"Everything I do is for my people". - Sacagawea

Author: Jayden Tokar-Katz

Looking Back at the Learning Project

So I have been practicing the piano for several weeks now, currently grinding to learn that song I mentioned in my first post, the piano rendition of Stay by Kid Laroi. I am encountering an issue when trying to learn it though. This issue was a problem for me when I played piano several years ago and again it rears its ugly head to block forward progress for me. That issue is the ambidextrous nature of the piano. Combining both my hands is just a neurological connection my brain refuses to make!

I have tried learning both hands individually and then combining them but I have to focus on one hand at a time. If I focus on my right then my left either lags behind or cannot find the proper chord to play so this week I am going to try and find practice methods to working with both hands simultaneously.  To that end, I found this video on YouTube explaining and demonstrating several exercises to (hopefully) become more adept at becoming ambidextrous on the piano

I will update next week on my ambidextrous progress

Cyber Safety in my Elementary Years

Hi everyone! Sorry I have not been posting for the last couple of weeks, my auntie Wendy passed away so I have been super preoccupied. Still not done grieving but life goes on!

the topic to be covered: “Cyber safety”. Now I feel that I grew up in a period where technology, at least in terms of social media was revolutionized. With major platforms like Snapchat and Instagram really taking off and dominating the social media space. Snapchat really became popular in my early teens around 2014, same with Instagram. The key thing about these two apps is obviously photos and photography. The core memory I have about cyber safety was regarding media via primarily these platforms. In grade 8 we had an assembly where the principal and other staff members gave a presentation on the implications of inappropriate photos and dangerous photos. Even several police officers came in and educated us on this, telling us the law and consequences of taking and receiving inappropriate photos.

Then, once I got to high school we began to learn about the actual dangers lurking on the internet. Things like hackers being able to take control of the webcam of a laptop, or being able to locate the location of a cell phone. Both this and the assembly in elementary primarily focused on using scare tactics to make us think about our actions and safety measures when using the internet and social media.

“Cram”ing two posts into one

Hello all, I know this post is supposed to be primarily about the learning project and using a type of educational technology but I wanted to make a short statement about this class first. When I first signed up for this class I thought, I hoped, I would learn about how to use different sorts of technology in the classroom and improve my technical skills. When I read the syllabus, the weekly plans, etc., I was a bit disappointed because I thought “Oh, its just blog posts and an online community” but now that we are entering our 4th week I am starting to see the bigger picture, especially with this latest blog post.  The learning project directly ties in to using educational technology and I am improving my tech skills. All in all, the class is turning out the way I wanted.

Okay, with that said I will begin focusing on the prompt for this week. So the educational technology I decided to explore for my learning project is called “Cram” an online flashcard software where you can create your own flashcards and also discover millions of other flashcard sets created by people all over the world. Initially, I planned on creating my own flashcard set about different musical symbols, and then about halfway through my set I said to myself “You know maybe someone already created what I am looking for” and sure enough there was already a flashcard set with everything I wanted. Regardless I have included a video demonstrating how to use the software. It is very easy to understand and very user-friendly so really anyone could use it with my demonstration or without.

Under the SAMR model, the way in which I used it would be substitution. However I will provide examples for the rest of the acronym.

Augmentation – Students can use the software to embed images, audio clips or interactive elements

Modification – Students share their flashcard sets with peers for collaborative learning and receive immediate feedback, enhancing the learning experience.

Redefinition – Teachers and students from around the world collaborate to create a shared flashcard deck, pooling knowledge and resources.

Another thing about Cram is that once you make the flashcards you can create tests and even games using the content of your flashcards, important to consider when thinking about the SAMR model.

The flashcard set I used I will link here, it took me about two hours of studying to be able to clean the set without failure, and some of the terms I do not know the meaning of. I will create my own set where I put the term and put the meaning next to it.

“Simply” Not Enough

See what I did there? As I said last week I explored Simply Piano

There are several good things about Simply Piano, it teaches you basic notes and chords, it listens to you play and more but quite honestly I find it a bit too basic and does not really align with my way of learning. Looks like I will have to find more resources to learn from.

In my pursuit of looking for additional resources, I found a video on YouTube from a channel called “Become a Piano Superhuman” In this video the gentleman outlines the notes on the piano and teaches a basic note sequence that can be used in several ways to produce beautiful rhythms. I found this resource exceptionally helpful as it refreshed my memory on the location of the notes on the piano and doing the rhythm sequence helped my finger dexterity. When I did play piano in the past the biggest thing I struggled with was using both hands. If you try and make your hands do different things at the same time it is notoriously difficult. It is like your brain is trying to push a square through a triangle aha!

I think next week I am going to explore more videos about teaching piano from this author and see what else there is to learn. I also want to buy this book called “Piano for dummies”. while not an online resource I find these books helpful when learning new things. Actually just as I went to grab the link for that book I found another book that might be helpful called “Music Theory for Dummies” I will update everyone next week if I decide to purchase that book as well.

Video Games – Good or Bad?

Honestly, when it comes to technology, my biggest use is my PlayStation 5. Not only do I use it for playing video games but I also watch YouTube, Netflix, Prime Video, etc., I mostly play competitive shooters like Overwatch or Valorant but I try and play good single-player story games that come out like Spider-Man 2 which comes out next month

Growing up and to this day I spend the vast majority of my downtime playing video games. To me it is fun and it is really that simple. It is a place where I can socialize and interact with my friends and live vicariously through the game. Some people get lost in books, and some people get lost in movies and TV, for me, it is video games as nerdy as it sounds.  I almost hate to it admit because I do not see myself as “nerdy” or even feel like I give off a “nerdy” vibe, maybe I do, I have no idea. I personally feel like I give off a more sporty vibe because I am also very into sports both playing and watching. If you saw my first blog post you would see that side of me.

Throughout high school, I was not much of a “partier” per se. I remember one time my dad expressed his concern over me playing video games but said ” I would rather you enjoy time playing video games than going and drinking and getting into that mess” So while I do play a lot of video games and spend a lot of time doing so it is just to alleviate boredom and I learned in my drug education class that boredom is a potential risk factor for developing other issues. I definitely think I could spend more time being productive in other areas but if video games work for me I guess it works.

When it comes to academia, the university is really the first place where I started using technology for the purposes of school work, there was the occasional slideshow or collage in high school or elementary but that was the extent of it. University started using Grammarly and had to get used to UR courses and emails etc.

My Learning Project – Week One

For my learning project, I decided to pick up the piano again. I used to play the piano in my early teen years (13,14) but when I started high school I got too consumed in other hobbies to devote time to practicing the piano. I ended up discarding my piano. To begin practicing piano I went on Amazon and bought this piano . Decently priced for the purpose of this project and if there is one thing I learned about music and instruments is the better quality instrument the easier it will be to learn on.

To help illustrate my beginner-level grasp of the piano here is a short video of me playing small snippets of Let Her Go by Passenger and The Last of Us  Main Theme by Gustavo Santaolalla.

I am excited to develop my skills on the piano over the course of the semester. My goal is to be able to play this piano rendition of the hit song “Stay” by The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber

The piano I bought from Amazon came with a free subscription to an online piano learning resource called “Simply Piano”

For the first week of my learning (maybe two, depending on how much their is to learn from Simply Piano) I will use this learning resource to knock some of the rust off my piano skill. The goal for the first curve of this learning process is to get myself back to where I was, then once there I will focus on learning the aforementioned Song by Justin Bieber.

If you play the piano I would appreciate any tips or resources you have that would help me along in my piano journey, please leave a comment!

Welcome to my ePortfolio!

Hello world! Here is my ePortfolio and here you will find most of my professional life as an education student. My learning AND teaching philosophies, a lot of my life stories, a lot of what I have learned and more!

I began this ePortfolio for my ECS 102 class as it was a required assignment, now with EDTC 300 I have another opportunity to improve and refine my portfolio. 

If you do not know me, hi. my name is Jayden, I am from Wapi-muska (Whitebear) First Nation but I was raised my whole life in Regina. I am passionate about many things the most notable being sports (basketball and football) , music, video games and, of course, teaching! To illustrate my athletic passion I am posting a few photos, one of me pitching, one of my baseball team and a superbowl watch party. a black and white photo of me pitching a team baseball photo a photo of me with a friend holding a mock Lombardi trophy

I am not too familiar with educational technology but hope I will learn more about it from this course. As I mentioned my only knowledge and experience with Ed Tech is from my ECS 102 class where I made this ePortfolio. I have never been into blogs or blogging, i prefer more visual media like vlogs or sports journalism.

To give you all an idea of myself and my creativity I am giving you very short story I wrote in Cree called “niyanan apisimososak” or “we are deer” niyanan apisimôsosak

Thanks for reading my first blog post, please leave a comment if you have any questions and please take a look around the rest of my portfolio to gain a better understanding of myself and teaching vision.

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