Posted in Digital Literacy, Uncategorized

Being An Innovate Learner And Thinker, And Unlearning

I have had a lot of fun this semester, and I really enjoyed being innovate. I loved thinking about my Canva creation, I loved figuring out what I would do for my DS106 Daily Creates, and I loved being an innovator while writing blog posts and tweeting thoughts. Before this week, I was doing something I didn’t know that I was doing. I was being an innovator. I wasn’t only thinking about new ideas, I was actually coming up with new ideas and then sharing them with the online world.

“I believe that my abilities, intelligence, and talents can be developed, leading to the creation of new and better ideas.” -George Couros.

This semester in this class, I believe that we have all been innovators. We found innovative ways to learn and communicate.

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I didn’t go to a traditional classroom and pay a teacher to teach me. Instead, I found my own ways to discover information. For example, with my Independent Learning Project (guitar). I found this app called Yousician, I found books with lots of chords to play, I got online and I found out different fingerpicking techniques, and I watched lot of other musicians play the guitar, and in their own, unique ways. Everybody in my class this semester has found their passions and discovered ways to be innovate in their search for knowledge.

“There is no curriculum for unlearning, and, of course, in many ways it’s simply learning to see things differently or to at least be open to it.” -Will Richardson

In this class, I unlearned that all schools are poorly run and holding students back. I’ve always felt bad for my friends because they hate school. But this semester, seeing all the great schools like the NorthStar and Sudbury Valley School, I’ve come to realize there are many innovative options that allow students to have freedom and choices as they explore the world and figure out what THEY are interested in doing. Children are natural learners, so it’s wonderful they have the opportunity to discover their passions. I have also unlearned the idea that passion is a constant thing. In other words, I’ve gone back and forth on guitar throughout this class — trying to decide whether I enjoy it or not. I guess now it’s just a choice I’ll make later on after more learning and practice.

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I’m glad I’ve done a lot of unlearning this semester, but I’m sure that I will find some things that I should unlearn (or at least be more open to in the future).

I think that innovation is very important to learning. Unlearning is equally important, for both the teacher and the student. Thank you for reading, fellow classmates! I hope you enjoyed the semester as much as I did!

Posted in Digital Literacy, Guitar And Music, Uncategorized

Guitar Has Opened Up My Musical Life

This year, throughout every week of ILP work, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed guitar. But I do have to confess, I had many bumps on the road to actually being able to play anything. That was especially true of one specific week when I had a lot of trouble with guitar… That one week, I had fallen behind. It was already Saturday and I had barely done any of the assignments for the week. I almost felt like dropping out of the class… But luckily, I ended up sticking with it and I’m sure glad that I did. I quickly did all the assignments, and I played some guitar.

Guitar has helped me gain the passion to sing. So it’s been exciting to work on that goal. One important thing I’ve learned on this journey is that I am a music person! I had to listen to a lot of music, play a lot of music, and last but not least, SING a little music. All together, that made something click, and that’s what helped me realize that I am a musical person! I have always thought that I would be an author, or an athlete (especially with basketball or softball), but now  music has filled my ears, made me strive to learn and practice more, and it has made me very happy! I’m glad that I didn’t quit and that now I have another amazing career option floating around in my mind.

You want to know why I didn’t get to share a video of me playing a song? Because this semester, instead of quickly skipping through everything to songs and so on, I had to thoroughly take my time to learn everything I need to know before taking the next big leap for guitar. Part of that is because of that one week where I almost gave up. That week was tough and I honestly did not do as much as I wish I had. But at least now I know that I can continue learning even without being in this class! I can motivate myself to grow without it being an assignment. Singing while playing is coming along, slowly.

With that being said, the easy way to motivate myself was my goal of getting to a point where I could sing while playing. Just plain playing guitar was fun, but singing was better. And of course, when I would fall behind, I would feel very frustrated and passionate about finding more time for guitar. It was an interesting cycle.

The best part of my Independent Learning Project was being able to put my fingers and voice together and sing while playing! I am really glad that I chose the guitar for my Independent Learning Project. I have truly enjoyed the challenge and I hope to continue to be motivated to learn more.

Posted in Digital Literacy, Uncategorized

The Right Resources

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This week, I actually put off for a long time. Why, you ask? Because I pictured this week as just a smaller week. I was really disappointed that tweets weren’t required, because I was looking forward to doing them this week. But finally, today I used my laptop for something other than YouTube, so I checked out Canva and Piktochart. That’s when I realized that I should have gotten on earlier!

This week, it was really mostly focusing on how useful those little resources can be, if you can find them, that is. So not only did this week help me and my classmates in discovering how much these tools can do, but it helped us FIND some of those really cool websites for the first time!

I think that not only us, but future students, can really benefit from these unique, simple websites designed just to make our lives’ easier! (By the way, whoever came up with the ideas for these websites, are GENIUSES!)

While I was creating my own biography on Canva, time really flew by quickly. Before I knew it, Viola! I had finished, and it was beautiful! It probably went by so quickly because I really enjoy being creative. I think that is probably one of the best qualities of these resources. You can do just about anything you want with it, and that is really cool!

Before this week, I usually would go to the Windows app Paint to make something I needed. Or I’d use Picmonkey if I wanted to use pictures to make something. Those are still really great websites that I use a lot. However, it was really great to find even more options to experiment with!

In everyday life, I really enjoy Picmonkey because of all the options and formats as well, but especially because of the fact that it’s very simple, fast, and free (although my parents subscribe to the higher level royale options).

I like paint because it’s, of course, always there on most computer systems, even without Wi-Fi. But it does have it’s downsides: It’s very hard to use, and doesn’t have too many options.

I really liked Piktochart because it is also very unique, fun, easy to use, and easy to share with friends! It is very useful and handy for charts. Even though I may not need it much now, I probably will later on in life.

I also found Canva very fun, easy, and quick. All things that people look for in a tech tool!

Overall, I like all these websites and resources, and all that I learned this week!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Digital Literacy

How The Internet Inspires

I thought it would just be really fun to go over how the internet has really inspired me and my brothers to pursue various passions.

I guess I shall start with me! I’ve always been a fan of the Internet. Really, I have. As you might have read in one of my previous blog posts, the whole reason I wanted to learn to read and write was so that I could private message my dad at work, just like my mom did! I was very inspired to learn to read and write. So very quickly, I did!

Since from about the time I was 6, I wanted to be an author. A big part of that comes from the internet and all the reading options. For example, I have a kindle app on my iPod that I use (especially while on trips), and I really like having the option to explore all that is available. That helps me read a lot more. Then as I read, of course I feel the urge to write.

Probably the most helpful resource I have ever used to actually write my own stories is Google Docs. Google Docs has always been so easy to just pull up, and write a bit. Google Docs helps me grow my passion to write each and every day! I especially like that it saves so often in case my computer crashes.

Without the internet, I may not have become this passionate about writing…

My little brother, Brandon (like so many boys his age), loves video games. He loves to play on our Wii, on his iPod, and our computer. He began to get VERY interested in gaming around the age of 7. He liked playing them, then. But now, he’s 10, and he’s more interested in MAKING his own video games!! He watches videos on Youtube, reads about them, and finds new apps. Without the internet, Brandon may not have found his passion! Thank you, internet and technology!

My two other younger brothers, Brighton and Briston (8 and 5 years old) love internet and technology as much as Brandon and I do, but in a different way… They love building all sorts of worlds and playing around in Minecraft. We all know the game, and we have to admit, we’ve played it now and then. My brother, Briston, at the age of 5, has made amazing creations on Minecraft! So has Brighton! Just today, Briston showed me a Minecraft swimming pool that he had built all by himself.

Brighton loves getting onto Minecraft with my dad, my brother, or even me, to build together. Briston does, too. You know how this type of gaming inspires you? In all sorts of ways! In fact, it has inspired Brighton to consider being a carpenter when he grows up.

The Internet has inspired many of us in unique ways. I’m glad to have so many options to learn and grow!

Posted in Digital Literacy, Uncategorized

Podcasts And Digital Storytelling

In this week of Digital Literacy, we learned a lot about Podcasts and Digital Storytelling. Earlier this semester, we learned about DS106, which is about Digital Storytelling. That’s one way I knew the word Digital Storytelling — and just about the only way, until this week.

I also know a little bit about podcasts. My dad is a podcasts kind of guy… Walking home from work, driving on long trips, and just about anywhere else, I’ll find him with his earbuds in, listening to whatever kind of podcast interests him. Seeing my dad that happy and that entertained made me feel a quick spark of wonder about podcasts…

And so then, another astounding week made its way to me and my classmates!

Digital Storytelling really made an impact on me this week — especially when I watched this amazing Ted Talk, with Emily Bailin:

This video really made me realize how powerful Digital Storytelling is! You digitally tell a story. I also watched Dear Sophie and really liked it. It was a good digital story, and made me of course want to make my own!!

I, lately, have been so excited about what I’m going to do next after the semester ends–I want to start my own blog, I want to share and express passions and interests, and I want to make more online and in-real-life friends!! But now, of course, I think I might just have to first try Digital Storytelling.

I might try what Emily Bailin and her class did. I’ll ask myself, “Where are you from?” Then I’d slowly, step by step, answer that question. I’d tell my story along with it, too, like Emily did. I know that I’d have a lot of fun with that! 😀

I also had a lot of fun learning about podcasts this week. I now know why my dad likes them so much!! They’re very addicting and can be quite educational!

I then ended up deciding to listen to the Brains On! What Makes Paint Stick podcast!

I think that the podcasts that Brains On! makes are just perfect in every way. They are interesting, easy to understand, creative, and funny! You can learn so much from just 20 minutes of one and they will capture children’s attention! I may have to start listening to one of their podcasts daily! I think it is just so cool that they interview the kids and answer the questions that everybody has. It’s a simple and educational format!

This week has been great. I really enjoyed it!!

 

 

Posted in Digital Literacy, Guitar And Music, Uncategorized

Practice And Progress Leads To Success!

This week, I was completely ready and knew what I was going to do and learn about. As you might have read previously in my last blog post about my independent learning project, I decided to work more on the song Amazing Grace, and work on guitar chords. But not only that, but with the help of my parents I discovered some more resources.

I ended up finding an old guitar chords book! It was very handy. It has an amazing list of many, many chords that I enjoyed trying to play. Some of them were actually really difficult, but not TOO difficult… 😉

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Also, my dad introduced me to this iPod/iPhone app, that has a list of chords, some guitar video lessons, a recorder to record your own songs, and then even a tuner! It’s really handy, and I’m glad I can begin using it, this week. It’s something that you can easily look at to check real quick, or something you can play with for hours! It’s called ChordBank, and so far I’m very pleased with it as I’m sure you can tell.

This week, besides the new book and app, I realized that really, there was nothing really new. I really just had to practice, practice, practice! It may be boring at times, but the benefits are… PROGRESS! So do the math: Practice + Progress = Success!

This week I especially focused on switching chords. I would slowly switch faster, and continue to correct any mistakes I’d make. It began to sound really good, like I’ve always wanted it to sound! It was hard, because I have a big guitar, and still tiny hands, but good effort made it work! 🙂

Amazing Grace has been sounding so much more beautiful and professional the more I’ve worked on it. It’s so cool when you hear a song, and you love it, and then YOU play the song and realize that you are the one creating the beautiful sound in the air!

This next week, I plan to really work hard and focus on starting to play chords even faster, and sing along, too. (Sing more, that is.) And of course, continue more on switching chords.

Now, it’s really just the same. I need to stay motivated, not get frustrated, and learn more and practice more. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned so far, and how much I’ve enjoyed it! Thanks for reading, and I hope you’re enjoying your independent learning project as well!