So I have (finally) completed my 20% project! I was so hesitant to play in front of the camera because I did not meet my goal of actually being able to play a full song. I think that I bit off a little more than I could chew with this one! With so much going on during the semester, I just could not dedicate enough time to playing, so I couldn't reach my goal. On another hand, though, I was able to progress with my skills! I was able to learn new chords for the song, practice switching between chords, and play a different type of strumming pattern. I haven't actually played my guitar in over a year, due to the fact that I would not change my own guitar strings. Through this project, I pretty much had to force myself to change them (success!). I am glad that I did this, because I had nearly forgotten how lovely it is to play. It's almost cathartic - I am able to just relax and release and it's honestly one of the best feelings in the world! So although I did not meet my goal, I made some really good progress and picked up my guitar again from a long absence. I will definitely continue playing, and hopefully one day I will actually be able to play an entire song :).
So this is my final week of my 20% project. As I said in the video, I've been major procrastinating on doing this final video because I am just not where I wanted to be with my guitar skills and let's be real, I'm shy about this kind of stuff! But I finally (manned up) and did my final video, which is me playing a progression of the chords that I learned. I was unable to actually play the song I wanted, but I made some good progress with learning! So, without further ado, here is my last video!
P.S. I look extremely intense in this video because I'm concentrating...hard.
So here is my finished Gooru lesson on Banksy! It was really fun using this tool to create an interactive lesson using technology. I think that students would really enjoy being able to participate in a lesson like this, because it is designed in a language that they really understand! So, enjoy my lesson and let me know what you think!
Chapter 7 - Knowing, Making, and Playing
Quote/explain - “In the new information economy, expertise is less about having a stockpile of information or facts at one’s disposal and increasingly about knowing how to find and evaluate information on a given topic” (93).
Question - How do we get kids to stop looking for right answers and start using the information that they have and expanding on it?
Connection - Instead of drilling kids with information to memorize, we should be teaching them that they can move further than memorizing and actually DO something with the information they get. Creating critical thinkers. In the Wagner text, he was talking about how, in the workplace, employers were not necessarily looking for candidates that knew everything there was to know about a given topic, but were looking for those who could be innovators and creators, taking the information they knew and actually doing something with it...
Epiphany - Two words: standardized testing. When I read this quote, I immediately thought of standardized testing and NCLB. This statement is negating teaching solid facts (that would later be regurgitated via fill in the bubble) and moving more towards teaching how to “find and evaluate information.”
Chapter 8 - Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out
“What is my relationship to others?” (102)
“What am I able to explore?” (103)
“How can I utilize the available resources, both social and technological, for deep exploration?” (105)
Question - How can we teach our students how to “hang out, mess around, and geek out”?
Connection - The connection with this chapter is the 530 class. Throughout the semester, we have been building relationships with others via technology (blog posts, twitter, Google+), we have been exploring our different options in the technological world, and we have been utilizing new resources that we have found to help us teach in an ever-changing technological world.
Epiphany - HEY! Did anyone notice the name of this chapter inspired the names for our 530 stinking badges?!
Chapter 9 - The New Culture of Learning for a World of Constant Change
Quote/explain - “But while players defeat bosses, kill monsters, coordinate raids, find new armor, and read blogs, wikis, and forums, learning happens, too” (115).
This quote is about World of Warcraft and how, while playing a fun and interactive game, people are continuously learning through the game and the connections that they make.
Question - How do we get other educators/administrators/politicians to jump on board the “new culture of learning” train?
Connection - I think it’s really awesome how the author is using something extremely well known, World of Warcraft, to explain the complexity of the new culture of learning. It shows how this online game connects the player to tons of people through actually playing with the people, joining guilds, researching gameplay, etc. and actually helps the learning process. It’s justifying playing video games! This chapter brought the entire book into perspective!
Epiphany - Well, now I want to play World of Warcraft...
I am thoroughly enjoying playing the guitar again! I forgot how soothing it felt to just sit and play. I make it a priority to practice outside, because we have such nice weather here, that it's a shame to sit indoors all of the time. So the combination of sitting outside in the sunshine and plucking away at my guitar strings equals total relaxation.
For my 20% project this week, I focused on learning the chords and strumming pattern for the song "Play Crack the Sky" by Brand New. I hope you enjoy my video (sorry, I'm a bit awkward when I'm on film...my TPA 4 video can attest to that!).
I recently participated in the EdChat for English Teachers. This chat was so extremely fast paced that it was difficult to keep up! There were so many good, solid ideas floating around. I was so glad that I was a part of this chat...tons of new resources have been accumulated! Below is a Storify of some key moments during this chat :)
Chapter 4 - Learning in the Collective
Quote/explain - “The power of a blog rests in part with the author or authors who start it; in part with the readers who leave comments; in part with those who link to, cite, references, or respond to it; and in part with the readers, who may do nothing more than have their presence recorded by a web server.”
The reason that I chose this quote is because it helps me best understand the “collective” frame of mind that this chapter talks about. In order to have a “collective,” there must be several participants with a variety of skills and talents that they can offer to the group.
Question - How can we create a “collective” type of classroom?
Connection - I love having my students work in groups because it allows them to see multiple perspectives. I have encountered a minor problem at my current school site... I chose groups for students during one of my teaching periods, and they were not pleased with that decision. I had them write comment cards to give me feedback on the activity to which most of them replied that they hated working in groups with people that they did not know. It actually made me pretty sad that students didn’t want to work with classmates because they felt uncomfortable. In order to make group work possible, a positive and inclusive classroom environment must be practiced from the beginning.
Epiphany - I think that the collective type of environment would be a difficult thing to create within a classroom. Students would need to first feel a connection with the people in their group. Making the connection will make students more willing to participate and have a feeling of comfort. Students also have to be self-motivated to be active participants in their groups - when it comes to group work, some students feel as though they can hide behind stronger group members, which would not make a collective possible.
Chapter 5 - The Personal with the Collective
Quote/explain - “Blogs give an individual the chance to interact with and become part of a collective that both shapes and is shaped by his or her thoughts” (64).
Blogs are a great way to get your ideas out there, with the chance of someone responding, thus sparking a deeper conversation.
Question - Will students be more willing to write and share their thoughts if they can do so using a blog?
Connection - Let’s be real, I was a bit unsure about blogging all of my assignments for EDSS530. I honestly thought that it was tedious and that people really didn’t care what I had to say. But as I continue to do it, I have realized that, honestly, I don’t care if people read it or not (oops). Blogging is a way to get my ideas out and about. I love to write - it’s my passion. Perhaps students will be more willing to write if they can post their ideas on the internet for others to read and respond to, without the fear of being publicly shamed.
Epiphany - Blogs! As I was reading the portion of this chapter specifically on blogging, I had an interesting idea. As an assignment (perhaps accounting for in class work, homework, etc.), have students form blogging groups in which they can discuss their thoughts on the unit of study.
Chapter 6 - We Know More Than We Can Say
Quote/explain - “Tacit learning happens not only in the brain but also in the body, through all our senses" (77).
Tacit learning is all about making a connection, using all senses, to what is being learned. For example, as the book explains, the experience between a child and a parent. The parents tells the child not to touch the flame, because it is hot. The child touches the flame anyways, because the only information on the flame is that given by the parent. The child gets burned, and experiences the flame in a different way. Now the child knows not to touch fire or anything that looks like fire. As the text said, “From that one experience, a finger touching flame, a person learns countless things” (77).
Question - How can we encourage students to actually EXPERIENCE their learning instead of just being passengers, along for the ride?
Connection - I think of tacit learning this way - I can have someone explain to me how to crochet. The methods, the yarn to use, the hooks to use, etc.. I can read countless books. The real satisfaction does not come from just learning, but experiencing crocheting. Feeling your hands work the hooks to create something. Feeling the yarn between your fingers. It is the best feeling making the connection between learning to do something, and actually doing it. Fulfilling.
Epiphany - Curiosity. We have to teach our students to actually be curious...in order to experience, you have to be curious in the first place. I feel as though students are not curious so much anymore - they just go through the motions of school. It’s sad, and it needs to be changed!
I recently did a little AppSmash on the app Duolingo! It's an awesome app to use when you're wanting to learn a new language!! Below you will find my app smash video :)
Below is the Storify for my very first EdChat! Enjoy :)
This past week I decided to focus on technique. In order to meet my goal of being able to play "Play Crack the Sky," I am going to need to be able to change between different chords quickly. I have come to realize that I need a lot of work in doing this, as my hands just are not trained to strum and change to a different chord smoothly (my brain is like "AH WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!").
Firstly, I just like to mess around and play whatever I can manage to play. It is totally soothing for me to just sit and play, no strings attached (:D). I've realized that I am much better at playing when I don't have to worry about following a specific pattern - I like to do my own thang.
As I said before though, in order to play a song, I need to get some technique down. Thanks to the handy dandy app GuitarBots, I am slowly on my way to learning some proper technique. This app starts off with the basics - strings and frets. It has the player practice switching back and forth between open strings, and then move on to playing both open strings as well as playing "fretted" strings (meaning you put your finger on a string in a specific fret to make a new sound...in the simplest of terms). This is a fun app that I found extremely motivating - the only problem is that it's one of those apps that you have to pay for more play once you run out of a given number of plays. So for now, I'm out of plays...lame!
This is the home screen. As you can see, I've completed the "Strings" and "Frets" section. There are 5 pages of different levels that you can do, and you can see that there are different modes (basics, advanced, expert) as well as challenges and songs that you can choose to play! The nice thing is that you can play the levels as many times as you want, so that you can master the skill :)