Media and Technology in the Classroom

Through the years technology has evolved and become an important part of everyday life for most people. Technology can now be seen everywhere you go. In the YouTube video I watched, “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube,” Michael Wesch says that the web provided new forms of expression, community, and identity. It also linked people to others by allowing them to share, trade and collaborate with others. He also says that how people link to others is constantly changing, we are inventing new ways to communicate with each other, every six months there is a new tool that connects us in some new way. This video was posted in 2008 and what Wesch talks about is all very prominent today. There are tons of apps and websites online that allow us to talk to others through text message or video, which allow us to do everything that Wesch has mentioned.

Apple iPhone and MacBook on a Wooden Table with Reflection

Photo Credit: wuestenigel Flickr via Compfight cc

Michael Wesch also mentions how as an anthropologist he thinks of media a bit differently than others. He views it as a way to mediate human relations rather than simply tools made up of online content. This perspective gives him different insights on how technology and media affect people in their day to day lives.

Since technology is so prominent in today’s culture, it is important that we do involve technology in schools and classrooms. Teaching children how to use this technology in the right way and safely is very important. In my EDTC 300 course we talked about social networking, and one stat that came up was that 59% of kids under the age of 10 have a social networking account. This is a huge percentage that requires the proper amount of education and supervision to keep the children safe. The internet, while an amazing tool for education and positive communication, is very unregulated and can leave kids in a position to fall victim to those with bad intentions. We want kids and teens to be aware of both the advantages and disadvantages of the internet and social networking, as they explore these sites for schooling or personal purposes and to be able to communicate and monitor their internet activity in a way that keeps them secure but doesn’t invade their privacy. Schools should have an online and internet safety course that is required for all students in classrooms who use technology in their day to day lives. Additional resources for parents and guardians to use, to better communicate with and monitor their children would also go a long way in achieving the goal of kids using the internet in a positive way.

Apple applications apps - Credit to https://homegets.com/

Photo Credit: davidstewartgets Flickr via Compfight cc

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Learning Ukulele At My Own Pace

This week I didn’t have much time to practice, but when I did have the chance to practice for a bit, I continued working on chords and strumming. I am slowly getting the hang of it and am getting better at playing the right chords. Also because of the trouble I was having with strumming with my index finger, I decided to look into ukulele picks. I found a pack of six ukulele felt tips on Amazon for $6.88. They just came in the mail this Monday and I found that I am more comfortable using the pick for strumming. Anyway, here is my progress so far…

Next week I will try and play with the music at the speed of 0.75. I tried this last week, but I found it difficult, so hopefully if I keep practicing I will be able to keep up with the music by next week.

Strumming Away

At the beginning of this week I continued practicing chords. I still get the ukulele and guitar chords mixed up, but not as often as I used to. I also learned the strum to the song. I started with UkuTabs.com being open and a YouTube video of the song open at the same time. I tried to switch between both pages, but that was not working for me. Instead I decided to copy out the chords and lyrics on a piece of paper so I could follow along on that. It was so much easier!

I got part of the strum from UkuTabs.com. DDUUDP (down, down, up, up, down, up) was given for the verse, I just had to figure out how many of each chord I would have to play. I listened to the song a lot, first in increments. I listened to the first fours seconds, then moved onto the verse, then the chorus, then the end of the song. Since the song is fast as well, I listened to it in 0.75 speed to slow it down. I did this by clicking on the settings button beside the mini player button, then switching the speed to 0.75. I also watched a couple of YouTubers play the song. These videos were very helpful as the videos were taped close to the ukulele, so it was easy to follow the strumming and chords. Once I figured out the strumming by listening and watching others, I would write in down on the paper right away. Strumming has been a bit difficult to me as well. This is because I am used to playing the guitar with a pick, and with the ukulele I am trying to strum with my index finger. Because I am not used to this my strumming doesn’t sound the greatest, but it will get there.

Below are the videos I viewed:

 

Next week I will try and memorize the chords and try to speed up the strumming a bit. And then hopefully the week after that I can begin to play the song at full speed. And I will post a video soon, I promise. I’m a little camera shy…

My First and Second Twitter Chat

My first Education chat on Twitter didn’t go as I planned it to. I participated in #EdChat but I was fairly anxious, and I spent more time contemplating my thoughts into words than I actually did typing them, and before I knew it, it was over and I didn’t do much more than say, that it was my first Ed chat and that I’m an education major. I have to say though, the people involved were all very welcoming, and I did enjoy reading what others had to say about the topic, which was, “How do we support a movement for supportive, effective, and collaborative professional development for all educators?” This was something I have never thought about before and I am glad I got the opportunity to see other thoughts on the topic.

Since the first twitter chat didn’t go as I expected I joined another one about an hour after #EdChat ended, called #6thChat. It was a small chat, with about 7-8 people participating. Everyone was very welcoming! I tried to answer as many questions as I could. There were six questions posted, and I answered three of them, as the others seemed to be geared towards people who have been teaching in a classroom already. But I enjoyed this experience and would definitely do another Education chat in the future. It felt good to participate in a discussion with educators and be able to read and hear their thoughts about the topics discussed.

These are the questions and my responses:

Q1:What does the phrase “opportunity to respond” (OTR) mean, and why is it important?

Q4: Why should teachers plan to include multiple opportunities for students to respond during direct instruction?

Q5: When students are working in small groups, how do you ensure that all students are actively participating and on task?

The Challenge In Learning New Chords

One of the first things I did for this project was find ukulele apps on my phone, I also searched google for the chords to the song I chose, Interlude: Moving On by Paramore. I downloaded two apps, one is called The Ukulele App, the other is Ukulele Tabs. The Ukulele App provides video tutorials and Pro Mode is a one-time fee of $2.99, which means you no longer see ads and can use the Pro Mode features provided on the app. Although this is a cool app, I was not able to find my song. Ukulele Tabs on the other hand does not provide video tutorials but does provide the chords and the lyrics to the song I chose. This app also suggested to add their other apps, Pocket Ukulele Chords as well as Pocket Ukulele Tuner. So far, I have only needed to use the tuner as my ukulele was out of tune. The tuner worked really well and was very helpful. I am very happy with this app! One other thing I did was look up ukulele chords on Google. The site I found called UkuTabs.com is my favorite resource so far. I was able to find my song with the chords and lyrics. I was also provided the strumming pattern by more experienced ukulele players in the comment section.

This week I focused on the chords, which are:

Ukulele Chords from UkuTabs.com

It has been a bit of a challenge remembering these chords as I also play the guitar and often have the instinct to play the guitar version of the chord. As I have found out a guitar C is not the same as a ukulele C. So far, I am just trying to forget about the guitar chords I know while I am playing the ukulele chords, so I don’t get them mixed up. Often, I will be playing the ukulele with the chords right in front of my face thinking about the next chord in the song and without thinking I will automatically try and play a guitar G and not a ukulele G. But I am sure I will get the hang of it soon.

Guitar chords that I get mixed up with the ukulele chords:

B 7 chord diagramC chord diagramD chord digramE minor chord diagramG chord diagram

Guitar chords from Guitar Chords World

 

RSS Sites – How Have I Not Heard Of These…

Before this class I had never used twitter before. I was really concerned about what I would tweet about and where I would find my resources. I had no idea that there were RSS sites (short for Really Simple Syndication – to gather headlines from sites and either feed them directly to your computer or app automatically or place them at a website you view online) like Feedly, Digg, or Inoreader out there until now. I am so glad I have learned about these sites, as it is so easy to find topics that you are interested in. I chose to sign up for each RSS site, as I wanted a variety of sources.

On Feedly the sources I accumulated were mostly due to searching up the word’s education and educational technology. Then I would scroll through the list of sources. The sources with the most likes were the ones I would investigate further, and if I liked what the recent articles in the sources were about, I would then proceed to add the source to my feed. After adding a source, Feedly would automatically suggest related sources to add as well, which was very helpful. I have also recently found some good Feedly sources by reading others blog posts.

Digg in my opinion was a little more difficult to use. It seemed like there were only separate articles that you could save, and I liked the idea of the feed containing multiple articles on Feedly, for me Feedly was easier to use and more convenient.

For the other RSS sites, I just searched and added education resources. For Inoreader, I decided to use it for personal and educational subscriptions. I have added personal subscriptions like food, music, books, movies, photography, news about Canada, and others. The educational subscription on Inoreader that I have found the most useful is Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. I found it by searching up educational technology, then clicking on the feeds button at the top of the page. It had the most subscribers and posts twelve articles a week. I have already posted two articles from Inoreader and I have only had it for a day.

I am not used to posting much on social media and having an RSS site which is easy to use and has the resources I am looking for is great! These sites are extremely helpful and have lifted a huge weight off my shoulders!

My Experience with Educational Technology

To be honest I haven’t had much experience with educational technology. This was one of the reasons I joined this class, so I could become familiar with it, as I believe educational technology will help me in my future teaching career. I have blogged slightly before this class, but the only edits I made were the colours and backgrounds, header image, font, and the site identity. I had no idea how to edit anything else. It was defiantly a real struggle figuring out how to edit my blog and took me a lot of time and effort to figure it out, I’m still not sure I have it figured out yet. There are also a lot of aspects I have seen on other blogs that I would like to achieve on my own, but I don’t even know where to start. Even though I have been having lots of challenges editing my blog I believe it is something I should and would like to continue and improve on, as I am planning on using this blog for the reminder of my time in University as well as after I graduate and become a teaching.

I will also be participating in Twitter this semester. I have never used Twitter before so it might take a little getting used to. Here is a link to my twitter page: https://twitter.com/Andrea12863179

The Learning Begins!

Throughout this semester I will be participating in a learning project. For this project I chose to learn the ukulele. I was gifted a ukulele on Christmas a year ago and have not learnt how to play yet. I figured this would be the perfect time to start learning. I am tasked to learn with online resources only, so I chose a song by a favorite band of mine. Using online resources, I intend to learn “Interlude Moving On” by Paramore. I will attempt to learn this song by learning the chords, the strumming pattern, the verses, the lyrics, and hopefully I will eventually be able to sing along while I play. I will try and post some videos of my attempts to learn this song, but not every post will have a video of me demonstrating what I have learned. I am not sure how this will turn out and am very nervous about having to post videos of myself playing the ukulele, but I will try my best!

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