Yoga on the ‘Tube

At the beginning of this journey I created a goal to workout 2-3 times per week. This is a goal I have been able to obtain so far (even if some of my yoga sessions are cut short with my baby’s short naps), and I am proud of myself for sticking to this goal. With goal setting I think it is important to chose something that is realistic to your lifestyle and to make adjustments as needed. Setting aside some time for my mental and physical health has felt really good. I am looking forward to continuing down this path throughout the rest of the semester, and maybe even beyond!

This week I explored YouTube to find a channel that I could connect to with my yoga journey. While exploring, I stumbled upon Yoga with Adriene. She creates playlists of different yoga genres that are great for finding what works best for you and your body. Some examples being yoga for beginners, yoga for a sore back, yoga for bedtime, yoga for teachers, yoga monthly challenges, etc. I find that Adriene uses really positive language. Her videos are inviting and make you want to participate in her workouts.

I decided to share her Yoga For Teachers video with you all, given this is an education course. I hope to dive into some yoga tools to use in the classroom as I discover new yoga resources. If you have some time, you should try giving back to yourself and follow along to her yoga video.

Getting “Down” with TikTok

This week I continued to use the app Yoga Down Dog, which I have been loving! I have a free trial until March so I will keep using it throughout the month while trying out other yoga resources. You select the type of workout you want to complete (body focus and time) and within seconds the app curates a yoga workout for you. Every workout begins with the Easy Seat. While you are seated you get mentally prepped and focused on your breathing before you begin changing poses. I have been finding that the flow of the workout is fantastic. The instructor talks you through every step, sharing what muscle groups to focus on and reminds you to inhale and exhale… all while in a calm state. The yoga pose Down Dog is often used in between a range of yoga poses like lunges and planks. I love this stretch in the backs of my legs when I work through this pose. The most difficult poses I find are the ones that really work my core, especially my lower abs because I am finding I am quite weak in this area, especially now that I am postpartum. Overall, I am finding this yoga journey very wholesome. It works on my strength and my flexibility which is what I have found that I am missing in between my workouts with weights and cardio. I look forward to continuing this journey throughout the coming weeks!

screenshot of my TikTok video

To share about my yoga journey I created a video for you to view. Here are the tools I used to create it:

  1. Time Lapse
    I used the time lapse video recording option on my iPhone in the camera app. This was SO easy to use. I particularly loved it because I filmed myself doing a 15 minute yoga workout and it compressed it to about 30 seconds.
  2. TikTok
    I am a TikTok viewer and not a creator, so I thought I would finally give creating a video on TikTok a try. I wanted to share about my journey by showing pictures from the app with a voice over of my thoughts about my experience and I knew this was a possibility with TikTok. Creating my first TikTok was NOT easy! There are so many different things you can do with the app. There are filters, video editing tools, music, audio editing tools, different effects, and more to choose from. I was overwhelmed with the options but I am sure with more practice it would get easier.

TikTok would be a neat way for students to share their learning about a given topic as an assignment. There are so many creative ways students could make videos to share their learning such as creating a song and dance, story telling, acting, photos, and more. I would consider using TikTok to share learning as Modification in terms of the SAMR model. I think it alters the learning task because students are given creative freedom to share about what they learned. There would likely be no assignment that is the same because of the endless options of how to create a TikTok video.

https://youtu.be/4GWIDn-A9lM

Downward (or Upward?) Dog

After last week’s disappointment of app Yoga; Stretch Bend Sweat. I went through the Apple App Store and found an app called Yoga Down Dog. What I particularly like about this app is when you are beginning to set up your profile it asks you many questions about your goals, what areas you wish to focus on, what yoga level you’re at, and what pace you want your yoga workout to be. Everything is very customizable from the voice of the instructor, the music, the sound levels, the length of the workout. The app logs your yoga journey on a calendar and you’re able to look in your history to see what workouts you completed so you can reference them in

the future and repeat what you liked or avoid what you didn’t enjoy.

The workouts themselves have calming music, an instructor who guides you through the movement, and a video demonstration of each pose and how to move from pose to pose with FLOW (which we lacked last week!). The instructor is detailed with what muscles you should be feeling in each moment, she focuses on your breathing, and keeps you engaged all while allowing time to focus in silence.

This video is an example of the yoga workouts you can find on the app.

 

Since starting this app I have been more excited to do my yoga workouts knowing that I was going to get something out of the movement. I enjoy the flow of the positions all while working on my core balance and breathing (these were both things I chose to focus on when setting up my profile). I am beginning to get some momentum with my yoga journey, I can feel it!

 

Technology is the FUTURE and so are Our Students

Technology is ever changing. Michael Wesch shared how the internet has become a phenomenon in society. This lecture was given in 2008. Today we could spend days discussing all that the internet has to offer our society and how we have evolved into a digital world.

Today, teachers are implementing technology into their classrooms because it is an important thing for students to learn how to conduct themselves on the internet safely. Technology in our schools has offered students endless opportunities for learning. Teachers can implement technology in many ways whether it’s a teacher led lesson from a projected laptop, learning apps on tablets, online independent research, completing assignments using Word documents, PowerPoints, etc. Students can present their learning using many different outlets and share what they have learned with their families all online.

Throughout the pandemic we had to learn how to provide “online learning” in a short amount of time. I had to learn how to get grade one students engaged with a screen and to follow along with lessons in a simple way using Zoom and Seesaw. Not all of these programs are user friendly for six year olds with limited reading skills.

Digital tablet, school and students in classroom doing research for work, test or exam. Technology, education and boy children friends working on project or assignment together with mobile on campus.
students sharing a tablet to complete an assignment in the classroom

The reality of teaching in a digital world is that we need to be able to afford technology for our students in public education. Teachers are doing what they can to share limited amounts of technology amongst students and other classrooms for students to learn how to use technology as a tool in their learning as it is recognized as important skills to have.

Technology is the future and so are our students. It will be amazing to see what our current students will do with the digital world as they become our leaders in their adolescence.

Scroll Here!

This week I decided to dive into my phone and look at my average screen time and what apps I use the most. My daily average screen time this past week was 4 hours and 28 minutes. I spent almost 21 hours on social media apps with a total of 31 hours and 17 minutes of screen time. Oh my gosh…. I am sure there are many people who blow me out of the water but this is more than one full day!

daily average screen time on iPhone

My most used apps in my phone are…

list off top apps used and the time spent on each app
  1. Messages
  2. Instagram
  3. Facebook
  4. Safari
  5. Snapchat
  6. Tinybeans (a family photo sharing app)
  7. Camera
  8. Photos
  9. Messenger
  10. Reminders
  11. TikTok

Does this list surprise me? Not at all. I know what apps catch my interests and which ones I scroll on the most. With my life having changed so much in the past year, I know that this would look much different if I was back in the classroom working and not on maternity leave. If I was working in the classroom I would definitely add Edsby to the list. Also my daily hours on my phone would be much less, however I would have to add in time spent on my work computer with emails, Edsby, Youtube, learning websites, etc.

I do like to try to limit my screen time with doing things such as walking my dog, cooking, and simply just being present around friends and family. I have found that I wind down at the end of the day better if I put my phone away for bed. I like the option of having my notifications silenced between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. so I am not bombarded with texts from my friends as I am trying to sleep. I think this helps with a healthy relationship between my well-being and screen time.

I noticed that there is an option on the iPhone to limit your screen time usage by scheduling “downtime” and limiting what apps you can use at certain times of the day, as well as setting limits for how much time you can spend on a given app. I would have liked this option back when I was studying for finals during my undergrad as I am a HUGE procrastinator. It would have helped with my productivity of studying and finishing papers in a big way.

After reading a few articles online I learned that the average American has around 7 hours of screen time per day and Canadians close with 6.5 hours per day. The article on Screen Time Statistics shared that countries like South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and Philippines have the highest average screen time per day all over 9 hours. I was happy to learn that my average screen time is below the average Canadian. I am sure as our technological world progresses that these statistics will only go up in daily hours.

Where’s the flow?

I know last week I discussed an app called FitOn, however I chose another app to get started with called Yoga; Stretch Bend Sweat. I will be using this app for a week while I have a free trial.

To begin, the app asks questions to get to know you in order for it to create workouts that are suitable to your needs and abilities. I put in that I was a beginner with yoga (because I am) despite my dance background and barre workout history. I told the app that I wanted to focus on strength, mindfulness and relaxation with a couple workouts a week for about 20-30 each session.

screen shot of the Yoga app

The app showcases all of the yoga poses in the Pose Library. It has images, a description of each pose and a video of a person demonstrating the poses. This is a useful tool for me to familiarize myself with some poses and practice before I begin my workouts.

description and image of warrior pose
pose library on the app

My first couple of workouts I found were semi-relaxing. It felt good to take the time in my busy day for just myself without distractions. I found the transitions from pose to pose shaky. Maybe this was just me not used to some of these poses but I didn’t feel coached into how to move from pose to pose with flow. As a retired dancer, I like flow in my body movement. Throughout the workout, there is someone talking with relaxing and motivating music. It shows images of each pose instead of video. With my background of dance I find it easy to look at an image and copy what is being done, however I know that this would be challenging for other people to imitate what is being shown without a video on how to get there. In order to have steady flow from pose to pose, I think I would benefit from video instruction so I can learn how to move from pose to pose instead of just getting there. Maybe I don’t understand what yoga is supposed to be like but I think there needs to be more flow than what I am practicing.

Anyways… I am looking forward to exploring this app further before I move on to some others, including the FitOn app. I would like to see if I can find some video instruction too to compare to what I have been practicing this week.

Thanks for tuning in!

It’s just the beginning…

Today is the day that I am beginning my journey with yoga!

Before we begin I will give you some background about myself. I danced for 18 years of my life, I enjoy fitness classes of barre and spin, I am a new mom and am looking to get started with my postnatal fitness journey. I have always thought about how I would enjoy yoga. Not only is it proven to reduce stress and be good for mindfulness, but it it is good for gaining core strength and flexibility. It is time I do a little something for me at home as my baby naps throughout the day.

I want to create a realistic goal for myself of how often I wish to practice yoga and what I am hoping to gain from this experience. It is my goal to practice yoga 2-3 times per week. Throughout this time I hope to gain flexibility and spend these yoga sessions with mindfulness (not thinking about life, baby, and not getting distracted with my device). I would like theses yoga sessions to bring me a healthy way of giving back to myself through exercise and reducing stress.

So now I begin my first steps… I am not jumping into a yoga session right away. I am spending some time researching yoga apps/websites that I think will suit my needs as a beginner in yoga with sessions of about 30 minutes. I was told by another classmate that the FitOn app is really great, free to students and has lots of great workout videos (including yoga). I have created an account with FitOn and am excited to give it a try. This is the only site I have created an account with so far. I look forward to updating you all next week as I begin my journey with yoga.

Hello!

My name is Megan and I have been an educator in Regina for six years. I teach a grade 1/2 split and love this age of learners. My favourite part of teaching my students is seeing their journey in learning to read. Teaching literacy is what I like best. As a learner, I am currently completing my Inclusive Ed. Certificate with the University of Regina and will be done after this semester.

In terms of educational technology, I would say that I am more of a beginner than someone who is highly comfortable. I can play around and try to problem solve on a computer but I would not consider myself a “techy” person. In the classroom technology I use is my computer, a data projector, document camera, and iPads. It can be difficult to integrate technology into my classroom when there is one teacher, 28+ students and only 6 iPads. I am sure if I had more PD on the apps and things we can do with the iPads I would have a clearer idea of how to use them with my grade one and two students. As of now, my classroom uses a few reading apps such as RazKids and Epic! that I am comfortable using and have taught my students how to use properly. In the past we have used Seesaw to create student learning portfolios and add assignments during online learning time throughout the pandemic. We no longer use this site.

As for blogging, I don’t think I have blogged since I was in Katia’s class in 2015ish. So forgive me as I am new to this and will be figuring out how to use this program to update you on my journey with technology as well as my learning project throughout the semester.

students greeting their teacher on the playground