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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Technology Expectations and Reliance

I pride myself on being a person that is not technologically-reliant. I refuse to put a television in my bedroom, my phone gets turned off at 9:30 pm sharp, my laptop is used primarily only when necessary, and I am not (although I don’t pride myself on this fact) up to speed on many, ok, any, of the new technologies available on the computer, or otherwise. But this week I spent having no contact with any technology besides ski lifts, and it was hard!

My family and I spent the week nestled in a condo on a quiet ski resort in the mountains. We had zero internet, computers, or cell reception. The days were spent skiing, and the nights spent visiting in the hot tub. It was fantastic. However, today on the way home, all of us had our phones turned on trying to get a signal as soon as we pulled onto the gravel! I felt that I had been deprived!

Not only that, but I was loaded with texts and emails that began with polite requests or comments, and by the end, had several emails/texts from the same people that began to sound increasingly impatient. They were “curious” (or more like demanding) about why I had not responded for several days. Have we become so dependent on technology and the speed that it allows that we have come to expect immediate responses?

I must admit that I do get a bit impatient with professors or classmates that do not regularly check their messages when I am trying to communicate with them. However, as a a teacher, and as a professional that is communicating with other teachers, parents, and students, how available do we have to be? How much is required? And how much is expected?

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Blogging Adventures

 

Tech Task #8- The Door Scene

This video I created with Paula and Kelsie. Of course, I lost our game of rock, paper, scissors, so I had to be the actor! We had quite the adventure filming throughout the university, and also had fun playing with irony through video. We learned how to find audio online, and used iMovie for the first time. We especially experimented with altering the volume levels so that the dripping water noises come through slightly.

Comments and suggestions are, as always, much appreciated!

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Tech Tasks

 

A Reminder to ENJOY the Learning

I have been working steadily on my piano skills. It seems some days like it is pretty unsuccessful, but I am sure that I am continuing to learn more each day!

I found this picture of me when I was little. Apparently I’ve always wanted to play, just never gotten much beyond the basics! It’s about time to learn if I’ve been waiting since I was three! I’m sure my little three-year-old self would not have minded just pounding away on the keys (to the great chagrin of my mother) without worrying about hitting all (or any!) of the correct notes. By the looks of this photo, I used my whole palm to just hit as many notes as I possibly could at one time! This photo reminded me to just enjoy this learning process– to have FUN!

The Little Pianist

On a different note, I’ve been told that pianists in our worship band generally just play “tabs.” To be able to play with the worship team has been my goal of this project all along. I’ve looked at them, and I have begun working on some chording (C, F, G– the easy ones), but have no idea how to play a song exclusively with chords! I usually use chords to accompany the right hand. Anybody know how it works? I can’t just do solid chords for the whole song, can I? And how do I count?! There are no measures! Am I in over my head?

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in My Musical Learning Journey

 

The Emotional and Social Benefits of Skype for Students

I have never truly appreciated the technology that provides us with Skype as much as I have this past weekend.
My family has moved numerous times, so I did not grow up in the same community, or with the same friends. Actually, I have attended eight different schools in different provinces. Therefore, I am miles away from any of my really close friends.
I was able to text one friend who lives across the province, and within 30 seconds she had received my message, replied, and within another five minutes we were sitting with our laptops in our laps staring at each other. That is amazing. A person can express pain, sympathy, kindness, and concern, joy, peace, and teasing, and offer advice and comfort in ways previously impossible through the telephone or letters.
I think that videoconferencing and Skype certainly have numerous benefits for the classroom, and I have always planned on using this technology in my own classroom, but I believe that just as important as the educational aspects are the emotional and social developments that this technology offers. Maybe a student is struggling with a unique disease, and feels isolated in his or her own school. The companionship of a friend that may be across the world no longer means that the relationship is compromised. Certainly, letter writing has always been an instrumental and effective part of communication, and Skype still has its limitations, but the friendships that can begin, flourish, and be maintained through such technology as Skype makes me very thankful for our technology today. The emotional and social developments that can arise for a student with the assistance of Skype, in my opinion, is not considered enough by teachers and parents, and yet, is an incredible opportunity. An additional bonus: it is free!!

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2012 in Blogging Adventures

 

Tech Task #6: Storytelling


Five Card Story: The Adventures of Imagination

a Five Card Flickr story created by Alyshia


flickr photo by bionicteaching


flickr photo by Serenae


flickr photo by bionicteaching


flickr photo by D’Arcy Norman


flickr photo by Serenae

There once were three children that had a day off of school. What to do? They decided to go exploring! Peeking through the back fence, they discovered a magnificent view of an unknown land, so on the count of three they jumped in: 1—2—3!!!

They explored this new land, and met a gentleman who welcomed them to this land and invited them to explore his church. They played there, and met some friends before they continued on their journey. Their next stop sent them into the clouds! Up, up, and AWAY! They soared like eagles, dove, twisted, and glided through the fluffy clouds. ZOOM!

Then Mom called, “It’s time for dinner! Come inside and wash up!”

In the distance, as they turned towards home, they could see an archway that led to a magical garden– their next adventure, surely!


This storytelling assignment was definitely interesting. I played around with various websites, and a variety of different methods that involved voice, text, photographs, or videos. I finally settled on this idea, because the idea of not knowing precisely what type of story will take shape until all of the photos is unique. I believe we, as teachers, too often require students to have their outline flawless before they begin their stories. I know I was always required to know the end before I began the beginning. I do not believe that that is always fair, and therefore, I like this style of storytelling.

However, I found it difficult to stray too far from the traditional definition of a “story.” If you noticed, my story is very traditional with a precise beginning, middle, and end, and could probably pass easily as a book in a classroom. Apparently I have a lot of room for growth regarding my considerations of storytelling!

Certainly, I believe that digital storytelling is a unique and engaging possibility for teachers and students alike, and could be easily used in a classroom.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Tech Tasks

 

Tech Task #7: Audio Clip

This tech task was certainly an opportunity for many firsts. Surprisingly, it was not the first time that I had done a digital audio recording. However, it was my first time using Garageband, and my first time using a Mac, as well as a new experience of uploading it to the internet. I must say, it was a positive experience. This little piece took us about an hour to do (Paula, Kelsie, and myself), and it is pretty basic, but we were proud of everything that we had accomplished and learned. Feel free to offer comments and suggestions!

 

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Tech Tasks

 

The Music Continues

So, just an update on my piano learning project:

The lesson this week went really well again. My class is now aware of why I am taking lessons, and that I am putting in many hours and am documenting my learning throughout this semester. They were very surprised that it was for an educational computers class and found it quite interesting. So, everything we did after that, someone would say, “Oh, Alyshia, you could write that down!” They are so cute!

My practices are going well, and I love spending a few hours a week in the music room practicing. I find it really relaxing and fun. I have been videotaping myself practicing so that I have a progression to look back on at the end of the semester. I have become frustrated a couple of times, but for the most part I am really pleased with my progress and my goal is to conquer my one book of worship songs by the end of the semester (there are about ten songs). So far, not so good, but I’m optimistic!

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2012 in My Musical Learning Journey