Most students that we work with now are digital citizens as they all use technology and most have social media accounts. This is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on how we teach students about digital citizenship. Digital citizenship was somewhat brought up to me when I was in high school, but not enough to make an impact on myself or my peers. Obviously I have been keeping a pretty safe and appropriate digital citizenship, but that is not due to my schooling. A challenge that I see with schools teaching about digital citizenship, is that there is not enough time spent on the topic. It is easy for teachers to tell their students to be safe online and not post anything offensive or completely ridiculous. There needs to be a chunk of time that is spent with this. This topic doesn’t need to be its own subject, you can incorporate digital citizenship into almost anything. Students need to be able to actually practice and learn about what digital citizenship is, and how they can become effective citizens. It is very important that our students know how to be good digital citizens as we are now all consumed by technology.
So I suppose I am technically getting better. I just feel like I’m doing so awfully since I’m still just beginning. This week on the cello, I learned how to play ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’, but instead of using sheet music and finding the notes online, I decided to learn it by ear. So basically, I just went to YouTube and found an easy ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ that I thought I’d be able to play. I just listened to the first few notes and figured out where they were on my cello and which notes they were playing, and then I pretty much figured the rest out myself.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO AHEAD AND TELL ME, I already know that I don’t sound like the person in the video. BUT I am improving for sure, even though you may not think so. I do need to continue working on how to not hit two strings with the bow at once. My next goal is to stop doing that. As you can hear in my video of it, I usually do hit two strings at once.
Here is my interesting version of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’
This week I basically did the same thing. I played Jingle Bells again, although this time, I used that annoying bow that no one likes. I enjoy telling myself that I have gotten much better and I am now a professional, however, I am still decently bad. I used the same image of Jingle Bells as I used last week. This time I just used the bow instead of finger picking. I’m not sure if I am better at finger picking or using the bow, I just know that I most definitely need improvement. I am having a lot of trouble playing the cello because of the fact that there are no fretts. Basically you just need to guess where your fingers go and hope it sounds right. Obviously, in the video below, you can tell that I’m having some trouble with this as the notes sound off. On the bright side, I have made improvement using the bow and I am almost super good at the cello (except not really).
When told to Google myself during class, I had a minor heart attack. I was definitely afraid of what might pop up. Not that I post anything inappropriate or mean, I just did not want to be reminded of the statuses I posted to Facebook back in grade 9. Fortunately, those statuses were not what popped up. Basically, when I Google myself, my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WordPress websites come up. I am private on most of these social media platforms anyways, so I feel as though I don’t need to worry too much. When I Google Image myself, there are a few pictures of me, like four at most. The majority of the other images are of Hedley. Which I can say I am proud of, as I have been the biggest Hedley fan since I was in grade three. I’m assuming that the Hedley pictures are ones that I have posted or Pinned somewhere.
As for being a future teacher, I would not say that I am too worried about what my students or colleagues would be able to find. I have never posted anything inappropriate or hateful. There may be some things that are embarrassing to myself, as I was a child when I posted them, but nothing that I could get in trouble for or questioned about. I will obviously work on getting rid of the posts that my grade nine self posted, but I am not too worried about what is on the internet.
The new culture of participation is definitely different from what I am used to, and from what I grew up with. In Wesch’s video that we watched, it involved people from all over the world singing and dancing to the same song. Although this technically is active participating, I feel as though it isn’t. When people are uploading videos of themselves singing or dancing to the song, they are participating, but maybe not in a meaningful way. From my own experiences of people I know, when there are opportunities to participate online like this, it doesn’t always go the way it should. I know many people who participate in these ideas by uploading videos for the attention, for the likes, and because it is the trend at that time. Basically to fit in and be noticed. For my future classroom, I feel as though this may be a good way of participation for those who are too shy or uncomfortable to speak or do a task in front of the class. Unfortunately, many children are more confident behind a screen, so this could work. It would also be a good lesson as to learning about what ‘real’ participation could be and what ‘attention seeking’ could be. In my opinion, these ideas are good to get people from all over the world to interact and come together, however, in many cases it is for the ‘likes’ and attention. As for schools in general, again, this could be used to get everyone involved. I personally do not think that this would be the best possible way to get everyone involved, but considering how far technology is progressing, this may be a good way to encourage participation in the near future.
So I have recently learned Jingle Bells at the beginning of June. Let’s just say my family isn’t too fond of me learning the cello anymore. My mom encourages me to try something else. BUT WHO DOESN’T LOVE CHRISTMAS MUSIC ALL YEAR AROUND? Well I don’t actually think anyone does, but I have to learn something, don’t I? Jingle bells was bit of a challenge for me, for sure. Usually when I learn other instruments, that’s the first and easiest song I go to. This one I needed a lot of practice for. I still cannot get used to using the bow. It’s so annoying to me. I’m also extremely annoyed with the fact that there are no frets on a cello. It’s tough having to estimate where your fingers should go and decide whether it’s the right note. With that, I have also been getting a lot of good practice just finger picking. The main reason I even wanted to learn the cello was because of Danny Kenyon from The Dead South (a local Regina band if you don’t know). He mainly finger picks in their songs, so I will too because apparently it’s okay. As long as Danny finger picks, I’ll finger pick. Basically, my goal when the semester is done is to finger pick a song by The Dead South, so really, I might as well just toss the bow now.
Anyways, these past few weeks I have used a few videos, but I also dug up an old beginner cello book in my music container. I know we’re supposed to learn online, but the book really helped me. I tried finding something similar to the book online since that’s what worked best for me. I’m sure you’re all as surprised as I am… I didn’t find anything like it that was free. I basically just then went from my book, figured out what beginner songs I should look to play. I then would just google that song and then find a PDF version of it. I would then also watch a YouTube video on it to see if I was sounding decent.
Overall, I have definitely made some progress. Here is my attempt at Jingle Bells (my apologies for the bad quality and greebly looking fingers)…
This week I decided to try out Adobe Spark. I have never even heard of this website until now. When I first got onto this website, I was given three options. To make a video post, social post, or a page for web stories. I decided to check out the social posts first. From there, there are several other options to make a picture collage, invitation cards, greeting cards, posters, etc. The first thing that caught my eye was the picture collage. I just made a quick one of pictures I took in Banff (shown below). The picture collage was very easy to do. You just clicked on the squares and inserted a picture there. I was not a fan of the fact that you could only choose one picture at once though. I had to continue going into my library to find all the pictures. I then went into the Page category and made my own page (I wasn’t sure what to write about so I apologize for that useless story about me meeting stingrays). I really liked this category because it was SO easy to use and create your own page.
I think that these tools would be extremely useful for teachers in many ways. The two tools that I tried out would be helpful to myself I think. Teachers could use the collage tool to make collages of pictures from the classroom. You are able to title and date all of the collages and also add as many pictures as you want. These could be sent home to parents or even printed off and showcased in the classroom as a way to show everyone what is happening in class. As for the page, you could write about projects you are doing, a field trip you went on, activities you’re doing as a class, etc. These can be easily shared so that parents and family members are able to see what is going on in the classroom.
Learning the cello this week has reminded me of a few things. I was reminded that having decent posture for long periods of time hurts my back. I also remembered when learning a string instrument, or playing one for the first time after a long period of time hurts the fingers. However, I am practicing enough that I should have calluses on my fingers in no time! This week I learned that I don’t like using a bow for playing the cello, as it makes my hand cramp up and it hurts. At the same time, I love using the bow as it sounds so nice and it makes me look professional.
This week I learned some basic songs using my bow, and also by finger picking. I have been practicing both. I learned amazing tunes like “Hot Cross Buns” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb”. I’ve just been practicing these basic songs, along with about ten others so that I can get over sounding like a dying goose. I am beginning to sound like more of a cello player as the practice goes on, but I’m really hoping to sound good by the end of the class.
I have been finding it extremely challenging to find pieces online as most of the music needs to be purchased. I have also been playing some piano music, as cello is in bass clef. I have been finding beginner piano music and just playing the bass clef line on the cello. Since last post, I have also learned how to play the previously learned notes a whole lot better. I am now able to play and move fingerings much faster. I have also learned how to play a G and a B.
I am not new to Twitter, I have been using it for a few years. However, the way I was using it before, was nowhere near how I am using it for this class. I was on a completely different end of twitter, the Twitter with funny memes and all types of jokes. For this class, I made a new Twitter so that I could experience a different side of it. I did not realize how helpful the educational side of Twitter was. I just thought Twitter was a funny app that I go to in order to get a few laughs. I have started following other people in the ECMP 355 class who share many interesting ideas and resources.
I was also introduced to the new idea of the TweetDeck. I had never heard of this before and found it really interesting. I had no idea that you could even do that on Twitter. Through the TweetDeck, we joined in on the Saskedchat. I knew that people communicated in this type of way through Twitter, but I had no idea that there could be so many people participating all at once. I thought that this was a really great idea to get people involved in discussing different ideas in education.
I think that Twitter in the classroom could be very beneficial and a great way to get students engaged. If you had older students in the classroom, it would be a good idea to have your own version of the Saskedchat during class as a way to get the whole class participating and sharing their ideas. It could also be helpful to have a classroom Twitter page as a way to keep parents updated with what is happening in the classroom.