• EDTC300,  My Learning Project

    Part 5: Learning All About Landscapes

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    “The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands”

    Leonardo da Vinci

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    Welcome everyone,

    Today, I am going to try and push myself outside of my comfort zone by creating a PixilArt landscape. Last week, I really enjoyed the ClipChamp program, so I am going to use the same video software to document my progress!

    As demonstrated in the video, I began by looking up various PixilArt landscapes to gain inspiration. After doing some digging on Reddit website, I found a link to an amazing blog, called SLYNRD, that goes through various tutorials such as animated, static, and mini PixilArt projects. It was just my luck that the author provided a landscape pixeling blog, so I had the opportunity to learn and follow along using only this resource.

    Although I want to say that the tutorial was easy to follow along with… it was not. Instead of providing a video, the tutorial was a continuous Patreon presentation on loop that could not be paused. The slides – having roughly 10 seconds on content each – moved far too quick for me to follow along and/or keep up with. If I missed a step or demonstration, I had to watch the whole loop again until I got back to that point. After getting frustrated, I just decided to stop watching the tutorial and try to figure out the process – specifically the clouds – on my own. Though I had troubles following the tutorial, I am extremely happy with how my project turned out.

    The finished product:

    My PixilArt Landscape
    My PixilArt Landscape

    Now, I want to try something new for next week… and I need your help. What should I create next?! Let me know in the comments below.

    Thank you so much for reading. Have an amazing week!

  • EDTC300,  My Learning Project

    3…2…1… ACTION!

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    Hello everyone, 

    Today I am going to be trying out a new video recording app called Clipchamp. Clipchamp is a downloadable Microsoft program that lets you record your own audio, desktop, and front camera… or if you are feeling fancy, you can record all three of these things at the same time. There is even a text to speech function!  

    Screenshot of from desktop of the Microsoft Clipchamp PC app
    A screenshot from my desktop of the Microsoft ClipChamp PC app

    Although Clipchamp is a Microsoft program, you do not need a Microsoft account to use it. All I did was download the Clipchamp PC app onto my computer, and it gave me the option to either create a new profile or log in using a Microsoft or Gmail account. Since Gmail is a free to use platform already, you can essentially get Clipchamp for free so long as you have an existing account. There is also an “Upgrade” option, however, nothing within the list of upgrades will affect your overall experience within the app. You can make unlimited videos, with unlimited time restraints, all within this one – free – platform.  

    As future educators – specifically in the digital age – this is an AMAZING tool for creating online lectures and/or video guides. If you bring a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation onto your desktop, you can record a digital lesson – with the option of – using your self-facing camera and audio that can play in the place of an in-person lecture. If any of you have taken an asynchronous class or have watched video tutorials on YouTube before, then this video-recorded lecture format may be familiar to you.  

    On the topic of using Clipchamp in the classroom, I provided an example of how Clipchamp can be used to fit each level of the SAMR model below:  

    • Substitution: The ability to teach a lecture digitally versus in person 
    • Augmentation: The ability to go back and edit and/or fix mistakes in a lecture 
    • Modification: The ability for students to collaborate with peers and create multimedia projects online 
    • Redefinition: The ability for students to collaborate globally on video projects  

    Overall, the Clipchamp PC app is a relatively easy program to navigate. Without any sort of tutorial, it took me roughly 15 minutes to figure out the basics. From there, I was flying through the process. To give you an example of Clipchamp in action, I have linked Part 4 of my learning project below. I hope you enjoy!  

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  • EDTC300,  My Learning Project

    Part 3: It’s Go Time 

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    “The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.” 

    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov 

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    Welcome everyone, 

    Today, I am going to create my very own PixilArt image. To start, I began by logging into my PixilArt account that I created in Part 1. From there, I clicked the “Start Drawing” link in the top right corner which took me to my very own workspace 🎉! 

    To be completely honest, it took me a long time to start feeling creative. I stared at the blank screen for 5 to 10 minutes before I even made an attempt to draw something… and then I changed my mind and wanted to start again. To put myself back on track, I decided to look up PixilArt video tutorials. After scrolling for some time, I found a tutorial that was both fun and achievable for me as a beginner… a perfect starting point!  

    My progress halfway through the video:  

    My desktop at the halfway point

    Here is my finished product:  

    My flower 🙂

    Overall, I am super happy with how this turned out! Although the author used a different pixel art platform called Adobe Illustrator, the tutorial was extremely easy to follow, and the content transferred to PixilArt extremely well. I am excited to see what is in store for next week.  

    Thank you for joining me along my learning journey! 

  • EDTC300

    Social Media… An Infectious Joke or A New Cultural Order?

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    Welcome everyone, 

    In our lecture this week, Introduction to the Digital World, we had the ability to explore the different ways in which our modern-day technologies have evolved. Messages that once took weeks to arrive – through the form of mailing systems – now can be sent and received in a matter of seconds through online portals such as iMessage or Gmail. Telephone calls that once were stationary – through the form of a landline – can now be made anywhere… from places such as the middle of a deserted grid road or the washroom. These changes, especially in the content and tools that we use, have led to an evolution in relationships. To specifically pinpoint this evolution in relationship, we must look to the technological advancement of social media.  

    As noted by Michael Wesch in his video, An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube, social media is the new way of creating community. Social media is not just about information, but “it is actually about linking people and it is about linking people in ways we have never been linked before,”. Through the lens of a future educator, with hopes of building community within a classroom, this would mean that we should be taking more digital approaches within our classrooms to better keep in tune with relevant practices. An attempt I have seen at this is through the Minecraft Education programs on school computers.  

    It is tricky to answer what this might mean for schools in general going forward. Similar to other scenarios, if we want to keep our teachings and content in line with the ever-evolving digital landscape, we must practice adaptability and innovation. Rethinking the idea of schooling and education in our networked, participatory, and digital world requires a shift in pedagogy towards a more dynamic and interactive approach. This entails bringing digital literacy, critical thinking, and collaboration skills into the curriculum to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the digital age. 

    However, balancing the challenges of our new digital reality with its possibilities is not always the easiest task. While digital technologies offer a huge potential for enhancing learning experiences, they also bring forward concerns regarding privacy, online safety, and the digital divide. Educators must navigate these challenges by promoting a culture of responsible digital citizenship and providing guidance on navigating the digital world ethically and safely. 

    Thank you so much for reading, 

    Emma 

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  • EDTC300,  My Learning Project

    Part 2: What Are Pixels?!

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    “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” 

    Pablo Picasso 

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    Hello everyone, 

    I am back to my PixilArt grind. As I was preparing for this week’s post, I found a large gap in my learning process… I did not know what a pixel was. So, instead of ploughing forward, I decided to take a pause in my initial plan – which was creating an art piece – to bring myself back to the basics.   

    Here’s what I learned: 

    • “Pixel art is a digital art style that utilizes individual pixels to create 2D images, known for its blocky, low-resolution aesthetic often associated with early video games and limited color palettes.” – Chat GBT 
    • Pixels are short for “picture elements 
    • They are the smallest indivisible units of a digital image or display 
    • Pixels are used in almost everything technology related! Like TV screens, video games, digital photographs, monitors, et cetera. 
    • Higher resolution images have more pixels, resulting in greater detail and clarity 

    Essentially, think of pixels like individual puzzle pieces. They come together to form a greater picture.  

    To find some additional pixel art information, I typed in “best pixel art pictures” into Google. It led me to this link, which blew me away.  

    A picture created using Pixel Art that depicts a scene from Stranger Things
    Pixel Art TV by Gustavo Viselner

    Although I may not get to this level of expertise by the end of the semester, I now have a solid foundation of what pixel art is used for and where people can go with it. 

    Thank you so much for reading, I will update you all next week!  

  • EDTC300

    Tech Habits: Facing My Social Media FOMO

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    Welcome back everyone,  

    This week, we had the opportunity to discuss a new topic: technology habits. In our day and age, technology is a part of almost everything we do, specifically in the form of mobile technology. Although mobile technology has its benefits, like waking someone up in the morning or teaching a new learner how to cook, to remain beneficial – as opposed to harmful – technology, like most things, must be used in moderation.  

    Snapchat SVG Vector Icon Instagram 1 SVG Vector IconTiktok Logo Logo SVG Vector Icon

    According to my iPhone Screen Time data, I use Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, Spotify, and Maps most frequently within my daily life. Although certain tools, such as group chats on Snapchat or focus-based playlists on Spotify, occasionally help along my academic pursuits, these apps – I will admit – are primarily used for leisure and social interaction.  

    To stay organized and productive, I heavily rely on:  

    Out of these resources, I will absolutely RAVE about the OneNote Desktop App. It is how I take notes and organize content for all my university classes. Through the app, you can import PDF files, PowerPoint slides, or screenshots and highlight desired content – in any colour you want 😉. As well, there is an amazing ruler function that keeps these highlights straight and clean looking! You can create a notebook for each class and add dividers for any week or chapter you would like, and you can close any notebooks you are no longer using (which will be saved in the app if you wish to open them later). Although it took me a little while to get used to, I absolutely fell in love with OneNote because it keeps me organized and allows me to have all my work in one place…#notsponsored it is just great! 

    Image of my OneNote desktop layout
    Here is an example of my OneNote layout

    A current tech-related distraction I am facing is the habit of mindlessly scrolling. Whether that be scrolling on my Instagram feed or my TikTok for-you page, I lose track of time without even knowing it. This habit wastes tons of time within my day that I could be using on other things. For example, I would rather scroll through TikTok for two hours than finish a reading I have for class.  

    To create a better balance between my academic and personal screen time, I have been wanting to A.) Limit my time on these apps using the App Limits function or B.) Delete these apps altogether. I have tried, at many times throughout my life, to just delete my social media altogether. However, this introduced a new challenge… FOMO. Life milestones, event invitations, or updates from my friends and family are something I feel as though I would be missing out on if I deleted my social media. Specifically, Snapchat. My sports teams, friends, and family make plans through the group chat function on this app, making it a staple in my daily life. As of right now, the feeling of FOMO is something I have not been able to overcome… and as a result I am still an avid social media user.  

    If anyone has any good advice on FOMO, please let me know in the comments… I am in need of it haha.  

    Thank you all so much for reading!  

    Have an amazing week,  

    Emma 

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  • EDTC300,  My Learning Project

    Part 1: Exploring the Wonders of the Digital Art World

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    “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”   

    – Pablo Picasso 

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    Welcome everyone,  

    Come along with me as I embark on my #LearningProject journey!  

    While planning out my project, I wanted to learn a skill that could not only push me outside of my comfort zone but also be transferable to a classroom environment. As I introduced in EDTC300 Blog #1, I had the opportunity to work at Educating Youth in Engineering and Science (EYES) camp this summer, facilitated through the Faculty of Engineering. During the planning of activities, I noticed a significant gap in my technological skills. Not only were these skills outside my comfort zone, but they were also entirely foreign to me. To be a strong educator, I believe that you must find and deliver content that your learners can relate to. In our tech-focused culture, I have observed that many young learners show great interest in the digital world, from video games to social media. So… what better option to push myself and explore than the art form of pixel art! 

    Upon my research, I found a free online resource called PixilArt. Through this program, learners can: 

    • Create a free account using only an email and password 
    • Save drafts or completed work to an account 
    • Follow other artists or friends 
    • Publish art projects to an online public community 
    • Access the art projects of others in the public community 

    They even have classroom signup options! Woohoo. This looks like a great teacher resource to use if you have access to internet, tablets, and/or laptops.  

    Image of PixilArt logo
    Screenshot of PixilArt logo

    To begin, I made my account and was ready to jump into creating. HOWEVER, I needed to learn how to use the program first. To become familiar, I watched a tutorial video going over all the functions and wonders of the PixilArt program. From there, I spent the rest of the hour playing around on Pixilart, exploring the functions of the toolboxes on the left and right sides.  

    Image of PixilArt program taken from desktop
    Screenshot of PixilArt platform

    My goal for next week is to make my first art piece. Going forward, I have scheduled time for my project every Sunday (starting January 22nd) for a minimum of one hour. As of right now, I do not have a desired outcome. I just want to become familiar with what PixilArt is and how to use it 😊! 

    Thank you joining me along my journey!

  • EDTC300

    New Beginnings: Emma Takes on Blogging

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    Hello everyone, 

    My name is Emma Metz, and I am a second-year education student at the University of Regina. Currently, I am in the early elementary program, with aspirations of teaching grades 1 through 3! In my free time, you can find me helping out at the family farm, reading a book at the library, hanging out at the cabin, or playing a *highly competitive* game of crib with my grandmothers.  

    An image of myself

    This spring, I had the opportunity to work as an instructor at Educating Youth in Engineering and Science (EYES) camp. As a STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – based program, I had to quickly become familiar with various forms of technology such as Ozobots, Micro:bits, Spheros, and Bloxels. Prior to this position, the only technological experience I had was with either a phone or a laptop. Therefore, it was an extremely eye-opening experience to be able to immerse myself in a new world of technology. Although daunting, the young learners immediately fell in love with the technology-based content, and – after learning the failures and triumphs that come with troubleshooting – I quickly fell in love with it too.  

    An image of myself blowing fire as an EYES summer camp instructor

    Going forward, I am extremely excited to document my learning in our EDTC 300 class throughout the semester. Although the process of blogging is something I am gradually warming up to, I cannot wait to learn from each other through our classroom community. In the blogging realm, I love reading online content from educational Instagram sources such as kidtalk.co, decolonizemyself, feminist, and the.holistic,psychologist. Although these resources are not explicitly considered blogs, they post daily content that is personal, engaging, and directly transferable to classroom environments.  

    Thank you so much for reading! I cannot wait to learn with all of you this semester 😊. 

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    *All of the images on this page are my own*

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