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.