This week in class we talked about online activism and whether or not it actually makes any difference in the world. Before writing this post I read a great blog post by Paige who in turn references a blog post by Taylor. I like the way that both of these post challenge online activism and refer to it as “Armchair Activism” which I thought was avery adequate term. Paige discusses a few things such as the ALS ice bucket challenge which was used to create awareness and raise money for the prevention of ALS. One counter argument I have for online activism is that it can work to a degree. I honestly had no idea what ALS was until this viral campaign had started. For the founders of the ice bucket challenge they would have to consider it rather successful they ultimately raised 100 million dollars. The problem is that eventually the meme outgrew the activism. People started doing Ice Bucket challenges for the sake of posting something online or “doing it for the likes” as my friends like to say. My biggest issue with online activism is that people seem to not care until something becomes viral. I don’t understand why we cannot become passionate about something until after it has become the cool thing to do. I don’t know a single person that was trying to raise money or awareness for ALS before the ice bucket challenge and I don’t know anyone advocating for it now that the challenge is over. At the end of the day I would say that online activism is better than no activism but it certainly isn’t the best kind of activism.
So I was volunteering last Tuesday in white city and I got lost on my way to the school. This turned out to be very fortunate for my learning project because I stumbled upon a half pipe. I made a mental note of where it was and when I was finished volunteering I went and tried it out. Turns out that riding a half pipe is very very hard. I could not figure out how to drop into the halfpipe and I fell a lot. It turned out to be a very painful afternoon and my tailbone did not thank me at all. On Thursday (tomorrow) I will be going back to White City and despite what my bruises are telling me I’m going to give the halfpipe another shot but this time I did a little research. I watched a video here curtsey of Braile Skateboarding and learned a few steps and ultimately that confidence is key (something I did not have the first time around). I also learned that I should try skating around the bottom of the ramp before I try and drop in and that I should wear a helmet next time. I will update tomorrow after I give it a shot.
I made a game! Who knew that coding could be so easy? For this weeks blog post I was challenged to learn a little bit about coding. It is definitely a cool way to bring technology into the classroom and I could see many ways to incorporate it into a science unit. Without further ado let me take you through the process. (You have to read the entire post before I’ll give you the link to play – or just scroll to the bottom I guess) So the first thing that I did was choose a background! I selected this cool looking neon tunnel. Next I deleted the cat and added in a ball.Then using the tools on the left of the picture above I learned to control the ball. So i made the ball move continuously and bounce off the walls. Then I added in a paddle and made it so the ball would bounce off the paddle. Finally I added some sounds effects and made the game end if you let the ball touch the bottom! Anyways check it out here!
So the weather hasn’t been amazing lately and I remember hearing from a friend that skates that practising on carpet or grass is a good way to learn so I thought this was a perfect chance to bring my skateboard into the basement. I also found a video on how to practice a shuv-it indoors. Unfortunately the girl in the video removed her wheels but I did not have the tools to do this. Now after I practiced my ollie and shuv-it inside I would not recommend it. A few reasons why are: I hit my head on the roof several times while ollie-ing and a couple times when I fell doing a Shuv-it my board got away from me and crashed into the walls which my mom certainly did not appreciate. The one positive thing I can say about practising on carpet is that when you do fall it hurts a lot less than concreat which makes it easier to try new tricks
So this week I had my choice of blogging something that had to do with technology in the classroom. I also started volunteering at Emerald Park School. One of the first things that I noticed when I got a tour of the school was that they had A LOT of SMART boards. The SMART board is a piece of technology that I have a little bit of experience with, the classroom I was in for preinternship had one. I think that when used correctly the SMART board is an amazing tool. When used incorrectly however, the SMART board is nothing more than a very expensive glorified data projector. One thing I particularly like about SMART boards is that there is a multitude of ways for students to get involved in the lesson. They can come up to the board and physically interact with what they are learning. Also something that a lot of people do not know about is that the Pearson texts books (the texts we use in the Regina Public school board) created an etext that is incredibly compatible with a SMART board. During my internship I used the etexts on a regular data projector with some degree of success but it made it difficult for students to interact with. One helpful thing that all of my fellow classmates should know is that you can download the SMART board software for your computer from the U of R.
Image via: https://education.smarttech.com/
The task this week was to create a blog post that relates to one of the 9 elements of Digital Citizenship. As you can tell by the title of this post I have chosen to learn a little more about Digital Etiquette. I believe this is one of the things that students struggle with the most when it comes to using technology. In my experience I find that students do not realize what they do online has a real life impact on the people around them. That was the case when I was in school and is the case now. Students, and even adults, are often willing to say things online that they would never say to someone in person. Cyberbullying is a major issue in schools and is often something that is hard for teachers and administration to spot and deal with because it does not happen so explicitly in front of their faces.
I believe that if technology can be introduced properly and students learn how to use it appropriately they can become better learners later in life. I personally have a hard time not looking at my phone every few minutes and getting incredibly distracted by different technology. If however students are taught from a younger age that technology should be used for educational purposes they may not have these problems.
So one thing I learned this week is that there is a difference between the shuv-it and the POP shuv-it. I’ve spent about 10 hours this week working on perfecting my shuv-it but I can’t seem to get it down quite right yet. It seems that I can only ever land one foot on the board. I found a really cool video series by the Ride Channel that is helping me improve my tricks. The video I found on how to shuv-it is especially helpful.
I also found a video made by the same people that will help me work on my ollies. Ollies are the basis of all tricks that I will learn in the future so it is imperative that I improve my skills.