Going into this weekly post I was excited to partake in an experiment that seems very important to understanding our digital identity. This week I had the task of creeping on Jorden Robitaille with permission of course and the process opened my eyes to a lot of things. I will give props to Jorden as I gave some effort into digging and didn’t find all that much to report on. Some of the only things I can say is she is doing research in musical therapy and has an interest in nightcore dance music.
Some things I can say is it doesn’t take much to start your descent down the rabbit hole and the more information you are able to gain the easier it is to move deeper. Even with someone having a private social identity it only takes keywords or nicknames to get further in what you are trying to find. To refer to the reading on multiple online identities, I think it is ever so important to realize that to find one identity makes it much easier to find other ones. Being in the education field it is easy to find my professional portfolio and posts but I didn’t know my professional identity exposed my private one as well.
I found this weeks project to be an entertaining one as well as a topic that seems ever so important to further our knowledge in.
I would say that teaching digital literacy in the classroom is something easier than it seems. It might look different from subject to subject but the framework stays the same throughout. A simple way that comes to mind would be to expose students to fake resources that relate to your subject area, and the signs that indicate an invalid source. Digital literacy directly relates to valid research and what online should be used in an educational setting. As digital literacy includes using a variety of tools effectively and efficiently, as stated in the NCTE framework. Which can be translated in use of tools in any subject field, for example the use of online graphing calculators in math and indicating which resources are valid tools.
Topics such as fake news are easily adaptable to the social studies curriculum in finding valid resources when it comes to research projects. Being able to differentiate real from fake is a valuable tool that should be presented to the student to further their knowledge for future research.
It feels to me that this topic is more adaptable than teachers will give it credit and is something important that we should be presenting in the classroom at an earlier level.
We find ourselves at my second to last post on chess. My brain has done more computations and thinking in this project than a lot of my math classes that I’ve taken thus far in university. I think a lot of my progress and confidence gained thus far can be attributed to the lessons and computer matches that chess.com offers. Being able to improve without the stress of regressing in rank takes a lot of the stress load off where you can focus on learning which is the most important factor into gaining chess confidence.
For this week in chess research I looked into counter-play techniques, which consists of knowing the difference between a mistake and a bait at the higher levels. Ironically I found myself back on the GothamChess youtube page which was the first video that I watched in chess regarding the King’s Indian opening from post one. It almost felt like a full circle as I moved forward with my chess strategy.
To finish off this week I tried out a chess.com feature that I haven’t toyed around too much with this semester. This being puzzle battles which breaks down into a puzzle race against other people online. It seems like a great way to add pressure to the decision making process in a fun way. I ran into some great minds tho and seemed to lose most of the battles. I really was there for the learning process and not to have only the goal of winning the battles as they were in the learning process.
Here is to another week in learning too much information for my brain to process!
Thankful I can call myself someone with enough coding experience to be comfortable in the field. I can even add that I volunteer at a computer science summer camp so my critique comes with experience teaching kids in the field. Knowing what I do sets me up to be able to jump right into coding tools and see what benefits they offer to teaching the youth on coding.
Getting hands on with code.org, I think they way they simplify the coding process to visuals and events really simplifies the experience for students new to the field. The biggest problem I found when exposing new perspectives to the field is the feeling of overwhelming the student when trying to break down too many new ideas. The way this resource is set up we can really slow it down for the students to build the foundation before laying down the brickwork. Having the students take the lesson at this pace can also build interest in the field as having tools such as Minecraft lessons can extend the appeal.
Overall I think that computer science is a widely expanding field that a lot of future students will be specializing in and building an appeal as a younger age really sets the student up for success if they choose to pursue this field down the road.
With only a couple more weeks left for my project this semester, I wanted to revisit the professional game and see if my perspective on the matter has shifted at all from when I last watched a professional match. I can say with certainty that it has, not in the way that I can call every move to be made or to correct the pros in any way. I can now say though I follow the game much clearer and am better at recognizing blunders as they are punished by the other pros. I’ve seem to move past the feeling of overwhelmingness that filled me as I reacted to pro games in the past.
Feeling like I’ve tackled most of the basic strategy principles this semester, I found myself browsing youtube for different ideas on mistakes people around my skill bracket make, and both how to solve them as well as taking advantage of your opponent when he makes them. I stumbles across a couple videos on the chess vibes channel on youtube with a couple videos targeting my bracket and appealing the feeling of where to go next which I was faced with this week.
I then took some ideas such as fork prevention into some more matches online, and found more success in later game decision making and I also found myself having to use less time in between moves. The whole game seems a bit more natural now which is something I’ve been aiming to achieve from when I started.
The main takeaway from this project so far has definitely to give extra credit to the professional players out there as it is mind-blowing how much works goes into making vast improvements in chess. I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress this semester but looking at the worldwide matchmaking numbers I haven’t even started
Total Rank Growth: 400 -> 800
Looking at the adaptation of digital citizenship into the curriculum, I wanted to focus more on my specific target audience being high school students. I think that a great subject to integrate these ideas in would be through social studies and more specifically on the topic of worldview. As time moves forward technology and digital citizenship interlock more and more in how we view the world. For todays youth a lot of the time, technology is the biggest part of their lives. As we move forward we need to recognize this and adapt with it.
Some direct connects I found in the SK curriculum are IN9.2 which has to do with factors that shape worldview in society. This can be an easy segway into presenting the importance of digital literacy in our fast evolving society. Easily touching on topics in the nine elements such as digital access and rights/responsibilities. Another connection can be made to the grade 11 social studies unit on human rights. Which can easily be tied in to digital rights as they become ever so important in our society.
I think in my future classroom I aim to keep my perspective current and try to adapt and appeal to evolving technology. It is best to stay updated than to fall behind, it just leads to a longer update down the road.
For this week of my chess journey, I ended up signing up for the one month trial of chess.com. This basically opens the door for unlimited puzzles and lessons regarding chess. I have spent a lot of time looking around the internet for different medias and websites to learn from but always ending up back at chess.com as it is the best place to put concepts and strategies into a reality.
For my strategy concept that I wanted to dive deeper into, I chose king safety. With king safety the objective is to position your king and know movements revolving the king to ultimately set yourself up to have the highest chance of winning. After all the entire game surrounds who’s king falls first. Reading up from an article by chessfox.com I was able to better visualize a middle ground between king safety as well as putting the opposing king in a position to give up the game.
I moved into some king defence modules where I was really exposed to some poor king positioning and was taught where would be optimal movement to put myself back into the game.
After a couple more puzzle modules I found myself back at the table to play more online opponents. This week I had my friend Travis watch some of my games to get live feedback which was one thing I felt like I was lacking from just trying to analyze my own mistakes. He pointed out things I wouldn’t have even thought of and it was nice to get an outside perspective on certain matters.
Another great feature that I wanted to touch on is the chess.com game reviews. When you complete a game the application will break down every move you made and tell you how you played based on optimal outcomes. Its not only nice to break down my mistakes but to also get a feel for what I did right regarding positive moves.
For next week I really aim to keep at practice matches as I’m wanting to improve my player score as the semester moves towards a close in the coming weeks.
As someone who spends probably too much time behind a computer/phone screen, I would consider myself educated in the risks that the internet imposes on its users. The problem with teaching students about the concept of digital citizenship is they lack the ability to see its importance at young ages. I remember when I was going through school the scare tactic was the most often used technique to teach about cyber safety. This tactic never shows the student the true importance of the topic and I can say we would usually blow off the scare tactics being imposed on us. We never really benefitted from this approach and I wouldn’t see how other students would be able to take away much from these lessons as it isn’t really something that is getting through the way we intend it too.
This definitely isn’t a topic that has a simple solution as progress would have already been made to get to the students and show them the importance of their digital footprint. I think the right approach would be to relate to the student and adapt to their lens as someone not exposed to the risks that unsafe use of technology imposes. Teach by using examples and showing the damage that can be done instead of scaring our youth from using the internet as they would.
Moving into progress post six of the semester I wanted to get another level of strategy under the belt. I decided to read up on space, which is a simple concept but a deeper understanding really opens the door for strategy. Being not only adaptable to how the board plays out but to also know when to take advantage of space on the board as well as when to back up and play the passive angle. I first read up on chess-teacher.com where I was able to tackle the concept a little deeper. This mixed with a couple youtube videos one being by the Hanging Pawns channel on youtube.
I was really able to make a direct correlation between this concept and the game itself when I was able to analyze a game after my lesson. I was able to see that I had the space advantage on the board but really didn’t take advantage of it and my opponent came back and beat me in the end. From my chess exposure so far it has definitely been the game that I’ve learned the most through my losses and not my wins. That seems to be the one drawback from playing against computer opponents as well compared to real people. Computers sometimes allow your mistakes to go unpunished while the real people will really get on you for it.
I think moving into the coming week, I’m going to be doing more puzzles and lessons on the chess.com site as it seems to be the ultimate utility for furthering your game as a whole. I think for right now furthering my knowledge will prove to be more beneficial than trying to increase my rank among chess players.
Total Rank Growth: 400 -> 700
This week in my journey in chess, I wanted to further my knowledge in another strategy that can implemented into my play. I read up on a recommended concept called piece activity. Simply put pieces have abstract values depending on their position on the board. Pieces that are behind pawns and trapped from play have less value than others that have the ability to move around the board. You can also play aggressive even with less pieces if you know where you stand regarding activity.
Out of pure curiosity I looked into some professional chess games just to get a feeling of how advanced high level players think. After watching some gameplay from Magnus Carlson (Arguably the world’s best player) my mind was blown with how advanced these players are. They are thinking 30 moves down the line while I’m maybe thinking one or two. It really furthered my appreciation for how much dedication it takes to get to the top.
I went over some lessons using the chess.com lesson page, here professional players go through situations and break down optimal moves. I chose a lesson based on activity to tie in with my reading this week and needed some tips along the way but made my way through the lesson.
I followed some practice by going into some more games against online opponents. I aimed to play some more games casually throughout the weeks to get some more casual practice in. Overall my rank hovered a bit as moving forward just means better opponents down the line but I definitely feel like I can put up a fight in every match played with my boosted confidence.
Total Rank Growth: 400 -> 650