Improving my relationship with technology one blog post at a time.

Category: EDTC300

Why not, Minot?

Ahhhh…. Reading Week. A welcomed break from the hustle and bustle of everyday school and learning life.

This week has offered some opportunities for catching up, reflecting and even a trip to the USA with my kids. Don’t get too excited for me – I live as close to Minot, ND as I do Regina, but there is lots to see and buy in Minot that you will never see or buy in Regina!

First (and always) stop? Qdoba. Never been? I liken it to a Mexican subway. It never disappoints.

{Check out the size of that bowl! How many avocados do we think are in there?!}

Second stop? Hobby Lobby. Never been? Think American version of Michael’s. I decided I really wanted to see the beads I planned to use for my project in person rather than ordering online and being disappointed in colours, sizes, etc. Hobby Lobby did not disappoint in their bead supply options! Look at all of the beautiful colours! And they were on sale!

     

I ended up settling on a small selection of multi-coloured beads rather than choosing individual tubes of colours. To get started on an actual project I would consider showing others, I do believe these beads were a good choice. But, I also think I will be stopping at Michael’s during my visit to Saskatoon to grab an even bigger selection of beads should this next beading attempt go well.

Once I got started with the new beads, I was interested to find the inconsistencies in sizes in these beads as well. There must be a trick or a “best source” that seasoned pros use! My second attempt definitely went better than the first, but I’m still slow as molasses in January (so glad it’s not still January!) when it comes to working with beads and thread and felt, etc, etc! I do feel like this process would get easier and I will get faster once I’ve practiced this craft some more!

I don’t love the colour pink, but I’ve decided I’d like to try to bead an animal using the pattern I found previously, and I wanted to save my greens and blues. Here’s the petal I completed with my new glass beads. It’s a very slight improvement, but blood wasn’t shed, tears weren’t shed and no bad words were expressed….out loud, anyway!

 

 

There’s Always Time for smore Learning

This week I decided to try out smore to chronicle my learning project progress. I’m not very brave when it comes to technology or learning new apps or websites, but my school uses smore for our newsletter so I thought I’d give it a try.

Honestly, I didn’t love this platform.
There are lots of templates to choose from that others created and shared in a number of different categories, BUT you have to work around the information they’ve used in the newsletter as well as the format they’ve created.
It was difficult for me to edit the first template that I chose which caused me to be frustrated (when I was already frustrated with my learning project!) so I ditched one template and started a new, blank newsletter.

 

Progress is saved automatically, which is great, but I didn’t like that there was no ‘preview’ option. I like to see what things are going to look like before I hit ‘publish’! I also wish there had been an undo button when I accidentally clicked and dragged a section that I had completed and never was able to move it back to where I thought it belonged.

 

With your free account, you only get to create three free newsletters before it asks you to upgrade.

The cost isn’t cheap, but if you planned to use it regularly then you could probably justify the subscription. And, with regular use, I’m sure the entire site and process becomes easier to navigate and edit.

I do think that this tool could be used in the classroom to create fun weekly or monthly newsletters to send to families. The template I ended up using was suggested as a classroom newsletter and provided space to add photos with descriptions of what was happening in the classroom. My school already uses this platform to communicate our monthly school newsletter to families, but it would also be easy enough to use as a classroom communication tool.

There are plenty of options to add links to your newsletter, some templates even had moving graphics embedded in them. You’d never move up to the top of the SAMR model using a tool like this, but with adding in different links or including videos or inviting parents and students to view documents where they could edit to provide feedback would at least move you off the shore!

As for my learning project process, please make your way to my newsletter, created with smore, to reveal the blood (literally) and tears that occurred this week.

With the Aid of Paper

It’s pretty interesting the sources of inspiration and help one can find when they are least expecting it. After doing some more research into needle sizes and bead options for my learning project, I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed. Excited still, but overwhelmed. So I decided to do a little more digging into ideas for patterns  and colours – the things that would make this project manageable and winning for me. Ahhhlong came a beautiful post with basically exactly what I needed for inspiration and templates to use in the classroom!

Although I still plan to start “small” with a simple beaded flower, these animal designs are patterns that I look forward to gaining enough confidence to try beading something as intricate!

Thanks to living in a smaller, rural centre, options are incredibly limited for crafting supplies (amongst other things!). As much as I like to shop and support local, sometimes that’s just not possible when it comes to specific tasks such as the beading project I’ve chosen to pursue. Amazon has been my go-to when it comes to searching for necessary supplies and the price is right, Bob!

Fingers crossed that my supplies show up soon (nobody is trusting the UPS tracking any day of the week!!), but in the meantime I will be watching videos on different beading methods (I had no idea there was going to be so many suggested beading methods. Yikes!) and using my paper guides to map out the colour schemes I plan to use.

Looking forward to getting started on this project and sharing some actual photos from my real-life progress!

 

 

Culture of Participation

It is almost unfathomable to think about how much the internet and our digital world has changed since the internet was launched. Our class discussion regarding the reaction of someone from the 1950 being plucked from what they know and dropped into our current digital culture definitely sparked some thought about what I see as some of the biggest changes to our digital lifestyle. There are times where I feel like I can’t keep up with the changes in technology – and I haven’t turned 40 yet!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Pictured above is my dad, left, born in 1949 alongside his brother, in this photo dated 1952}

One of the first points that caught my attention in the YouTube video featuring anthropologist Michael Wesch was when he shared his example of collaboration and likened it to a travelling across time and space. In Wesch’s example, he collaborated with a musical artist from the Ivory Coast of Africa while he worked in the basement of his home in Arkansas. This was one of many examples of the creation of global connections that Wesch spoke to in his presentation.

In terms of the culture of participation in the classroom, there are so many online resources and opportunities to connect with others that we might never have had the opportunity to connect with. My students have participated in SK Live Arts presentations that offer live learning opportunities such as completing an art project led by a Métis artist and a theatrical presentation led  by a teacher and actress. We’ve also participated in some interactive science presentations led by instructors in Ontario.  These have been wonderful learning experiences and opportunities!

I feel like there is some added pressure on schools to ensure that they have up-to-date technology and infrastructure to support the lean towards digital use in the classroom. Seeking out these online learning opportunities to stay current is also important, especially if you’re a school fighting to maintain or build enrolment.

A lot of re-thinking has happened when it comes to education.

It was a forced rethinking (thanks? Covid), but there are so many more opportunities for accredited classes that are available online. There’s no way I’d be able to finish my degree without these online class options! Our class is an example of this new culture of participation. Here we all are, each Tuesday evening, logging into an online Zoom Room from wherever we all may be (you will find me chilling in SE Sask!) to participate in an online class.
Pretty cool opportunities to be had thanks to the internet!

 

The balancing act comes back to limits, for me anyway. I don’t use TikTok for this very reason.
I waste fifteen minutes of my life watching cat/guinea pig/dog reels on Facebook when they come up! Although I do think helpful and relevant info is being shared some of the time, my algorithms are definitely not picking up and delivering anything useful!!

Métis Beading: The Very Beginning

Does anyone even remember what we did before we had the internet to use as our go-to?

 

 

Yeah, actually I do because the internet wasn’t generally used until I was almost a teenager!

 

 

 

 

How did we survive or accomplish anything before YouTube?!

Library, card catalogue

 

 

We went to the library and searched the PAPER CARD CATALOGUE to find A BOOK with the information we were looking for!

 

 

 

 

Coming from someone who doesn’t access nearly as many tech gadgets/websites/apps as I maybe should, YouTube has been an amazing teacher in other subject areas, and when it comes to my Learning Project, it’s proving to be most helpful.

When I introduced myself as a beginner, the internet has confirmed and reminded me that I am most definitely a beginner. I’ve sewn buttons back onto clothing before or mended a small rip in a favourite pair of mittens, but when it comes to accomplishing something creative with string or thread AND beads? Next level difficult!

Lucky for me, there are experienced people out there who are also able to share their knowledge in manageable steps for people like me. Miss Chambers has posted a series of videos on her YouTube channel that are simple to follow, well laid-out and have a clear goal in mind that she sets out to accomplish during the video duration.

This project definitely seems like something that will challenge me, but won’t frustrate me to the point that I want to toss all of my supplies into the garbage and set it on fire. My plan for this week is to choose a pattern that I can follow easily, most like a simple floral as depicted int he video preview, and decide on the colours of beads I plan to use. Once I have a list of materials, I’m going to get everything ordered online. We have very few options in town that I’ll likely have to order everything online unless I time it right to grab my supplies the next time I’m in the city.

Watching a couple of short tutorials has definitely sparked my excitement for this project!

Tech Habits of an “old lady”!

The Ultimate App Logo Design Guide: With Examples and Tips! | Looka

 

Last week’s class was very interesting to me as I watched names of apps pop up in our discussion that I have never used, some I had never heard of. Welcome to the life of someone who basically avoids technology and is likely many, many years older than the average student in this class! My kids razz me on the daily for not knowing things they figure I should know about the internet and technology world.

Besides checking my email and Facebook on my phone, in my personal life, there are very few apps I use daily or regularly. My kids are all busy with sports [GO EXTREME!] so TeamLinkt is a mainstay on my home screen. My kids’ school division uses Edsby and just this fall I finally broke down and downloaded the app. It’s really starting to seem like my kids are the reason I need access to technology most of the time!! At work (I work at a school), we use YouTube almost daily, but tech access is limited during the school day for my students. Every once in a while we throw in a Blooket to switch things up!

I float between TeamLinkt and Edsby to stay on top of managing and organizing my kids’ schedules. Personally, I’m a pen and paper calendar person. I generally have a note open on my phone to jot a quick piece of information down, but that all gets transferred onto a paper calendar where everyone in our family can take a look at the craziness that is our lives! I’m only a part time student while working nearly full-time and don’t feel the need to rely on tech to manage my life.

Even though Facebook is considered an old person app, it’s my go-to for time wasting. And it truly is a waste of time filled with ads and suggested pages and external websites. Rarely do I see anything posted by an actual friend. I’m an avid Pokémon Go player as I walk every day, so that might also count as a time-waster, although I feel less guilty about the time spent on that app since I’m getting some exercise in the process. My phone charges in a different room in my house so I’m not tempted to pick it up after I’ve gone to bed or if I wake up in the middle of the night. I should probably leave my phone in a different room at other times throughout the day so that I am more productive in general!

Is there anything I’m missing out on living my old lady lifestyle in this tech focused world??

 

A Path to Understanding: Métis Beading

When Dr. Hildebrand first mentioned this course involved a project where we could choose to learn to do almost anything, Métis beading was one of the first ideas that came to mind.

Beadwork, bag, Métis, Cree

After taking my first Indigenous Studies class, I was inspired to learn more about our First Nations and Métis cultures as I attempted to understand and appreciate the beauty that the people and their cultures have to offer us. Having learned more about Métis culture over the last few years and being exposed to images of the amazing beadwork of our Métis people, I know this is a skill that I would like to attempt to learn! I love colour and am a big fan of flowers, both of which seem to be a mainstay in Métis beadwork.

My daughter has suggested that I make her some earrings during this project, but I’m hoping to be able to complete a number of smaller projects throughout my Learning Project. I did a quick internet search and there looks to be some great online resources with video tutorials to aid in my progress. One of my coworkers, and someone I’m lucky enough to call a friend, completed some Métis beadwork projects through lockdown in 2020 and offered her help should I need it. Friends are great, aren’t they?!

As for my project outline, my first step is to finalize one project that I’d like to complete. Next would be to make a list of supplies I’ll need to complete the project and where I can purchase those supplies, whether that be locally or online. I plan to watch a number of video tutorials and hope to find some articles to read on the topic as well to guide me through this process. I plan to start with a simpler design and project and if it proves to be more manageable than I anticipated, I will challenge myself with a more intricate design. But don’t hold your breath on the intricacy piece!

Hello/Bonjour!

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my very first blog post – ever!

A little about me…

My name is Chantelle and my post secondary education journey has led me to this class! I’m currently considered a third year Education student, but am piecing together my degree requirements after a *gasp* twenty-year hiatus from university!

I’m mom to three big, busy kids. My oldest celebrates his eighteenth birthday this week (I’m not crying, you’re crying)! Currently you’ll catch me court side at a basketball or volleyball game on the weekends.

Cat

 

I’m also human mom to my favourite cat, Stinky Pete.

 

 

 

 

 

I love nature. There is so much beauty to be seen and appreciated in this world and you don’t have to venture very far to find it. I also love being outside and walk outside almost every single day. I draw the line at -50 though!

 

 

Travel sits near the top of my favourite activities list, too.  This past summer my daughter and I visited Newfoundland for the first time and it is one of my favourite places I’ve visited! It’s hard to pick a favourite of the places that we visited on our trip, but Twillingate definitely stole my heart.

As for blogging, I have never considered creating a blog. Technology is not my favourite thing to deal with, but I do love to write so I’m hoping this ends up being a beautiful partnership! I see the benefits in developing and maintaining an online presence, so here we go. Thanks for joining me on this journey!

 

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