Thursday, 24 January 2013

Twitter Challenge

Travel the world in 60 days or less, 

Found a friend to share an item off of their bucketlist!

Final Thoughts

I think overall I enjoyed most of the assignments we had to do in this class throughout the year. If I had to chose a favorite project, it would have to be the bucket list project. I like projects where there's a wide range of things you can create because everyone is different and likes to present themselves in different ways. I think this project really opens up a new idea to students. I'm sure everyone's heard of making a bucket list and how it works, but not many people actually have the time to sit down and create their own! This project teaches you what kinds of things are important in your life based on the things on your list. If traveling was important to you, there would be many locations to visit on your list. It also taught me that quality of life doesn't have to be about the things you have, but the things you accomplish. I also have to say that I really liked the blackout poetry project. It seemed quite short but it was very creative and refreshing to usual classroom projects and assignments. 

There weren't really any projects that I truly disliked, but if I had to chose, I'd say twitter fiction. Looking at myself as a writer, I enjoy writing long pieces. It was challenging to write such a small story in only a few characters. I'm also not a fan of reading fiction especially unreal fiction with vampires and werewolves. I like things to be quite factual so I had a difficult time being as interested in this project as some of the rest. I also found the unit sort of dragged on a bit, however I did enjoy being able to use sites that I'd usually be using outside of school to do this project. I realized that there's a different dynamic to Twitter than just people tweeting what they did on the weekend, etc. 
Reading on Fridays was a good idea. I wish it would've carried out throughout the semester because most of us don't find the time outside of school to read. I read more books in the past semester than I did in the past three years. I enjoyed the massive selection of books, and I'm already sad to leave this class and go back to having 0 books to read. Although we did a lot of technology based projects, it is a nice change to get to go back to a good old book every Friday. I really respect teachers who allow this time to read because it's useful class time, and I think people used it pretty well this semester.

Since I enjoyed reading on Fridays, I also enjoyed writing about what I read or writing about projects we were doing. It's important to me that I go back on things and review what worked and what didn't and also what I may have learned or wanted to learn. I think these questions gave me a better understanding of what kind of books I like to read and also what kind of projects I'm better at. We didn't do reflections all semester, and I didn't mind not doing them. In the beginning I was very into them, but later on you kind of get bored of the same format and topic, especially if the book takes 3 weeks to read because you'd be doing 3 reflections on that one book. Overall, Monday written reflections were alright and I like to have the chance away from technology to do some good old writing.

The readers writers notebook didn't last too long. In the beginning I was really excited to write in it and decorate it. I wanted to personalize it just like a journal or something. We wrote a few notes, did a few assignments, and then tossed it to the side. Although I was excited to use a notebook, I got used to having a blog and updating that instead. I don't think there needs to be a notebook involved in this class. I could've taken my notes on separate paper each time and have done just fine.

Blogging was one of the most fun things in this course. I like that you have to add personal additions, and they can be whatever you're feeling at the time. I think this was the main project for this course. We always posted back on our blogs about every project. I like the whole idea of creating a better digital footprint for yourself because many people at such young ages these days don't realize what their digital footprint is doing for them, and it's usually doing bad things for them. I think learning about blogging opens many doors for us as students. We can use our blog to further us in our occupations or interests. I didn't realize how easy it is to show off your opinion or interests online. 450+ people viewed my blog this semester! I can't imagine how many people would see your blog if you had a topic and worked at it everyday for a long while. Overall, I'd recommend this class to someone just to learn about blogging. Using blogger makes it cleaner and more private than sites like Tumblr or MySpace. I really enjoyed doing this in this course!

As I commented before, twitter fiction wasn't my favorite project. It was quite unique and creative and I like it for that aspect. As I also said before, it just opened up a different part of Twitter that most people don't see or realize. It's good to see people using technology and networking sites for educational purposes. It's also good to know that I can join in whenever. It's so easy and simple to start tweeting long stories or short stories. I had never used Twitter up until this project, so I learned a lot about it and how to use it in a positive way. I'm glad we got to experience this site and do this project of twitter fiction. 

Having so much technology in one course really surprised me. All of these years we've been disciplined to put our phones away, but now we're allowed to do projects on them. It actually worked really good for me. I felt like if I used all of my electronics in this one class of the day, I didn't need to use it throughout the day as much. It was almost like I had gotten my daily dose of electronics, so it didn't create any conflict in any other classes. More and more young people are getting phones with internet and cameras and apps, so to be able to use all of these things in an educational way makes sense. I see many phones out in classes where they shouldn't be so why not make a class where you can be able to do that, but in a purposeful way. I think this course is surprisingly good for bringing technology into the classroom and into our education. I like that we did some projects on paper or hands on and also some that were online. 

Throughout this course, I'd say I've learned a lot about myself as a reader, writer, thinker, and creator. We did lots of reading throughout the course and we also did reflections on our reading that we did. I think reflecting on what I read showed me what I like to read and what I don't, how challenging my books should be, the speed at which I read, and much more. I also like the reflections because we got to share them with the world over the internet through our blogs. We learned to be sort of little critics. I think I realized that I enjoy escaping into a book, but I just don't make enough time in my daily life to read. I also learned that I like non-fiction and books that have situations that really could happen in real life. As a writer, I learned that I like space and freedom. Twitter fiction was painful to me because of the limited character space and also because it was fiction! As a thinker, I learned that I'm very personal. I like to have my own final touches or sparks of personality in my work. I'm an emotional thinker so most of my twitter fiction showed emotion or explained it within a story. Overall, this course, surprisingly taught me a lot about myself and how I show myself to the world.

I do not think the name of the course necessarily explains the course. I think this should be explained as more of a digital course. I'm sure when it was first thought of there was going to be more writing and hands on assignments involved, but as technology furthers and shows itself to be very useful and educational, the course shifted a bit. The time that was given to do projects and assignments was very realistic and accurate. There wasn't an excessive amount of work that had to be done at home, but yet there wasn't too much spare time in class. As we grow up and more generations come into play, this course will be more and more common, or at least I hope it will be. This class is a very modern twist on English class and I hope people realize that this class isn't a waste of time. No complaints on the teaching. Very calm, but not careless. Easy to approach.

My advice for future students taking this course is to be open minded. I think I had judgments about what this course might be like, but you don't really know until you take it. I didn't think that I'd learn as much as I did not only about technology, but also about myself. I'd say that this course is for anybody who enjoys working with technology or wants to get more comfortable with it. I think my only other advice would be just to have fun with the course. There weren't any super high expectations. There was no pressure to do super amazing projects, and having that pressure lifted off of my shoulders actually made me work harder. I wanted to do the projects for once. Overall, great class and I'd take it again any day!

Writing Reflection #6 (highschool)

I do not have a solid plan for after high school yet, but I do know that I want to receive scholarships and have the opportunity to go to university. I want to graduate from university and have a career that will fulfill my wants and needs. I want to expand on my family with someone I love and possibly travel to a few places. Blogging can actually help me achieve these things that I dream of. Most scholarships ask for a written part about either yourself or a certain topic, so blogging, especially this type of blogging because it is based on creative writing, helps me improve my writing skills. I think blogging also improves your creativity by adding personal additions and trying to stand out from the crowd. This improved creativity will help my application for a scholarship stand out from everyone else. Leaving high school and going into university, you need to become a lot more independent and not rely so much on the teacher to do things for you. Blogging improves your writing and with improved writing, comes improved reading. I think these two skills are a huge thing when going to university and fending for yourself in class. A professional blog that promotes yourself in a positive way could help you make connections with profs and even other students. Blogging also makes you an awesome researcher. You learn to link back to the sites you took something from and you have to do that for basically everything in university. These skills listed above will also help me in my career I believe. As for having a family, increased creativity would help. Sometimes you have to go with the flow, make things up, start something new. You never know what's going to happen with a loved one or kids. When the time comes for me to travel, skills to research are important. Blogging helps you know your way around the internet a little better. There are many ways that blogging can help me achieve my goals after I graduate from high school.

So, I did a bit of travelling around blogs and posted a few comments here and there. I first commented on Jenine's six word memoir because I love animals and learning about an animal I'm unsure of intrigues me. I commented on Victoria's personal addition because I love music and I as well relate to lyrics. I also commented on Carol's six word memoir because I don't know anything really about exchange programs and I'd love to learn! I believe that a good comment has a purpose. Why are you commenting on a post? Do you want to share what you know about the topic, create an idea and share it relating to the topic, or learn about what they're posting. I think the comment should have one solid topic. It shouldn't be all over the place asking things that aren't related to the post. A good comment should pull the writer or the post into the conversation and want to be involved. I think overall a good comment should express your opinion but also ask for other peoples' or just the writer's as well. I believe that a bad comment focuses on just your opinion. A bad comment is writing that puts someone down or discourages them from writing more. I think a bad comment is one that stops conversation or doesn't start one in the first place. A bad comment has no purpose behind it. There are many benefits from commenting on someone else's blog. You can start a conversation and teach each other things that you may not have known before. Teaching each other things can make a bond or a friendship quite easily. Commenting on someone else's posts makes you noticed. They will notice you and want to see what your blog is all about as well, expanding your circle of blogs you connect with. By commenting on other people's things you can encourage them to keep doing the great things that they are and also improve their writing skills by giving solid criticism. There are also some benefits to receiving comments, which are mostly the same. Someone comments on your blog, you will want to check them out, therefore expanding your circle of blogs you connect with. I really do believe comments of criticism are very valuable to improving writing and blogging skills.

Comment #1

The first comment I posted was on Jenine's blog. Her drawing with a six word memoir on it caught my eye and made me read on to her explanation. It got me thinking of how complex horses are. There aren't many other sports that involve animals and how many different things horses are used for is incredible. It's weird that humans, who are smaller than horses, can have such control and power over something so large. It also got me thinking of other animals and the relationship you can have with them. Sometimes it's so powerful that when you lose them, it takes a toll on you. Animals can become good companions. I wonder what variety of companions there are out there? What is the weirdest pet there is? I think from commenting on Jenine's post, I stopped thinking of technology and friends for once and focused on something that may not get enough attention when we're caught up in our daily lives; animals.

Comment #2

The second comment I posted was on Victoria's blog. I relate to lyrics all the time so it's nice to know someone else does too. It made me think of how people relate to things online and I was wondering if we rely on that too much? Have we grown up expressing our emotions through technology too much that the person or problem we should be addressing has no clue what's going on and nothing will get solved? It made me think of Facebook and how it's become just a mess of people's opinions and emotions. Sometimes people don't use the internet for things that contribute to their life. We're all guilty of it, but some people more than others. I think technology has taken us away from playing outside or art or other beautiful, natural things. Is that a bad thing though? I know Victoria didn't say any of this in her post, but the whole idea came to me when I thought of how we relieve ourselves through lyrics and original things like music.

Comment #3

The third comment I posted was on Carol's blog. Her six word memoir caught my eye because it had something to do with travelling and that interests me. She talked about being an exchange student and what a good opportunity it is. It made me think of having the opportunity myself and where I would choose to go. I've never traveled out of America, so any opportunity South or to Europe would be a dream. I wonder how many people are on an exchange right now? I told Carol that I'd be so scared to leave my family and friends. I'm not that outgoing so I don't know how I'd survive in a whole new school. It would be different adjusting to the food, the traditions, and especially the weather! If I went on an exchange, I'd definitely have to go somewhere a bit warmer than Winterpeg. Overall, I wanted to create a conversation to learn about what it's like to go on an exchange. I don't know anything about them, so I am interested to learn!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Personal Addition #44

You know what I can’t understand? You have all these people telling you all the time how great you are, smart and funny and talented and all that, I mean endlessly, I’ve been telling you for years. So why don’t you believe it?
— David Nicholls, One Day

Reading this quote made me think a bit. It made me think about  everyone today getting complimented and not even taking the compliment. It's almost as if it is rude nowadays for people to accept the compliments that they get from people, and I don't understand it. The people who do not accept the compliments are also the people who don't seem to have very high self esteem. Don't you realize you're not confident? Take the things people say about you and use them for yourself. Learn from them, grow from them, whatever furthers you. 

Personal Addition #43

We are more interested in making others believe we are happy than in trying to be happy ourselves.
— Fran├žois de la Rochefoucauld

I think this quote is quite true. I see people in networking sites and face to face trying to present their lives as bright and sparkly. They show people all of their possessions and fancy objects. In the end they're just objects...They aren't our main source of happiness. We try so hard to make others believe that our lives are bright and happy. Why? Why not make yourself truly happy first? 

Personal Addition #42

People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be…when I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner”. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.
— Carl Rogers

I really like this quote because it opens this idea that we don't try to change or tweak things in nature so why are we always trying to change people and their differences? We are part of nature, and I don't think anything was made poorly on this Earth, so we do not need to try to change people or pick out flaws.

Personal Addition #41

Who is the happier man: he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?
—Hunter S. Thompson

I think that this quote is a very good question. There could be people who like security and like to be comfortable with everything they do and there's also people out there who like doing risky things or things they aren't sure of. I think I'd be in the middle. I'm more of a quiet person so I don't take every opportunity or chance to do something. I like to sit back and think things over. Security is my friend. However, I have done some risky things that many others haven't. I've put myself out there without thinking things over. Overall, those risky situations have turned out very well for me and that might make me lean more towards getting out there in life and trying things that you're unsure of and those things that you're comfortable with.