the downfall: if the referendum is voted down, these express buses will be taken out, and students will have to resort to regular bus routes. What this means is what would normally take anyone (going straight to school) 15 minutes, would be a agonizing hour and thirty minutes. And if this happens, people will resort to driving to school, will have to buy a parking permit (or park somewhere incredibly far otherwise- in risk of a ticket and cold walks in winter), and this allows for more CO2 emissions. I don't want to get a car, I don't want to pay $100+ parking, I don't want to create more polution in our natural environment, but because of the incredible inconvenience, and unavailibity of our ridiculous transit system, I might HAVE to resort to this. And because of peoples closed minded minds, that wont allow for a positive change because there is a small price to it, our transit system will never improve. They're offering changes, changes we've longed to have, and we're just pushing it away because of the majority don't want to "sacrifice" $69, which will go towards junk food, or a pair of jeans.
Look at it this way, I don't ever use the gym, so why should I pay for a $130 gym pass I will never use? Because other students WILL use it and benefit from it. So why are people so opposed to helping one another? Next to go is our universal health care if people so selfishly continue to think this way.

Step off the map and float...

View Larger Map

So here is my personal Google map that I have created on Igoogle. What I chose to include were some of my favorite local shops that I go to, some local pubs and places that have live bands play, restaurants and a craft store. Looking at this map made me realize that I spend the majority of my time downtown in Regina, which is funny because I live in the east end. I like to promote the local shops of Regina, because I believe they offer some new and refreshing things that box stores may not carry, and it's always nice knowing your money goes back to your community instead of some million dollar chain store.
I had some trouble figuring out how to add photos onto my map, so in the end, I used little icons they already offered in frustration.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Final Project : StoryBoard Draft

Here's a rough draft of how the Video tutorial will pan out. Of course I will update it with the actual photos, than the finished project.
During the making of this, everything that could go wrong, DID go wrong: my sewing machine went crazy, Ivan lost the manual during the move to the new place, the tutorial online was not clear enough so I ended up making the first pair of leggings wrong.
In the end, I did overcome these barriers, but this project turned out to be longer than I expected. I also ended up going to my Aunts house to use her sewing machine (which I got a free meal out of- so that wasn't so bad). Now all that there is left to do is to make the video, create some voice clips and I'll be done. I was hoping to include a couple of other little DIY- eco-friendly idea's for old clothing, to go with my theme of DIY, but only if I have time.

Video Introduction
"Hi I'm Alejandra and today I'm going to show you how to make your very own pair of DIY leggings. All you'll need for this project is a sewing machine, some measuring tape, a meter or so of stretchy fabric, I used some spandex, with matching thread, an elastic for the waist - if you want to save cash you can use one from an old artice of clothing, some chalk, pins, and scissors.
Let's get started!"

Picture: Fabric laid out on table
Audio- "First, lay out your fabric on the table, folded in half."

Audio- "Start off by finding out your personal measurements.Use your measuring tape to determine the length from..."

Picture- Audio- "your waist to your ankle"

Picture- Audio- "then your inseam ( which is your crotch) to your ankle"

Picture- Audio- "then your waist to your inseam, front and back."

Audio- "Then you need to measure the width of your..."

Picture- Audio- "waist..."
Picture- Audio- "thigh..."
Picture- Audio- "calf and..."
Picture- Audio- "...ankle."

Audio- "Once you have the measurments, be sure to write them down. We need to do a bit of math now.
Divide all your width measurements by 4;the length measurements are fine."

Picture- Audio- "Make marks with your chalk on the fabric to layout the length."

Picture- Audio- "Waist to ankle - allow for three inches for seam allowance for sewing."
Picture- Audio- "Inseam to ankle - add a half an inch of seam allowance"
Picture- Audio- "Make marks for your waist measurements..."
Picture- Audio- "thigh measurements..."
Picture- Audio- "calf..."
Picture- Audio- "...and ankle. This is what your pattern should look like."

Picture: Diagram

"Now it's time to cut. Take your scissors and cut out the pattern. Don't cut along the fold.
This is what it will look like after. It may look different depending on your measurements."

Pictures: Cut out pattern

"Now it's time to sew. Once you have your sewing machine threaded, fold your pattern in half and sew up the inside of the leg from..."

Picture- Audio- "...ankle to crotch."

Video clip: sewing
Pictures: finished leg

Picture- Audio- "Once you have both legs completed, turn them inside out and stuff one leg inside the other. Make sure the inseams match.
Now sew the legs together"

Video clip: sewing

Picture- Audio- "They should now look like this."

Picture- Audio- "Now turn your leggings inside out and fold the top down 2.5 inches. Use a zigzag stich to sew it, leaving a two inch hole for the elastic to go in."

Video clip: sewing

Picture- Audio- "Feed your elastic through, zigzag stitch, and back stitch, than sew opening hole for elastic, and Voila!"

Pictures: finished product.

Video clip: "Now you can go out and party in your new pair of leggings."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another Barrier in Time

I decided to download Audacity to create my podcast for my tech task. Once I opened it, it turned out to be a lot more complicated than it looked. I read a bunch of "How to's" online, and watched a few different video tutorials on Audacity, each teaching in different ways. I grew tired and frustrated and decided to create one using my boyfriends macbook with the easy Garage band mix. Once Friday came around, I was feeling sick, again. I ended up spending Friday night, and all of Saturday and Sunday in bed, delirious with both a flu and an eye infection. I yet to make my podcast, and my google map in which all I have to include are images. I'm really feeling the crunch in all of my classes as we are near the end of the semester and most large projects are due. I was also planning on doing some storyboard work on my video tutorial for my final project in this class, but like I said, when you're sick, your brain turns into mush, and nothing seems to make sense and everything seems to tire you out.
Within this week and the next, will you see it all fall into place. Until then, I'm gonna lie in bed and drink some warm tea, and hope I feel better tomorrow.

Photo by me
135 mm B&W film

Monday, March 16, 2009

Podcast = New Radio

As technology grows, so do our opportunities to share it with the world. There are number of ways of sharing, whether it be through blogging, video upload like youtube, or the growing popularity of the podcast. Podcasting is almost the new form of radio, as you can listen and subscribe to your favorite subjects. Podcasting goes beyond the walls of the radio, as now people can choose what they listen to, and even the listener can contribute by leaving comments after the program. This new technology is a cheap and easy way for people to share an opinion, share educational information, or even just talk about their life. So for tech task #14, we have to search podcasts that can be educational and helpful, and one that sparks our interests.
For the educational podcast, it took me a few searches to find one that wasn't a "How to learn a language". I checked out me peers blogs to see what they found, and when I read Marcy's on the one minute "How to's", I decided to check it out. Their were a number of shows that were accessible straight from their website, and ranging a number of different topics. I chose "How to remove a mental block", as I've been experiencing some this past week. The host interviews Jason Van Orden, who`s a podcasting consultant and gives you a number of ways to avoid a mental block. Jason has 60 seconds to explain and at the end of the podcast, they leave a number of links for inspiration. It was short and straight to the point, which much like Marcy, keeps me interested.
For my entertainment podcast, I chose Kevin Smith`s podcast called "Smodcast". I`ve been a faithful listener since last summer, and listen in weekly (or as often as he updates them). The name Smodcast was created by Scott Mosier, the co-director of Kevin Smith`s films, and together they host the show. It comes from both their last names, "S" from Smith and "M" from Mosier, which than replace the "P". (I know far too much about this, than I should.) The content of this show is fairly offensive and inappropriate, which if you subscribe on itunes, gives you a warning before hand, so if you don`t have a good sense of humor, than you wouldn`t quite like it. The reason why I listen in to the show is because I love Kevin Smith and his movies. I love his sense of humor, and they talk about the most ridiculous things. It allows me to have an hour a week to unwind and be able to laugh out loud in my room while sketching.
In the meantime, I yet to figure out how to create my own podcast, but once I do, you`ll be able to find it here. Until next time...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Digital Hello's

This afternoon, a had a short little skype visit with Stephanie Olson's grade 5/6 class. It was great seeing the kids live in their classroom as Stephanie introduced the kids that I was mentoring over the past couple of weeks. They would take turns standing up and wave hello. The student's also asked me some questions. They were mainly interested in knowing where Chile was, and whether I was born there.
Than came business. The students had made 10-15 second long book report using their mac computers. I was astonished to find out that they had 64 mac computers at the school for the students to use (More than what the class needed). Now they had to upload them on their blogs. I instructed the class, via webcam, how to upload them using their blogger accounts, or if last resort, using youtube. Like any class, we ran into some trouble, but by the end of it, more than half the class had their video's up and running, as others helped eachother. It was fun seeing them, and having contribute to the class learning experience today. Stephanie and I hope to organize another skype call before the mentorship is over.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Comments Gallore

Well not exactly, but today when I signed onto my blog, I received about 5 comments from Seth Dickens class from Italy. It was a pleasant surprise as the girls expressed their common interest with me and other things that they were into. You can view these comments from my old entry: "Hello Italy!"
Next in the class agenda, the students will create a wiki page based on psychology. The main focus will be Freud and his theories, which I'm sure, will be interesting. Than Amber and I are to make a video/presentation on Personal Learning Networks. Because I was ill today, I took the opportunity to lay in bed, and research a bit more on PLN's, and how we can present it, and explain to them what it is. I hope to also share this information with Stephanie Olson's class as it may also benefit their class as well.

Photo found on Flickr
By James Sarmiento

Cinemetography at its Best.

Inspired by our in-class session last Wednesday, Dean had assigned us to find a scene from a movie that follows the elements in film. The subject of film is a growing interest of mine, as film is a common use in photography and cinematography, and I am currently taking a film class. Last class helped me explore the use of a camera, and angles, direction, etc. It helped me have a better understanding/appreciation for cinematography.
So for tech task #12, I chose a scene from the 2008 Oscar winner for cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire. I had just recently watched this film, and made sure to pay special attention to the cinematography. I believe they chose the right film as it explores all aspects of film, as it uses lighting, mood, scenery and camera angles to it's greatest advantage. This particular scene was one of my favorites. Among it were a number of shots: medium shots,panoramic shots, close up, tracking shots, and worms eye view, to name a few. The story in this scene follows two brothers after escaping an orphanage, and their work on the trains. I think you'll enjoy it for it's innocence and its beauty.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

From one Blogger to another

During our "in person" night class tonight, I asked Dean how I could demonstrate my actual work that I am doing with Stephanie Olson's class. He wasn't going to go to these blogs and see the postings and responses I've had with these kids, so I've got show it myself. Here's probably the best example I can give you. The young girl was blogging about her ultra sound check she had for her shoulder because she's a swimmer. She posed me a question and I answer it with a short but simple to the point answer. I also used hyperlinks with examples for her to use. Anyways, you can click the image to see for yourself. Most of the time I leave casual comments so they know they have more than just one audience. I also pose questions from the stories they tell in their blogs so they know I actually read them and am interested to read more. Another thing I do is let them know about their grammar and encourage them to revise their blogs before posting, as they can correct it right away, and is a good habit to get into.
I'm having a great time so far reading these kids blogs. They're so bright, and know so much already. They post photos and short clips in some of their blogs, which is way ahead of me from when I was in grade 5/6.
Reading their blogs also remind me of some of my own journal entries. How they write, and the silly little details they get stuck on writing. It's super nostalgic.
An observation I came about within these blogs are the topics the kids chose to write about. Boys tend to write about video games, sports, and toys. They're also short blogs, that get straight to the point. The girls write about their friends and events that take place inside and out of school. They're lengthy and always include photos. It's kind of funny to see the comparison. Neither is better or worse, it's just an observation.
So far, so good!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Visiting Ol Pa- Part I

For my longer story telling task, I chose to use Voicethread. I had known a bit about Voicethread before hand from the video I had to watch for my tech task #7, so I was already familiar with the purpose and benefits of this website. I had a bit of trouble starting, just like anyone who's first signs up for a new website, but after 5 minutes, I was going with the flow. I tend to have trouble speaking into the microphone, telling a story freestyle, so I wrote up quick sentences for each photo, much like a story board.
My story is based on a trip to Lumsden to visit Ivan's Ol pa. It was nice going through these photos, remembering summer, during the cold climate right now. Hopefully I can make a follow up story to this: Summer oh nine- Visiting Ol pa-part II. How epic is that!

Story in a Blink

While reading Amber's and Erika's blogs, they demonstrated how to create a short story video by using animoto. I decided to give it a try as the graphics and editing was done for you (which unlike for Erika, I prefer), and quick and easy to use. It was hard to determine what story I would tell, it's not too clear because there isn't much text or any audio recording, other than the music, but I think the idea of a tattoo convention came across clear. All photos were by me, no flickr this time. Hope you like it!

Music: New Bomb Turks
Song: Jukebox Lean

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Repetitive Act

This weekend, I helped my boyfriend and his roommates move into their new place. It is something I don`t want to relive in a long time.
I`ve never had to move in my life, which I`m very thankful for, so this was my first time really participating in such an activity. You never realize how much `stuff` you have until you have to box it all up and move it somewhere else. This process was repetitive as Friday and Saturday were a constant packing and driving from one place to the other, and repeat. Than Sunday we unpacked some things and tried to find corresponding spots for them. Now this process alone was annoying enough, but there is more to it than just that. The new place that Ivan and his roommates moved into, was bought by his roommates parents who wish to sell it one day, when the market goes back up again. In the meantime, they are creating a new room downstairs, where Ivan`s room will be. Now, the room is not yet done, and we wont be moving his things to the basement until the middle of next week after it`s painted, etc. Ivan is currently sleeping in the guest room, where they want to make into the office, so no one really has their things settled just yet. All we can really do is wait, as things are still sporadicly everywhere.
Another thing I wanted to add (more of a observation), when the back of our truck that we rented was filled with Ivan`s `things`, we passed many house, and other trucks filled with peoples belongings and I got to thinking, `Can you imagine if everyone had to move, how much stuff, a lot of it, things we don`t really need or use, takes up space in our home?` Do we really need all these things? This is probably bad for our environment. And how we once use to live with less, just the necessity, but now, our society is so obsessed with material things, we can never really return to that. It really grossed me out, and made me feel guilty. But what is there to do about it?

Photo found in Flickr
By Barca

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Writtings from a younger self.

September 20th/2001
"So I came back from Dustins house 3 hours and 1/2 mins ago. It was so much fun! So Sarah comes over to my place with Dani and we sell 4 bars lol. Then we double on the bike but Dani has mine. So we arrived and Dusty and Gierger were there and we were gonna have a snowball fight!"
That's a short passage from my journal, unedited, from when I was a young girl. It's funny cause I remember that day as if it were yesterday. Lately I've been feeling incredibly nostalgic. Within the past year, I've made so many changes in my life, steps towards a future I yet to see. I'm already almost done my first year of University, and I've been doing so much better now, then I ever have in my years in school. I've always struggled, whether it be with grammar or math, but somehow I made it here, and somehow it seems easier. Less complicated. I am certainly not saying that it's been a breeze, I have worked hard, but I believe I've matured so much within the last year. I'm proud, I feel like a stand taller. But with every sense of accomplishment, comes some sort of downfall. My path is steering me into an unknown direction in which I feel a little torn. The people I once use to associate with on a daily basis have become monthly or sporadic moments. We have made different decisions, which have driven us in different directions, causing our once unbreakable friendship, into merely acquaintances that greet when passing by. We once knew each others deepest darkest secrets. We once spent endless hours talking about nothing and everything, and now these rituals have vanish like water that evaporates once boiled. And because of this, I reflect back on the other relationships that have gone stale, and question why? Is there a way I can stop this? Or should I just allow it to happen, and simply cherish those times we once had? But I don't want to. I want to gather all those memories, and continue creating new ones with those people I once knew. But our lives have moved forward, and now our gatherings become uncomfortable and incredibly awkward, and I hate that. Because of this, I feel forced to create new friendships, which now seems arduous. It is not as easy as it once were in elementary. As adults, it becomes much more complicated. We look for similar interests, and coordinate what time is best for whom for coffee. And because of this long and painful process, I much rather sit at home, and write something along these lines.
When I read those grade 5/6 students blogs, I read a little bit about myself. It's as if I am reading my own journal entries, with its big bubbled letters, and heart shaped dots over the j's and i's. You can sense the excitement in their writing when they talk about their sleepovers, or the school dance. With every sentence, they end with an exclamation mark, which is exactly what I once did. I smile, but my heart also becomes heavy. I feel incredibly old, even though I am merely turning 20 in 4 weeks, but when I read those journal entries, it reminds me of who I use to be, and how fast time has passed. I'm not saying that I would like to repair my past. I just wish someone warned me how fast your life goes by.

Photo found in flickr
By Aubrey Arenas

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oceans Away

With great relief, Seth Dickens was pleased by my video (and Amber's). He has already planned out a busy schedule for the both of us and his class until the end of March. In a recent e-mail we received, he wanted to know exactly the time gap we have between Italy and Saskatchewan. I checked online and they are 5 hours ahead of us. Curious to know when they hold this class (that we're mentoring), his response was 8:50am, making that 3-4am-ish here. Until this point, we were planning on having a skype conference, but due to this dilemma, the chances look grim. I'm willing to do it, despite it being at 3 am. I go to bed late, and as long as it's on a day that I don't have class at 9am, I'm willing to make this happen. (Also, as of late, I haven't been getting to bed until 3 am anyways.)
Anyways, we'll figure it out somehow, but I'll keep you guys updated whether we attempt it or not.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hello Italy!

After being inspired by Amber's video, and receiving the question's that Seth Dickens class had prepared for us, I've created a video introducing myself, my hobbies, and my knowledge of Italy.
At first I was going to use my boyfriends mac, which is what I used to make my tech task#9 project with, but since he had to use it, I figured out how to make one using Windows movie maker. It was actually quite similar to the design and set up of the mac, so it didn't take long to understand where everything had to go.
Also in preparation of this video, I used flickr to provide beautiful visual imagery. I had fun making this, but I also felt a little silly for the purpose of recording myself in my room, but like I said in my video, and I'll say it here: "I'm excited to expand my horizons."
Let me know what you think.

Ps: I wasn't able to include music for background noise because it would push my audio clips to the end of the song. Does anyone know how to have both playing at once?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Priceless Moments

Here's my mastecard commercial ripoff. I used my boyfriends mac, which has a program called imovie. All you really need to do is drag and drop where you want things. It was easy to use, and I quite enjoyed making this as it allowed me to reflect on the good times I have at work. I love my job! (most of the time.)
All the photos are originals either by me, or the other girls at the shop (Dessart).
Music by The Ting Tings.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sell Yourself

So for our tech task #10, we had to "sell ourselves" provided that we can only use 4 photos, and some text. I wasn't sure how I would do this, but thanks to Jaclyn who posted a blog on Glogger, I was able to make a quick and easy poster of myself for this assignment. I found it really hard to only pick 4 photos, but I decided to pick the 4 that would make most sense in describing me, and what made me who I am today. What's also great about Glogger, is you can also have animation, videos, or voice clips embedded into your poster too. It was really easy to use, and classroom friendly.
Thanks to Dean, I was able to edit my post, and fit my poster onto my blog for you all to see. Previous to this, I had troubles having the image fit on my screen, without it being cut off, but by tweaking the numbers that are all listed in the HTML, it allowed my to shrink it to an appropriate size.
Thanks again Jaclyn and Dean.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The loss of control

I can't describe the overwhelming feeling of information I have gained and appreciation from watching this video. This is the story of Ian Waterman, a man who at the age of 19 woke up unable to move. He had lost the nerves that controlled body movement, so an easy task as to put a fork of food into your mouth, became an impossible job. Ian still has his sense of pain and temperature, but lost the sense of touch. I have truly gained a sense of appreciation for my functioning body.
This video has two parts in it, and both are around 20 minutes long, but I highly recommend you take the time to watch this. It's miraculous how complex the human body is.

Watch The Man Who Lost His Body [Part 1] | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mentoring Via Internet

I entered my Wednesday night class eager to find out who I will be mentoring for the next few weeks. Of course as a form of torture, Dean doesn't tell us until the end of class. After an anxious two hours, I heard my two teachers name called out: Stephanie Olson, and Seth Dickens. As I knew before hand, one is provincial and the other is international. What a great way to compare and contrast cultures and experiences I will have with them both. The moment I arrived home, I contacted my teachers, eager to begin. Seth Dickens is from Italy, so due to the time difference, we may be playing e-mail tag for a while before beginning. I heard from Stephanie Olson the next morning. She teaches a grade 5/6 split from Moose Jaw. All of Stephanie's students already have blogs set up on blogger, so I took a gander at all 26 students to become familiar with them. I probably had the biggest smile on my face as I did this. I proudly showed my students off to my family and, expressing my excitement.
Tonight, I created my first video blog, using my laptop web cam. This is just a small meet and greet for the Moose Jaw class.
This one goes out to you guys

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Changing Disabilities

For our tech task assignment #7, it was required we watch a video from the K12 Online Conference 2008. The video I chose was called "Changing Disabilities". They focus on the McGiver approach of changing disabilities into possibilites. (I thought this aspect of the presentation was the funniest!)
They mainly focused on a site called voice thread. It's kind of like elluminate. You can present things online and you can comment varying from typing it into the chat, recording it on a microphone or video, or telephoning.
These teachers presented it in their kindergarten class, and most specifically, children with disabilities. They talked about 3 students with different problems, and how the site had help them advance and improve in school. My favorite was about Lindsay. Lindsay was overly sensitive to loud noises, which made school pretty uncomfortable for her. When she attended school, she didn't talk (selective mutism). So when it came to knowing where Lindsay was in reading, her teachers didn't know because they have never heard her talk, let alone read. The solution? Her teacher scanned the pages of a book and uploaded them onto voice thread. She showed Lindsay how she could record herself, and left the room. A few minutes later, Lindsay presented her work and her teacher got to know that Lindsay could read, and she was a remarkable reader.
This is just one example of how voice thread could really help out, and the rest of the video is just as interesting. I never thought of the advantage technology could offer with people with disabilities. It's actually quite incredible! I really loved the idea of voice thread and almost find it easier, and more visually engaging, than elluminate (no offence Dean).
Anyways, if you're interested in more about voice thread, just click my hyper link and they have a audio/visual recording on what it is. It's great.

Monday, February 2, 2009


For the past week I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed. Already this semester had flown by, and I feel like I can barely keep up with everything. It certainly not as strenuous as the previous semester, but it's a lot more harder to stay self motivated (or at least for myself, it is).
I am very excited for this mentoring, but I'm also a little worried. I'm already trying to keep up with checking and reading all my classmates blogs, but to add 2 or 3 other classroom of students worries me. How does one keep up with all the new blogs? And how can we provide insightful comments without repeating oneself like a broken record. Maybe I'm just making a big deal out of nothing, but can someone re-assure me, or hold my hand?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Job Loss

This morning, while getting ready for school, I was listening to CBC radio. In the midst of brushing my teeth, they announced that the Kodak company plans to cut 6,000 jobs in North America, and today in B.C, the construction company has laid off 7,000 workers. That's huge! I fear the consequence of all these job losses and the effects it will take in North America will be destructive. I don't believe our society is ready for such a high unemployment, of which is already record breaking (a record not to be proud of). Our food bank suffers enough as it is, let alone to support a defecate.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The New & Crummier Polaroid Camera

I was excited to hear that Polaroid was creating a new camera that instantly prints, but when I saw it, it wasn't exactly what I hoped for.
I don't think they knew how unique the old Polaroid was. It had a sense of nostalgia and vintage look that no other camera company could duplicate. I hope one day they see this too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

War Photography

For tech task #8, we had to watch a TED video, and I came across this little jewel:

I had the benefit to come across, James Nachtwey, which is an amazing photojournalist, and famous war photographer. I've always been in love with photography, and actually do some of my own, but nothing as near as astounding as his work.
The stories he captures and retells in this video are so heartbreaking, and beautiful as photographs like these capture raw emotion that no walmart portrait could create. And with this he comes with a powerful message of hope, and help for others.


Okay, not gonna lie, I had a bit of trouble with figuring this thing out, but so far this is what I have. If you guys see anything wrong with it, feel free to point out my errors so I can edit them.
So far all I have is my delicious thing, Miss Pacman, Youtube and weather. Beats me!

The Ever So Helpful Google

During dinner, my father, his girlfriend, and I were discussing about the internet and its benefits. Just recently I helped my father sign up for a Facebook account so he could get in touch with old colleges and family from other countries. In a matter of minutes, we were done and had already contacted several family and friends. I also showed him my survey I created using Google Docs, and told him how it created the spreadsheets with all the results intact (he loves spreadsheets). What once would have taken hours to create, using HTML code, now takes only minutes, as websites have it all built for you, ready to use, and only our creativity and cooperation to contribute.
Actually just the other day, my boyfriends grandfather, who's in his 70's, e-mailed him for the first time. Can you believe that this was the same man, that when I first met him, he had to ask Ivan (my boyfriend) for help to use the DVD player. That shows how simple it can be, if someone from a generation long before computers, could learn to use todays technology. (Not like it's ever to late)
I really enjoyed making my survey, and how easy it was to add and delete questions. I think this will be great in classrooms, as it's quick, simple and fun. Not to mention the amount of paper it will save (I'm somewhat of an environmentalist). And looking at the other tools Google has to offer, specifically for teachers, is such a great benefit, and to add in the fact that it's free, is a major plus. Technology shines a whole new light into the classroom, for new and different opportunities, for teachers and students. Something that everyone can look forward too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The First Online Encounter

This evening I attended class. But I attended it in my pajama`s, bare footed, and with my cat at my side. Incredibly enough I did this all at home with the use on my laptop and the internet. Eighteen other people also attended this class as we all contributed our opinions and learned the beauty and advantage to online learning. With the benefit of this, we got in touch with Chris Brechter (I apologize, I might not have that right), who was in Australia. We learned the use of Delicious a website that saves links where you can share with others and access them anywhere, anytime, at any computer, so long as you have the internet. But with all great things, comes a downfall, I don`t know whether it was my computer that failed me, but I couldn`t watch what Chris was doing as he had his screen displayed to the class as he demonstrated how it work. So unfortunately I lucked out and was stuck sitting and just listening. I`m a visual learner so you could imagine I got kind of bored.
Anyways, other then the fact that I missed some of the lesson due to technical difficulties, I am excited to learn how to start these sorts of things, as I can incorporate these new ways of technology and learning into the classroom. It`s gonna keep students engaged, and interested, something that school didn`t always do for me.
Looking forward to the next class.