I never considered myself a blogger, or someone who takes the time to write out their thoughts in a journal or a diary. I have a short attention span, so every time I have tried to start something like that in the past, I have always given up in a matter of weeks or sometimes even days. Even though the last time I tried to start a blog was years ago, the little voice in my head was telling me that I have not changed since then and I still would not be able to keep it up. The truth (as hopefully we all know) is that people can change and I was limiting myself from growing as an individual by listening to that voice. I am not saying that now I am magically able to block out any condescending thoughts in my head, but recently I have been able to ignore them and allow myself to advance not only academically, but mentally. I find myself taking more risks in life and pushing myself further out of my comfort zone every day. I am setting personal, physical and academic goals and every day I try to accomplish something to get myself closer to achieving them. This blog is technically an assignment for my EDCI 336 class, but the amount of effort that I will be putting into it will be for my own benefit. I hope that this blog will help me achieve my long term goal of being the best educator I can possibly be for my future students. I want to set this blog up to increase my digital footprint in a positive way and create a space that I can show potential employers. I also hope that this blog will help me continue to set goals and find exactly who I want to be.
AR or augmented reality is “the blending of interactive digital elements- like dazzling visual overlays, buzzy haptic feedback, or other sensory projections- into our real-world environments” (from
https://computer.howstuffworks.com/augmented-reality.htm). An example of AR is the popular game “Pokemon Go”.
You can download apps such as HP Reveal onto your phone to create interactive digital elements. All you need to do is take a photo of what you want to be your background and chose which digital element you want to project onto your background. The next time your camera detects that background it will project the visual on your screen. With the HP studio you can edit those elements to create links to videos and websites.
VR or virtual reality can also be used for educational purposes! For example, you can buy these cardboard VR glasses for $15.00 to use with your phone. All you need to do is download the Insignia VR app and students are able to take virtual tours of different cities and environments.
The University of Victoria has it’s own VR Room called Oculus Rift that can be booked at https://onlineacademiccommunity.uvic.ca/dsc/vr/
For health reasons it is recommended that students under 13 do not use VR and students over 13 only use it for 30 minutes maximum.
QR or “Quick Response” codes are readable bar code that can store alphanumeric data. Usually companies would use these codes for easy access to their website or contact information but QR codes can also be beneficial for educational purposes!
(Image retrieved from
My Professor for my EDCI 336 class outlined these examples of QR Codes for Educational Purposes:
- Bulletin Boards
- parents can look up more information about their child’s work or the project
- Professional Development Connections
- Links to tutorials for just-in-time help
- Links to audio or video files (have a book read to you, watch an experiment, etc.
- Links to answer keys
To create a QR code visit https://www.qrstuff.com/, enter your information and then download the image to use!
Since my midterm, I believe that I have grown a lot as a singer/ukulele player. I have continued to play 30-45 minutes of ukulele a day and have been attending weekly 45 minute vocal lessons. My final musical growth goal was to write my own song. This has been a lifelong dream of mine so I was excited to finally take the steps to accomplish this goal.
Writing this song took me a lot longer than expected, but I feel like I learned a lot about myself in the process. I have no prior song writing experience, so this was a big learning process for me. I read a few articles on how to write a song and I learned that you should start by finding the chord progressions for the song and then write poems to find the lyrics. So, I started by playing different combinations of chords to see which ones I liked best. While I strummed, I would just sing “la” in tune to get a basic understanding of what a melody would sound like behind the chords. My favourite combination of chords was F, Am, G7 and C.
After I knew which chords I wanted to use the hardest part came next- writing the chorus and verses. I started with a mind map to figure out what I wanted my song to be about. Next, I started writing poems and spent a lot of time looking up what certain words rhymed with. I found that the chorus was very easy for me to write but the verses were difficult. I soon realized that writing a song is like writing a story and you have to make sure that story makes sense. Due to this, I ended up changing my chorus because it did not flow well with my verses and the storyline did not make sense. For my strumming pattern, I decided to do DUDUUDU because it is a strumming pattern that I am most comfortable with and I found it flowed best with my song. Most of the song is sung in my mix voice so I think I would write my next song to fall more in my chest voice range.
I found the process of song writing to be a bit frustrating. I was constantly judging my work as not being good enough and I was unable to think of myself as a beginner. I wanted my song to sound as good as something you would hear on the radio and I did not think that it did. However, with time I was able to recognize the hard work that I put into my first song and think of it as a starting point for the rest of my music filled life! I know that I want to continue with song writing and maybe one day I can write something that is good enough to be on the radio, but for now I am proud of the progress that I have made. I think that this is an important life lesson as a future educator to teach my students too. As they all say, practice makes perfect.
My greatest professional strength as an educator who will teach music is my enthusiasm and positivity. As educators, when we are in front of our students, we are performers! We have to present content to them in a way that will spark their interests. With my background in musical theater, performing comes naturally to me. I am very comfortable being in front of a class and portraying different characters so that my students can learn something new.
I can use this strength to provide my students with the best opportunities to learn. Music is a difficult subject for many students, so presenting the content in ways that help my students learn best is very important to me.
When I think about myself as a future educator teaching music, I am excited and optimistic. Music has always been a large part of my life and I have seen the many benefits it has with one’s academic achievement. When I have my own classroom I want to incorporate music into lessons from other subject areas as much as possible. Teaching through song can help students learn faster and remember facts longer. I still know all aspects of the Napoleonic Code because I wrote a song about it in Social Studies 10 to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock!
My greatest area of growth during this year has been in my music lesson planning. I already teach a music class to preschool and school aged children at a local recreation center, so taking a methodology course in music for elementary school has helped me become a better teacher for those classes. This class has allowed me to expand my teaching styles for music, learn new songs for my classes, and learn how to teach theory to children. I now am comfortable teaching full music lessons that incorporate content from the new BC curriculum whereas before I only knew how to teach songs using the call/response method.
Before Roger Bannister ran a mile in under 4 minutes in 1954, nobody thought that it was possible. After he accomplished this, people all around the world began to break the 4-minute mile because they believed that it was possible.
One of Dr. Dweck’s central themes in her book Mindset is “the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life”. So if you life your life believing that you are always going to have the same boring job and live in the same boring apartment because you are incapable of success, that is a fixed mindset that will impact every decision you have in your life.
Day dreaming is actually helpful because it allows you to envision or manifest the life that you want. Before I knew about manifestation, I never thought that day dreaming could actually be a good use of my time! Manifesting your dreams allows your subconscious brain to kick into gear & begin to impact every decision you make to get you closer to that dream. Although a large component of manifesting is envisioning, it does require YOU to take action to achieve that life. Knowing what actions to take though become more clear the more you view how you want your life to be.
So start manifesting, start day dreaming, start becoming what you believe!
For more information on manifestation I highly recommend these podcasts & articles…
- Manifestation Babe- Kathrin Zenkina
- Body Mind + Soul Podcast- Tara Brunet
What is it?
From whatis.techtarget.com, distributed learning is a multi-media method of instructional learning that allows students to learn outside of the classroom. There are many ways to incorporate distributed learning into your classroom to best benefit your students. The most common are video conferencing, web-based video/audio instruction and online assignments.
I have not had too much experience with distributed learning in the past, but luckily that is because I have not needed to. If I ever missed a day at school I would just get notes from one of my peers or ask the teacher for the homework questions. Unfortunately not many students are as lucky as I was in my schooling experience, but there are many forms of distributed learning accessible today for them to use.
Why is Distributed Learning Important?
Distributed Learning provides students with a lot more opportunities in life to find a learning plan that works best for them. Not all students work best in a classroom or are unable to be at a school for 7 hours a day/5 days a week. Distributed learning works well for students with anxiety or other health problems, or for students with hectic schedules. It also can be beneficial for schools in remote/rural areas that struggle to keep enrollment up because they can teach students from anywhere. Providing students with distributed learning opportunities gives them the best chance of succeeding in school because it allows their education to follow them instead of holding them back.
What is the Role of Modality & Presence in K-12 Learning?
I think that modality & presence is very important during the early years of a child’s education. Behaviour techniques and important life skills such as empathy and social skills can not be taught over a computer. However, in high school distributed learning can be an asset to a student’s education since teenagers have already gained an understanding of how the school system works and have developed good work ethic.
How Can a Teacher Practice Distributed Learning in Their Classroom?
Start by reflecting on how you currently
communicate resources for students who are absent. Are you just relying on students to obtain the resources by themselves by asking their peers or approaching you? Instead, try an online calendar or blog for students to review before/after class. This can also help students with anxiety who need to prepare for the day when they do go to school.
By now, if you have been following our posts, you will be an expert in graphic design (or at least very close)! As educators, we must ask the question- how can we use graphic design in the classroom?
Broadly, graphic design can be used to teach students how to visually express themselves so that others can understand their ideas. Graphic design can be found anywhere in the classroom- from posters to power-point presentations to info-graphics. It also can be used to set up our students for the future by helping them create resumes and cover letters for employers. If students are able to present themselves in a visually appealing manner, they are more likely to get jobs in the future. If an employer is deciding between giving an interview to someone with a poorly designed/unorganized resume or someone who is demonstrating organizational and design skills, who do you think they would give it to?
Graphic design can also be used by teachers to create concept maps and info-graphics to help enhance student learning. Teachers can also use it to create flyers for school events to send home to parents/guardians. Parents/guardians receive so many flyers from schools that they rarely read all of them. If you want your idea/event to stand out above others you need to design a flyer that does that.
This past week I started reading Dr. Carol S. Dweck’s book “Mindset: the new psychology of success” and it really opened my mind to the benefits of teaching/learning the growth mindset. The chapters I have read so far have been very interesting and Dr. Dweck writes as if she is having a conversation with you, so her writing is easy to read.
Dr. Dweck believes that you can have two mindsets in life- fixed and growth. A fixed mindset means you define yourself as one thing and believe that you are unable to change. For example, if you have a fixed mindset and you don’t get the job that you applied for, you would believe that you are incapable of ever getting a job in that field and that you should just give up now. In contrast, someone with a growth mindset would see that failure as an opportunity to improve and grow as an individual.
In chapter 1 Dr. Dweck recalls one of her old teachers who used to categorize/treat her students differently based on their IQ test scores. I found this horrifying to read and I really empathized with her students. This is a perfect example of teaching a fixed mindset because it teaches students that they can only be one thing and are incapable of change.
I highly recommend this book to any future/current educator because it really opens your mind to how important it is to teach kids to lead life with a growth mindset. Still confused about growth/fixed mindsets? Try this video.
After 1 week of meditating, I was hoping to feel like a completely new person- completely mindful & not stressful or anxious at all. That did not happen. Instead, I found the week very frustrating because meditating seemed like a job that I was forcing myself to do and so I constantly found myself procrastinating it. Then, when I did meditate I found it very difficult to keep my mind clear and thoughts would constantly flood through my brain. I started the week with a guided meditation video and as the week progressed I also tried to meditate by myself. I found the tips from my last blog post really helped me when meditating without a video, especially when you count your breaths to help keep your mind clear.
I never realized how difficult the meditation practice is. I always thought that it would be easy to think about nothing for 5 minutes, but I even struggled with that. Now that I have acknowledged my struggles, I am going to try setting a smaller goal. My next goal is to meditating at least 3 times a week and only when my body & mind feels ready to meditate. This is a SMART goal because it is more attainable than my last one. My limiting belief is that I will not be able to accomplish even this small goal and will remain frustrated and unable to meditate. Now that I have identified my limiting belief, I am able to address it by reminding myself that I am aware of the benefits of meditation, so my sub-conscious brain will keep pushing me to meditate. I also need to remember that I am a beginner, and it will be difficult to meditate at first but with practice anything is possible.
If you are ever struggling with accomplishing your goals I encourage you to identify & address your limiting beliefs. Once they are out of your way, there is nothing stopping you from success!
Twine is a website where you can design “choose your own adventure” stories. The website is very easy to use and everything is saved onto your browser so you don’t have to worry about your work being on the cloud or creating an account for twine. For any black mirror fans- Bandersnatch was actually designed 1st on twine!
This website is perfect for a middle school English class or a beginner assignment for coding. In order to change the background colour, font, or size of text for your story you need to have a basic understanding of coding first. I have no background knowledge coding but with a little extra help I was able to figure it out very quickly. I definitely will be using Twine as a resource in my classroom and I encourage all of you to give it a shot as well!