Digital Slacktivist or Digital Activist… Which Will You Be?

After reading both of Katia Hildebrandt blog posts about social activism I have started to create my own opinion on the topic.

In the post In Online Spaces, Silence Speaks Louder than Words I agree with what Katia has to say. If we as future educators or current educators are bystanders to issues such as acts of racism or sexism in our world today, we are sending a message to students that it is not important to take a stand on these issues. I also agree with her when she says that we need to start using technology not for our own personal benefit, but instead to also speak out again some of these social issues that many people in our community, country, and world are experiencing. I don’t think that we necessarily have to speak out about every single issue that arises, but if we do take a stand on the ones that we believe the strongest about it will show to our students that we can all do our part to make our world a more enjoyable place for everyone to be a part of.

What Kind of (Digital) Citizen? talks about how we have to teach our students not only how to be safe online but also how to create a good image for themselves online. Digital Identity is become even more important today than it ever has been in the past because of how technology is growing.

I think that if educators can be a good role model for their students in their community online it will have a positive influence on our future generations. Today the easiest and quickest way to reach anyone around the world is through social media. It only takes one person to have a hashtag like #bringbackourgirls or start a campaign like Sit With Us for it to viral.

Grand Finally

My final product for my learning project is far from perfect but has come a long way from the start. I know that I did not play every single note correct and that my speed may not have been super consistent throughout but on the bright side I can finish the whole song hands together. I am still happy with how it sounds. I never thought that I would be able to pick up on it as easy as I had and am extremely pleased with the progress I have made.

Overall this learning project has taught me a ton and I had a lot of fun with it! I have learned how to play many of the different major and minor scales. Before that, I had to learn the name of each key on the piano. I learned about flats and sharps and how the same note can sometimes even have two different names.

While learning my song, Mercy by Shawn Mendez, I got better at hearing what sounded right and didn’t sound right because I was learning by looking at the hand placements of the YouTube video and how it sounded. I also learned what good hand and finger placement, and good posture looked like while sitting at the piano, where your head, legs, arms, and body should be positioned.

As I continue to play and learn songs I am going to practice learning how to read notes and rests on sheet music! I am also determined to learn how to play a duet with my younger sister.

Coding.. Behind the scenes!

This week I had the opportunity to explore coding. I have never tried coding or any simplified versions of coding previous to this so it was a learning experience for sure! The two different sites I explored were Scratch and Hour of Code.

Scratch I found rather frustrating because it became quite challenging to make your kitty or other animal do anything that seamed normal. After playing around on it for quite some time I decided to take a break because I was going nowhere. I am going to go back and take another look at this site when I have more time to see if it becomes easier after falling a more structured website.

The site that I had more success with was Hour of Coding. I found it easier because it had instructions or an end goal of what you wanted to do so it seemed less complicated. I choose to explore the flappy bird game and see how they started to construct it.

Through trying out the different coding websites I learned that there is an endless amount of options for how games can look, sounds, or be manipulated just with a few simple changes in what was inputed.

I think coding is something that can be fun and interesting for kids and students to try out. They are used to just playing the games rather than constructing them. By giving them a different point of view it allows them to engage more thought into what they are doing while still having fun! They can use their creativity to create something totally new, whether it is a game or just a pattern that they may move their kitty in on Scratch, or whether it is a more structured game they choose to explore in Hour of Code.

One Step Closer

This week I finished learning the rest of the song hands together.

I also explore a couple of the free apps I found on the blogs I explored last week. If it had been earlier on in my learning project I would have thought about purchasing a couple if the reviews and uses of them seamed suitable, but since we are nearing the end I decided to go with the free option.

One of the apps I explored, MusicNotes Deck, is to help with remembering music theory, which I have not had a ton of time to focus on. This app is like a set of flash cards. On the card is something you should recognize such as a sharp or rest, and at the bottom of the card is a little sound button that you can click on and it then tells you the correct answer. I think this app would be useful for when I do get a chance to do more work on the theory.

The second app I looked at is to teach sight reading, something I also did not have a chance to work a lot on. This app is called Piano Maestro. This one is more suitable for younger children who are trying to learn the piano, and for them would be very helpful. I do not see myself want to use it in the future.

Next Week:

For my final week of the learning project I am going to work on fine tuning my piece. Things I am going to work on will be dynamics, tempo, and I might even try to add some pedaling in.

Dangers of the Online World

As we look at digital citizenship in ECMP 355, we have touched on the importance of teaching it and incorporating it into the curriculum for a number of reasons. One of the main reason we talked about was because once something is put online it can never be taken back. This can lead to different problems such as what Amanda Todd had to experience. Her experiences online began with innocent conversations with people all over the world but quickly turned into something bigger she had to deal with for the rest of her life. If Amanda would had learnt more about the dangers of being online, or more about how to be safe while online she may not have found herself in the positions she had been in. As teachers we need to use incidents like these as a lesson and do our best to teach out students. It is something so devastating, and even scary to think about.

In the documentary The Sextortion of Amanda Todd, one young girl said that she had an experience similar to Amanda’s, and that the man she had interactions with online had threatened her if she would have contacted the police, and demanded to see more pictures or webcasts of her and her body. So many young girls are being black mailed by older “creepy” men as Amanda’s friends would call them.  This too is a lesson learnt, it can be so easy for people to hide their true identity behind a computer screen, someone who you think may be similar age to you could perhaps be many years older than you.

Monica Lewinsky in her TED talk, The Price of Shame, talked about how she had once been shamed online, but had learned how to overcome it. She mentioned that after one particular individual, Tyler, lost their life, she started to see things with a different view. She was more empathetic to what was occurring. She believed that because of the internet the price an individual pay for shame had been largely increased. This is because it is so much easier to say things to an individual if you do not need to see their reaction.

I was then reading an article called, The price of public shaming in the Internet age, that talked about a couple different examples of how different individuals had been shamed from something they did online. One individual in particular stood out to me. This was not because what he did to cause the shaming, but what he did in the result of the shaming. Adam Mark Smith was known for recording himself as he went through the drive through to order a free water as a joke. On his way through he said some extremely rude things to the Chick-fil-A employee. He took the time after to write a book of self-reflection. This book also talks about how he began to move on from his mistakes and go forward with his life.

After looking at all of these example of how people have been affected in a negative, and most often shameful way due to the internet, I think it makes one thing very clear. Us as educators or future educators need to do our part in making sure that our students, and children know how to be online safely. We also need to make sure that they are very mindful about what they share online because it can have both and immediate effect on them such as Amanda’s situation, or an effect on them in the future such as an individual not being able to get a job because of something they said or did online.

Digital Citizenship

When I was in high school, so last year, we had tons of different technology available in my school. Every classroom had a smart board, our school had a cart of approximately 30 chrome books, and we had a computer lab as well. Although we had all this technology I do not think it was used to the best of its ability, probably mostly because of the lack of training, understanding, and experience the teachers had with the different items. Often the smart boards would be used as glorified projector screens, and the chrome books and computers would be used to research, or type out the essay we already had written.

I think that digital citizenship was avoided. Instead of teaching students’ safety online, or the dangers of it they would try and prevent us from using it while at school, cell phones would be taken away, and certain websites such as Facebook, or even YouTube would be blocked.

In today’s world with technology constantly improving and increasing in our everyday lives as teachers it is definitely part of our jobs to educate students. We need to ensure that students know how to take proper precautions and understand that what they put out on the web will remain there forever so they have to be careful and mindful of what they share.

It is not about scaring them away from it, because we all know that it will not happen, but instead showing them different ways to use technology to benefit them in a more valuable way and what better place to do this than in the classroom. I am currently still struggling with thinking about how this could look in the classroom. Mostly because I have not had many opportunities and experience in a classroom so far in my degree.

When reading through Character Education for the Digital Age, one thing stuck out to me most.

“If we want to pursue a future that celebrates success not only in terms of abundance but also in terms of humanity, we must help our digital kids balance the individual empowerment of digital technology use with a sense of personal, community, and global responsibility. School is an excellent place to help kids become capable digital citizens who use technology not only effectively and creatively, but also responsibly and wisely. But we can only do that if we help them live one life, not two.”

This is the direction we need to be going. Students are living there lives around technology, so we can be the start to guiding and directing students in ways in which will be filling their brains with knowledge, and valuable information, rather than the Snapchat, mems, and video they are constantly viewing.

I was also able to make a connection to the IRL Fetish. Since being enrolled in EXMP 355, I have really been realizing how much technology consumes our lives. You walk into a restaurant, mall, or even just see people walking down the street and there is so many people on there phones, I too am guilty of this. But after realizing this I have been trying to reduce the amount of time I spend on Instagram, or Snap Chat especially when I am with friends or family. I am realizing that who you are with should be the ones you are talking to or hanging out with because it is that communication and interaction that is most valuable.

Lastly the Nine Themes of Digital Citizenship, written by Mike Ribble, is a great place to start when looking at incorporating digital citizenship into the classroom. Lots of teachers have not had exposure to this while they have been educated or even in their early years of teaching, so that is part of what makes it so difficult. But if we as upcoming teachers, or current teachers can all work together, eventually it will become something that is way less daunting to explore.

Coming Together.. one day it will sound like music

This Week:

I have been continuing my work on putting together both hands together in Mercy, by Shawn Mendez. It started out quite rough, but I think it is safe to say that it is starting to come together and sound much better now. Here is my progress so far!

I have also explored a few different blogs this week using Feedly as my search engine. Two of my favourite blog that I found are 88 Piano Keys and Color in My Piano . 88 Piano Keys provided different example of thing you can be doing off the piano that will help your learning, such as theory work. Color in My Piano had a few good articles about getting started playing the piano, and ways to stay motivated in your learning. One thing that both of these blogs had too was different example of apps you can get to help with learning different pieces of playing the piano.

Next Week:

I am going to continue learning the next part of the song hand together. As my song is coming together I am starting to look at different things that will need to be fixed or added at the end. I want my song to go from good to great before I am finished. A few things that I have seen are adding dynamics, louder and quieter parts to the song, and having a tempo that is right for the song, but a speed that I can still play with minimal mistakes. As I finish getting the song all put together those are things that I am, going to be thinking about. I am also going to explore different apps that I have found on the different blogs I explore this week.

Cybersleuthing… some may just say creeping

In ECMP 355 we were talking about cyber sleuthing. Cyber sleuthing is as simple as googling a person , maybe someone you want to get more information about, and seeing what you can find. Little did I know that google has a filter that is personalized for every individual and is good at only bringing up information that they think you want to see. Sneaky and also kind of smart. During class Katia introduced is to a site called duckduckgo which prevents any bias to your search. My classmate Kymber Zahar willingly let me cyber sleuth her, so this is what I found when searching for her on both google, and duckduckgo.

 

Biographical:

-Born June 2nd

-Lives in Regina SK.

-Dark hair and blue eyes

 

Professional:

-4th year in French Education

-Took a year to go to L’univeristé Laval in Quebec

 

Where she Kymber was found:

-Facebook… (I’m not on Facebook so I can’t attach a direct link)

Twitter

WordPress blog

-Pinterest

YouTube

 

Overall Impression:

Kymber did not have a lot to online to find. Most of the information I found about her tied back to this class therefore is very recent. All of the information I seen about Kymber was also very professional which is great to see. I encourage you to keep building your digital identity in this class as well as outside this classroom in other classes or as you enter the field.

In Katia’s class she also talked about the importance of keeping your privacy settings high, on accounts such as Facebook, if it is something you would not like your future employers, students, or patents of students to see. It is also important to always be very conscience of how you are being seen in photographs that others are taking and posting of you. Once something hits the online world it is very hard to take it back so it our responsibility as current or future educators to be careful with what is shared.

 

 

Slow and Steady

This Week:

I did a lot of work on my learning project, here is the right hand of Mercy, by Shawn Mendez, which is the piece I decided to play. I have been working on this for the past week and a half.

This week I starts on the left hand which is quite simple. So After going through it a few times I have started putting it together. It is not as easy as I thought it was going to be. Each hand alone is not bad but trying to multitask in a way is much harder. I looked at my hands quite a bit when learning so not being able to see what each hand is doing has been my challenge while learning it hands together.

This week I also tried exploring different twitter accounts that may help motivate me or give helpful tips and suggestions. One that I like the most is called Grand Piano Passion. It puts different tips and quotes involving piano. Another account that I started following is called TeachPianoToday which provided different links to different articles on their website that are sometimes useful. The last one that I started following is called Piano Mentor. This account post very frequently and I’m not sure if it is right for me yet but I am still going to give it a chance before I decide whether or not I am going to unfollow it. This account posts tons of different facts, statements, or quotes about piano and music, I wouldn’t say that it is helpful but some of the stuff that they do post is interesting to know.

Next Week:

This coming week I am going to continue to work on putting my left and right hand together. I am also going to take some tome to explore different blogs there might be about piano or music in general.

 

Let the music begin!

Recap:

Here is the progress I made from last week’s minor scales.

This week:

This week I have decided what song I was going to learn how to play. I choose Mercy by Shawn Mendez. I am going to try and learn it by ear as well as following had placements and finger placements on the keyboard. I found a website with a few different YouTube videos as well as the notes that each hand should be playing. Both are helpful because sometimes the video is going too fast to be able to see exactly which key is being hit.

My reason for learning by ear is because I have not learned how time signatures work yet and what how long to play each not just by looking at them. This will be a work in progress for the future as I continue to progress with playing.  With learning by ear I have had a little trouble holding the notes for the right amount of time so that it sounds how it should, but the more I continue to practice the easier it is getting, and the better it is starting to sound.

I like the video I found because it shows both hands together as well as each hand separately.

Next week:

Continue learning the right hand because I have not yet learned it all. I am also going to try and find more sources that will help me with learning the piano such as different twitter accounts, or blogs.