Hard to believe the semester has finally come to an end! Although I am hoping that my Reads by Amy learning project has not come to an end, I am planning to continue what I have started and continue posting book reviews.
It’s hard to summarize all that I have done with this project and recap everything into one final artifact. My reflections and experiences throughout the semester can be found in my Major Project category, but here is a quick video I created to show a snapshot of what I have done with Reads by Amy this semester. Enjoy! And be sure to check out readsbyamy.wordpress.com if you haven’t had a chance. I would also like to thank all my classmates that offered support during this project and helped to direct traffic to my blog. It was very much appreciated
In the article The death of slacktivism I found that many of the ways we support these online movements are trendy and shallow. I do understand that the benefits of the digital world allow more people to become involve with the cause. However I feel it is great to be aware of a cause but I don’t think much will change with a few likes, or a name on a petition. I am much like Brittney, in the sense I am a do-er. I also believe that these organizations that people support need more than a few likes to keep going. Just like Nathan I was defiantly skeptical about the Facebook option to change your profile to be overlaid by the France Flag. There was absolutely nothing about the overlay that would support France in anyway and I also thought how would the ever find out I even care. I had no idea that my opinion of the France flag overlay had anything to do with the slacktivism debate.
The article I Get It: You Don’t Like Slacktivism. Now Shut Up. Only Don’t it pointed out that little time or thought is needed to support these causes. I do understand that awareness is built through the online presence and circulation of the campaigns. The ALS ice bucket challenge did build awareness through online media presence, but I feel that many people may not have sent in pledges rather just made a video to be YouTube famous. Unfortunately I watched way to many videos on my Facebook feed of buckets slipping out of people hands.
I did enjoy a few points from the article The Real Problem with Slacktivism. First I do understand that we all like to feel good, and by doing good things we can make this happen. Through this perceived
we are made to think that we have helped . However I disagree in with the statement that slactivism isn’t helping it is just making things worse, I believe that slacktivism build awareness. Donating to a cause can be more than stuffing an envelope, you can donate time and become part of the online trend in helping out too!!
I was excited to tackle my summary of learning project! I knew after the assignment was presented to the class I wanted to make sure I incorporated some sort of technology I could also show my students.
Dallas, Kayla and I decided we would have some fun with an animated video for our summary of learning. After we did a quick google search we came up with the product Nawmal . Kayla downloaded the free trial of the program. We decided that we would each speak about different things that
we had taken away from the course.
After we organized our thoughts on a Google Doc we were set. I figured I would be adventurous and attempt to put our video together. I first selected a talk show setting which I thought would allow for back and forth dialogue using an interview strategy, this was perfect as we each could share our learning.
The next part of the process was selecting the characters. I chose four characters to allow for a host and a representation of each on of our summaries. Seating the characters on the couch was a process in itself. The next step was adding in the dialogue for back and forth question and answer type exchange. As I got a few lines in, I figured I should listen to the dialogue between my characters. I quickly realized they all had the same voice, so I explored around and downloaded different voices for all of the characters. Some of the voices were very robotic and others were not so bad.
The download time was extremely slow, moving at 2% per minute. After only one voice option showed up, I had to go back and download a certain voice for each character not just download voices and assume I could choose from a list.
I continued adding more dialogue for the characters until I had our script perfect. I attempted to listen to my progress but as I typed more dialogue the buffering time increased to the point I was waiting for 3 minutes for it to playback. I also realized that I could add gestures to the characters, making them move their hand and even look at the host. This was sort of fun as some of the actions were bold.
I was nearing the end of my adventure and thought I should show Kayla my progress on our project, then we would have an idea about changes and the timing. I also realized that listening to it allowed me to catch my mistakes. Aaaahhh one final listen and we would we ready to put it on the web. Kayla and I waited and waited and the buffering time was ridiculous, I and been saving along the way so I knew that I wouldn’t lose my work. After about 15 minutes of waiting for our animated video to play I decided yolo and exported it. I was confident that it would be alright and I could always go back to my saved version.
Well was I wrong. After I pushed that export button our stomachs quickly sunk as a pop up appeared saying we needed to purchase the full version to see our video. We thought we could go back to my saved version and worst case just record it as the trial version using a cell phone and upload it from there.
Kayla quickly whipped out her credit card as there was no other choice but to upgrade. After deciding to buy the paid version for $9.99 US/ month we figured our problem was solved. After we attempted to open up the saved files, another popup appeared saying the version we paid for did not support the features I had used. There was another choice in subscribing but we did not want to pay the $99.00 a month so we opted for the discounted version. After 3 hours of creating the video and buying the subscription we still had nothing.
Kayla had the bright idea to email for support. I pointed out that it was 4 PM on Friday, good luck with that. Kayla quickly composed and email asking for help as we were sick about our project being trapped. Within 10 minutes we received a reply. Apparently we should have bought the expensive version. The email offered to convert our file for us if we sent it to them. Kayla and I were so very thankful for the quick reply from Nawmal.
I will admit that this is an unedited version of our project, and we have no choice in going back and making changes. This Nawmal experience taught us that we should definitely have read some reviews about the program, if we would have know that many of the features were not compatible with the free trial we would have chose a different animation program. I guess this goes on to say we are always learning, and we will make mistakes along the way!! Hope you enjoy the video.
Nawmal seems like a cool program but do not cheep out, just pay the $10.00 and you will know exactly what features you can use from the start. Some of the Nawmal videos are online look so cool, and we got stuck with such a cheesey video haha.
Thank you to Alec and Katia for facilitating my learning! And a big thanks to all my classmates and colleagues it was a pleasure to collaborate and learn from everyone.
My EC&I 831 Journey
- Created this sweet healthy lifestyle blog using WordPress (I had created one for my classroom over 3 years ago but didn’t stick with it, as it became work that I could put off).
- I quickly learned what a widget was and the ins and outs of my WordPress dashboard.
- Created a professional Twitter account so that I could share information relevant to technology, social media and my PLN
- Joined a Google+ Community which I didn’t know existed before this class.
- Chose to complete a Digital Project on leading a Healthy Lifestyle
Along the way
- Learned how to properly set up my blog and blog pages, and also ask for help when I ran into problems
- Visit other blogs and tried to add comments or ask questions
- Ohh my, I realized I was stealing images for years! Not to worry I now know how to properly use images and site them from popular sites like Compfight
- I also learned some short cuts for adding in images
- ongoing attempt to to wrap my head around Twitter, all the ins and out and how to tweet and retweet
Not the end
- Learned that using Tags in my blog helped organized my work and helped me to get more followers
- Google+ community became an outlet for me to vent and I even tried to help other classmates as well with their questions and concerns.
- Developed relationship with a few classmates as I would visit their blogs, Twitter pages on a very regular basis!
- Summarized my learning using an animated movie using the Nawmal software
- I viewed my numbers and stats using WordPress and was excited to see what the numbers were showing. My popularity was represented by a graph.
- I increased my twitter presence with 63 tweets and 88 followers!
I plan to continue to use social media in my teaching and education but will also try incorporating it more with my students. I have started to bring more articles into the classroom for discussion, as I come across many different things relevant to the lives of students. There is so much learning that can take place through technology and online, it can be endless. I would love for my students to collaborate and connect with others around the world. I think that language projects could be a fun venture, something about those cute seniors though. I don’t want to be that teacher that only gives worksheets and transmits knowledge I want to be the teacher that provides opportunity and experiences.
I can honestly say that this class has been a learning journey for me. For the most part I enjoyed the flexibility of an online course, but it sometimes was difficult to dedicate time to the readings, as I struggled doing last weeks haha, I really put the slack in slacktivism. It is such a different experience when you are in charge of your own learning, learning at your own pace, learning what you want. I plan to continue to blog my recipes and perhaps I will blog about being a new parent, that could be a fun venture if I have time.
Thank you everyone and see you online and I am look forward to reconnecting soon!!
I can’t believe it has been four months since I first started on my healthy lifestyle journey. I will give full credit to ECI 831 and the Major Digital project that was assigned to me. This project has started my initial push to to move from the idea of becoming healthier with the action plan, and then putting the plan in motion.
I have always wanted to learn more about healthy eating and lifestyle. Not often do you get to choose something that you want to learn in a University course. I wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity to focus on me and something that I typically wouldn’t have time for and reflecting on my journey through blogging. I highly enjoyed learning and documenting it all online. I could post whatever I like and each week, I managed to choose my recipe and try something new. I loved the fact that the comments would roll in, as others wanted to try my recipes or had their own to share.
This project taught me a few lessons other then learning how to lead a healthier lifestyle in terms of nutrition and exercise. Learning from others online was so uniquely new for me. I have been taught that learning comes from book and research. This course taught me that I could be responsible and in control of my own learning. I managed to find many online communities to help motivate me and learn from. I have come to understand that with the rapid rate of growing technology and MOOCs I should facilitate an opportunity like this for my own students.
I looked forward to taking the time to work on my digital project every week. Even one new recipe a week, in a busy lifestyle we often don’t make time for ourselves our own learning. It did not feel like homework, it was fun, the shopping, the creating and the blogging. I never once felt the grad student stresses of having to complete assignments and hand in lengthy papers.
This semester I managed to plan and take the time for myself and work on my healthy lifestyle. I also believe that I will continue acquiring knowledge as my little one is coming into this world. Health is so very important as we get older but also to teach our students and children about managing their health and investing in their selves.
I hope I have inspired my readers to learn something new, or at least try a new recipe. It doesn’t have to be a healthy lifestyle journey! Whatever you choose to learn it is never that hard with the support of online communities and other bloggers.
It’s been awhile since I have updated my stats for Reads by Amy:
Twitter: 30 followers
Instagram: 64 followers
Blog: 17 followers
I was beginning to get frustrated earlier in this project because I was not seeming to get many followers on my blog or other accounts. So I took a bit of a break from watching them really closely and focused some more time on just posting often and interacting with other bloggers. I know that this project isn’t just about getting followers, but for me it’s evidence that people are caring about what I am doing and taking the time to read my reviews and connect with me.
This week I struggled with my latest book review because I didn’t really like the book I had just read, so I was unsure if I should still post about it. All of the books I have reviewed on my blog are ones that I have really enjoyed and would recommend to others, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start posting about ones that I didn’t really love. But in the end I figured even if I didn’t love this book, other people might. (And if I didn’t post it as a review I would have to wait another week until I finished my next book to post a review! And I think the key to keeping followers is to post regularly).
Have you followed my blog yet!? If not check it out! And if you know any other book lovers pass the link on to them, I would appreciate it! https://readsbyamy.wordpress.com/
Thanks and happy reading
So one thing that I miss is sweets, I do my best to avoid sugary snack but show me a cookie and it’s gone. I received a recipe from a guest teacher at our school, the recipe is called Dr. Mike’s Power Cookie. The recipe she gave came from a cook book, but a quick Google search and I was able to find them online too. I just went on the Dr. Mike Wesite . She even gave me a sample mmmm delicious.
I will warn you that I like to experiment in the kitchen and use different ingredients that I have on hand. This recipe calls for specific ingredients that I substituted. I think to myself that all recipes were created by someone just throwing random things together then tweaking it until it was perfect.
****The substitutions that I made included: pumpkin puree (frozen from my garden) instead of apple sauce, didn’t use almond paste, used cooking oil, brown sugar instead of sweetner and agave ( I have decided that I should avoid sweeteners while pregnant), I didn’t have cherries or almonds so I omitted them. I am an avid baker so I made sure the consistency for a
cookie was right, I did add more pumpkin as I though the batter looked dry.
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons almond paste
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
- 10 packets of Truvia
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup vanilla whey powder
- 2 cups oats
- 1 cup dried cherries
- ½ cup sliced almonds
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together applesauce, almond paste, flaxseed oil, Truvia and agave nectar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and whey powder. Beat thoroughly. Stir in oats, cherries and almonds. Mix well. Drop the batter by large tablespoons onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Divide dough so that you have 18 cookies. Flatten each cookie with the back of the spoon. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Cool and store in a plastic container.
These smell amazing in the bowl and even better in the oven. So next attempt I will defiantly add the nuts and cherries or raisins, and try a lil more sugar just to sweeten them up, but they are still good.