Where you are today matters for who you'll be tomorrow

Category: EDTC300

ASL: Numbers – Brainpower and Hand Strength Unite!

The ASL App

This is now my third week of learning ASL (American Sign Language), and I am really enjoying it! I focused on practicing the “Universal Gestures” video provided by The ASL App, as well as the “Handshape Exercises.” Below is a video that shows some quick hand warmups that are good at strengthening your hands and helping you practice some of the more commonly used ASL hand signs.

ASL: Hand Warmups

I started getting more invested in learning new ASL signs after starting the Stack Skills ASL course that I had previously purchased. I have only used the first course that came in the package deal and it has a TON of videos! They are easy to listen to, thorough in the explanations provided for each sign, and it also provides some history behind the creation of ASL which is super interesting.

This week, I specifically focused on learning the “Numbers” portion part of the course that looked at teaching the signs for numbers 1 and up to 99.

It was a bit of a learning curve to remember how to do 20-29 which have a different set of rules compared to 30 and up. However, after taking time to go over the hand signs repeatedly (even when I was in bed trying to fall asleep), I eventually was able to memorize most of them. With more consistent practice, I anticipate being able to recall the number signs faster and more easily.

This video shows the ASL signs for numbers 1 to 30.

ASL: Numbers 1-30

*It is important to note that certain signs can look slightly different depending on if it originated in Europe or in America, as well as if it is a more formal or simplified version of the sign.

Goal:

My goal for this upcoming week is to work more on the alphabet and numbers to try and remember them more easily, and to start to learn the signs for colors and animals.

Intro to Learning ASL – ABC’s

This past week, I took the opportunity to focus on learning the ASL (American Sign Language) alphabet. I used an app called The ASL App which provides little video tutorials of different ASL signs. They are easy to understand and the setup of the app is aesthetic and simple. I don’t have full access to everything on the app at this time, but depending on my progress using my other resources, I might potentially buy and work on the additional videos through the app.

I spent my time playing the “Know your ABC’s” video repeatedly while doing the hand signs until I was able to remember each of the letter signs. I also worked on practicing the signs without the video a few times. My goal is to go through each of the alphabet signs enough so that I could do the signs in my sleep.

Here is a video of my progress with doing the alphabet.

Intro to Learning ASL – ABC’s

Goal:

Along with my goal to keep practicing the alphabet, I plan to move on to practicing the signs provided through The ASL App by doing the “Universal Gestures” video. I also plan to do the “Handshape Exercises” video to keep my fingers and hands flexible.

Twitter – A relationship with mixed feelings

Twitter has been a form of social media that I have had the most mixed feelings to using. On one hand, I can see the accessibility that Twitter has in providing a place for people from all sorts of backgrounds to be able to come together and connect over different topics, ideas, or issues. Resources can easily and efficiently be shared, and you can create more personal connections with individuals and organizations. As an educator, I have the ability to be able to connect with other educators and find resources to use in my future teaching and my own learning as a teacher.

On the other hand, in the same way that I feel blogs can be quite vulnerable, Twitter feels too open to potential critique, especially since you have a limited number of word characters that you can use to share what you are thinking. Unlike Instagram or Facebook where pictures most often accompany a post, Twitter tends to be more words focused. I might struggle with Twitter because I feel a bit more insecure regarding the quality of what I write, or that I myself tend to prefer seeing posts that contain images compared to just words.

In my second year of post-secondary, my teacher had us use Twitter in a similar way that we are using it right now in our EDTC300 class. He had us use an assigned hashtag to keep all of our posts in one location, and we were expected to make tweets each week. However, instead of sharing resources, we were tasked with writing quotes from readings in our class. Even though I have had this prior experience with using Twitter, I am still not a huge fan of using it, although I do see why teachers might have their students use it.

Regarding my experience with SaskEdChat, I can see the benefit of using it in connecting educators (or future educators) together and creating a space to have healthy and productive dialogue regarding different educational topics. I personally felt quite shy and struggled a bit with wanting to answer the questions, however, I did like seeing the variety of responses that everyone that took part incorporated into the SaskEdChat.

In summary, I am not a huge fan of Twitter, but I am willing to keep trying it and look for more benefits in using it.

ASL: My Process of Learning How to Speak Without Sound

For my EDTC 300 learning project, I am excited to try and take on the task of learning American Sign Language. I have endeavoured to try and learn different languages before, such as French, German, and Norwegian, but I struggled with memorizing all of the different grammar rules as well as with trying to speak with the proper pronunciation. A few months ago, I had come across a big Master class sale that was offering ASL courses at a hugely discounted price. I took the plunge and bought it; however, I have not yet taken the time to start using it. This project is a great opportunity for me to try and learn language in a more hands on (no pun intended) way.

My own previous experience with ASL is quite limited. As a child, I had two books that provided very simple signs for basic words such as “apple” or “boy.” I can only remember a few of the signs now. More recently, I had briefly practiced learning the alphabet, but I need to do it more consistently to remember it. My hope is to learn basic phrases so that I could communicate if I had the opportunity to talk to someone who was deaf or hard of hearing that knows ASL.

My plan for learning ASL is to start with using the resources that I already have in my possession. I am going to first focus on using The ASL App. I do not have the full version of this app, but the lessons it provides for free will be a good start to get into the practice of moving my fingers and learning the basics of ASL. Alongside using The ASL App, I plan to use the courses I received through the Master class that I purchased through Stack Social. It includes 13 different courses that focus on different elements of ASL such as fingerspelling, emotions, animal & number sentences, and everyday phrases. Once I start working on learning ASL through the use of these two resources, I will potentially look into using different types of avenues depending on my progress. My goal is to remain consistent with what I learn so that I can hopefully finally know how to communicate using a different language.

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This is me and my experience with educational technology (rhyming intended)

Hello everyone!

My name is Nicole McCracken. I currently live in Ogema, SK, which is known for having Solo Italia – an Italian pizza place, Bud’s BBQ – a wonderfully tasty restaurant, and the Southern Prairie Railway – a southern Saskatchewan summer train riding experience. I live with my husband Tristan, and our two cats, Katara and Zuko. Alongside working towards finishing my education degree, I work as a secretary for our church and a bookkeeper assistant for Tristan’s family grain-cleaning business, MGS. Together, Tristan and I lead our local youth group.

A few facts about me are that I originally come from a farm outside of a small town (app. 250 people) in Alberta, I love playing the piano and singing, I have been to 7 countries, I love shows and movies that have blooper reels, and I love spending time and laughing with friends and family.

I feel like its hard to identify where my level of experience is with educational technology. In most of the social circles that I am a part of, I am often considered one of the “techie” people who knows how to figure things out technologically. I usually attribute that to being able to take the time to explore new technology, as well as knowing how to “google” things. However, I like to think that I have somewhat of a knack for being able to learn how to use different technological apps, websites, or programs. I enjoy learning new programs or using new apps, especially if they help in making my life simpler or more creative. Although I may not know all of the new and innovative programs that exist particularly within the education field, I am usually fairly open to learning about it and taking a stab at using it.

When I think about the thoughts that I have surrounding blogging, the initial thought I have regarding it is that it seems to be very overwhelming. It feels vulnerable and too open to potential judgement. Blogs are a place to share personal thoughts, perspectives, or learnings around different areas and topics. With how public blogs are, this openness with having outside people seeing what I share sparks a little bit of fear. I hope that as I practice creating blog posts and grow more comfortable with sharing my personal thoughts, I will learn to enjoy blogging.

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