Monday, 20 June 2011

ECMP 355 - Final Project Ep. 4 (Artists That Students Can Learn From Podcast)

Ep._4_(June_19).m4a Listen on Posterous
Here is episode 4 of my podcast
Track List:
  1. Adele - To Make You Feel My Love
  2. Michael Franti & Spearhead - Hey Hey Hey
  3. Elton John - Bennie & the Jets
  4. Esperanza Spalding - Wild is the Wind
  5. Jason Mraz - The Dynamo of Volition
  6. Broken Social Scene - Meet Me in the Basement
  7. Ray Charles - Georgia on my Mind
I am done podcasting for this week anyways, like I said I have lots of other ideas for podcasts, and I intend to continue!

My next thing to do is to buy my domain and to publish my website that I have been working on using iWeb. I'll keep you posted when I do! I plan to use that site to blog from, as well as post podcasts. iWeb has an awesome page you can add to your site to publish podcasts, as well as videos.

Thanks for an awesome semester everyone!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

My Final Reflection

Here is my final reflection for ECMP 355. Writing the song for this video and recording it was the easy part. Uploading it was more challenging. Apparently one cannot upload a video to a "page" on Blogger, I could only upload it to a post. Not that it matters! As long as it can be seen. 


It was a productive evening for me last night! While all of you folks were either at or watching the Rider game, I was in my quiet little room, talking into my Macbook. I did both my 3rd podcast last night and my video for my reflection. The podcast is posted, but sadly, the video is still in waiting. I cannot seem to get it to upload to my blog here. I loaded it from iMovie into iTunes, because I do not have a youtube account, thinking it would be easier. It has not been easier. I click on the video, and it looks like it is loading, and eventually it stops looking like it is loading and nothing happens. Gah!

So I am seeking the help of my lovely boyfriend to help me with this one, he seems to know what he's doing. I hope. If not, I'll just get a youtube account and try uploading it that way.

SO all that I have left to do is my personal assessment, which I will be working on today and sending off to Dean, as well as my last podcast, which would also be nice if it got done today but I have not had a weekend in a while, still not having fully recovered from my trip. Things have been crazy busy, and on top of that, I begin training for my job at the Autism Resource Centre on Monday! I am very excited to get started. I went and met with a youth worker, who told me about the person that I would be working with and she has worked in the summer program before, she said that we go swimming pretty much everyday, we even go to the beach once a week, which I think is an awesome idea. I am so looking forward to being active and being outside this summer, I cannot tell you how much.

That's all for me for now, hopefully I'll get that darn video posted today at least! The podcast may not be up until Monday, but don't worry, it will be up there!

I also have made a list of other themes that I liked for possible future podcasts, so if you liked the ones that you heard thus far, I have been thinking about continuing to post podcasts over the summer! It's something that I have been getting the hang of, and I think it's really fun! Hopefully you guys like them too.

Friday, 17 June 2011

ECMP 355 - Final Project Ep. 3 (The Easy Guitar Songs That Don't Suck Podcast)

Ep._3_(June_15).m4a Listen on Posterous
Here is another podcast!

I am now, as we speak, on to doing my reflection. iMovie is loaded and ready to rock!

Hopefully this podcast isn't too jumbled, I felt slightly rushed recording it, but oh well!

Track List:
  1. Kina Grannis - Valentine
  2. Fleetwood Mac - Rhiannon
  3. Taylor Swift - Love Story
  4. Sufjan Stevens - That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!
  5. Feist - I Feel It All
  6. Neil Young - Heart of Gold
  7. Shania Twain - No One Needs To Know

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

ECMP 355 - Final Project Ep. 2 (The Kid-Friendly Podcast)

Podcast_Ep._2_(June_14).m4a Listen on Posterous

Here is the second podcast for ECMP 355. It has been a long afternoon, people. My iTunes is giving me so much grief. Whenever I open iTunes, this message comes up saying it's connecting to the store, but it never goes away and always come up even after the store is loaded. It keeps stopping anything from loading! GAH! So trying to purchase two songs for this podcast was like pulling teeth. It was a battle of wits between me and iTunes.

And I won.


Please note that the last 2 minutes are silence! Sorry! After my voice ends that is the end of the cast.

I'm gonna post the track list on Posterous now for these first 2 podcasts right now!

Thanks for listening!

Reflections on last night's class

So last night's class left me feeling super inspired about creating more of an online identity for myself. I realized that I do want to be "found" online. I want good things to come up when my name is searched on Google.

When Dean talked about buying a domain, I thought, "oh, I am gonna do that." And I am. I'm going to buy and create my own website.

So after class, I drove to my boyfriend's house. It was his birthday yesterday and we went out just to do something on the actual day, because frankly, birthday's are destined to not be very much fun if they are on a Monday. I should know, mine was as well this year. I had a class until 10pm.

Anyways, so I was telling Richie about what we had gone over in class, and how I wanted to start my own website, and he informed me that my Macbook comes with a program called iWeb. He suggested that I create my website using iWeb first and then create my domain so that I can just import it and it will be started at least.

Well let me say, I have only been using the program for about 2 minutes and I already love it. The program opens with a basic tutorial video, and it is easy to follow. So I am going to begin designing my very own webpage and hopefully I'll have it posted before class is officially over. I'd love for y'all to see it! I'm pretty pumped, I am feeling very prepared and able to do this, which I would not have felt before. I feel like I am capable to doing these things now.

Now, I realize that there are still things that are more pressing in my life, such as my final reflection and the rest of my podcast series. I have an idea for my reflection and if anyone has any feedback, I'd appreciate it! I would like to write a song, reflecting on my experience in ECMP 355, record myself playing it, with my guitar (and voice of course) using iMovie and post it to my blog.

Thoughts? And if you haven't heard my podcast yet, please listen, it's only 11 minutes long, and let me know what you think! Thanks!

Monday, 13 June 2011

My Professional Portfolio

My portfolio is complete!

You can view the different parts of my portfolio using the tabs at the top of my blog under the header. I also made a "Podcasts" tab so that when all of my podcasts are posted, you can locate each of them on the one page rather than scrolling through my blog posts. I think I will also post a link to my Posterous page on my "podcasts" page as well, so that it can connect to my main page.

So now it's on to podcast, episode 2 and I really gotta get rolling on my final reflection. I have a page full of notes, and no way to display them at this time! I have some thinking to do on that!


Final Project Ep. 1 (The Canadiana Podcast)

Podcast_Ep._1_(June_13).m4a Listen on Posterous

It is here! Episode 1! Yippee! I created the first of hopefully four podcasts for my final project!

So this podcast was recorded using Garageband, and I decided to just start over, and leave my first podcast attempt for my own personal reflection, plus I needed to re-record all of the my voice because the orders of the songs were changed and whatnot.

It was harder to create this podcast because I had to cut every song down, and matching everything up was more difficult than just pulling the song into the track and letting it go.

I decided this time to post my podcast using Posterous, which I am finding to be more user friendly. I had to load my podcast a couple of times though because it kept freezing a certain points and wouldn't load anymore. It loaded, and then I noticed that my pictures for each chapter didn't come up, only the audio track. Does anyone know how to change this? I know that you can open my podcast with the program of your choice (ie: iTunes, etc) is there a program that will play it with my pictures? I know that Podomatic had my pictures and everything in it, so if it doesn't do that on Posterous, I might want to change...

So yes, it's far from perfect but it's mine! I have many ideas for more so either tonight or tomorrow I'm gonna get started on the next one and post it as soon as I can! Feedback is appreciated but be kind, I am a little self-conscious of hearing my voice coming out of these speakers! Ha.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Thanks Petey B!

Tonight, my buddy, Peter, helped me solve my blog problem. I could not figure out how to get the links on the top bar of my blog to connect to various things that I wanted it to. I knew it could be done, I just couldn't figure out how. I commented on Peter's blog, since he uses Blogger as well (we are the minority in this class since most of our classmates use Wordpress), asked for help and he was able to answer my question lucky for me, and I even understood what he said and could do it myself! Love that.

So now, I have lovely little links on the top of my blog. Some of them do not have anything attached to them yet, but it'll happen, don't worry.

I was so excited when they worked, my blog is getting to look very pretty! Yay!

Thanks Peter!!

My Blog Reflections

On my blogging experience:
  • By taking ECMP 355 I discovered that though I suck at journaling, I absolutely love blogging. To me, I like having an audience to my thoughts, I love getting comments, being able to post video or pictures or links. I have been reading various blogs for months now, and this was a great opportunity for me to begin my own.
  • I now realize that I should have used tags long ago on my blog posts for ECMP 355, so now my posts, especially about the final projects/reflections will have the tags on them. Unfortunately, my blogs post about my final project with my podcasts do not have the tag up until this point. 
  • There are many things that I would like to change about my blog at this point, especially finding out how to create headers on my blog, that can link to my posts about my final project and professional portfolio.  
  • I want to continue blogging and working to perfect my blog. I like being able to have something that is mine, and it is cool to look at my stats and see that my post on being a "Tweetcher" got 95 views! That is crazy to me. But you have no idea that people are reading your blog if there are no comments, so I'm glad that I looked at my stats and saw that yes, some posts have like, 3 reads, but some have more reads, and some have many, and that is very cool to me.
My frequency of posting/consistency:
  • I think that I have been very consistent with blogging and I know that is because I enjoy it so much. I really like being able to take 20 minutes and write up a post about what is going on in my day, or address something that was covered in class, although I realized that I spent most of the posts talking about myself. Surprised?
  • I have a total of 24 posts up until today (June 11), some of them are drafts for my professional portfolio and some are for my final project blog posts, but I have been blogging on average at least 2 posts per week. 
Comments on my own blog/others' blogs:
  • I was disappointed by the lack of comments on my blog. I don't know if this was because people weren't reading my blog, if they didn't like my posts, if it was because it was on blogger instead of wordpress?
  • I found commenting on wordpress blogs frustrating, because after every comment that I left, I had to check my email and confirm my comment. Why did I have to do that for every single comment?
  • I tried to comment as much as I could on people's blogs, but I found it hard sometimes, not knowing what to say. Sort of a, "if I have nothing interesting to say I'd best no say anything at all" kind of feeling. 
On my contributions to the class:
  • I was super disappointed about not being able to attend hardly any sessions except for one. I really enjoyed being there and getting to talk to the class and tell them what I was doing, getting to use the chat and contribute to the conversation. My days during this spring class have been open for the most part, but it is my evenings that fill up, which is why I thought an online class would be perfect. I have watched all of the recordings of ECMP 355 and blogged about them afterward. So my main contribution to the class is through my blog. This is a good way for all of us to keep in touch, especially if we cannot make it to the live sessions. 

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Oh home, yes I am home... Home is wherever I'm with you. HEY!

I am home!

It was an amazing trip, saw lots, ate lots but I am very delighted to be home. I missed my new (to me) car and I missed my Dad and my cat, Emma. I am beat. It has been a very long day today. But I have things to do! So sleep will come later on.

I have, in true Riley fashion, created a brand spankin' new list for what I have left to do in ECMP 355 up until June 21. I have plans upon plans for my podcasts, portfolio, etc. but I need to actually get started. My eight day stint in the Maritimes has not helped my productivity whatsoever with these projects, although I loved being able to blog about what I had been doing and post some photos. There was no time to just sit and do work for longer than maybe an hour, so I am feeling stressed, looking at blogs and seeing that people already have their final projects posted! AHHHHHHH!

So, with that said my plans for my podcast have been finalized, and I have decided that I am going to keep my number of podcasts for this project to approx 4-5 podcasts. They'll probably be anywhere from 15-20 minutes I'm thinking, since my first one with the full versions of the songs was close to 42 minutes long. I'll do some more talking, so recording my voice for the podcasts will be one of my larger tasks in the next week. Some themes that I am planning on covering are:
- Awesome Canadian Artists ( I do believe in my first version of my podcast I said "awesome" an obscene amount of times, so that will have to be dealt with...)
- Kid-Friendly podcast (Awesome songs that kids can learn to sing or play, good themes, etc. It'll be more geared towards younger kids, but I think a lot of the songs that I plan to use can be transferred to older grades.)
- Easy Guitar Songs that don't Suck (I know at many Regina high schools they offer guitar classes, and I play guitar. I would love love love love to teach a guitar class... maybe I'll even record myself playing a bit of something?)
- Musicians that students can learn from (I have already begun a list including Adele, Ray Charles... and if anyone has any suggestions leave em please and thanks!)

I am also very excited to report that one of my friends who happens to be a neighbour has accepted my invitation to record The White Stripes "We Are Gonna Be Friends" song for my Kid-Friendly podcast! So it will be a recording of her and her bro-heim, rocking out this tunesky. I am so pumped!

I am also listening to a lovely lady named Meredith Jordan, whose name and website was passed onto me by none other than Dean Shareski himself... Your daughter has some kick-butt songs Dean! I am planning on emailing her for permission to use "The Germ Song"? If you speak with her before I do, put in a good word!

I have lists of songs and artists for each theme, so I basically just need to DO IT. So this week will be a lot of me sitting in my room or on my couch talking to myself.

I have also decided to instead of using a Podomatic account to post my podcasts, I would like to try using Posterous, because from what I understand you can also use Posterous to post photos, and can post them to Twitter, which I would like to start doing.

So on that note, I have to get moving! Once again, AHHHHHHHHHH!

Anybody wanna see another picture from my trip?!?!

In the public gardens in Halifax, there is this beautiful Japanese flower bush right in front of the gates, and there is a little plaque in front of the flowers stating that this lovely pink plant signifies the relationship between Halifax and a city in Japan. Pretty neat huh?

Sunday, 5 June 2011

New Game Plan!

Hey Team,

I have a new game plan for my final reflection project. As you probably have read, my podcast plan went awry when it was pointed out to me that I needed permission to use the selected songs in my podcast. The solution that Dean and I discussed is for me to try and get permission for any songs that I can (and I have permission for one song so far - thanks Jenn Grant!), and to use short clips from the other songs that I do not have/could not receive an answer for. Hopefully I can do this and still create a satisfactory podcast. I want to focus less on the music and individual songs, and more on the content of the music, why I chose it, the artist and why I listen to them/chose them, etc.

I have been in touch with David from the Arts & Crafts label in Canada, they represent artists like Dan Mangan, Feist and Broken Social Scene, and he had many questions for me about which artists I was interested in using/how many songs I wanted, so I hope to hear back from him soon! It has been hard this week to get to work on my new plan for my podcasts, but I know that when I get back it will not be difficult to get them rolling, I have plans written out for them so I'll just need to sit down and do it up.

So this is all for now, it has been a crazy couple of days on my end, I have covered three provinces in five days! We have been driving and walking and flying and ferrying and it has been awesome but tiring! I'll leave you lovely folks with another couple of pictures from my travels, the first one is from the lobster supper that we went to on Saturday night in New Glasgow, PEI. I got my sweet bib, just as promised, and a pound of lobster goodness. It was awesome. The second is from the ferry ride we took today from PEI to Nova Scotia. It was so cool to be right on the ocean! Tomorrow we have another full day: Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Peggy's Cove, Alexander Keith's Brewery... Don't wait up!

Kidding, Dean!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

 Here are some pictures from today. I went to the Anne of Green Gables house in Cavendish, PEI, about 5 minutes from where we have been staying. It is a beautiful site, the picture above is from one of two trails that you can take around the area. This was the Balsam trail, and my sister took some very nice pictures, the weather was cooperating so we were happy, since it rained all day yesterday.
The Green Gables house is pretty cool inside, lots of old artifacts and neat tidbits that I learned. My sister was especially surprised to learn that Anne Shirley was in fact not a real person. She was a little bummed out by this information. I loved just being able to walk the trails and take in the beautiful scenery. We also went down to Cavendish Beach, and saw the ocean in all of its glory. I think it has finally hit me that I am here! Tomorrow we leave on the ferry for Halifax, NS. We'll be staying there for the remainder of our trip, and I am excited to check out that city as well, I've heard lots of great things about it.

I'll post some more pictures soon as we have taken bunches upon bunches of them. Tonight we are going for an authentic lobster supper at a place nearby called Fisherman's Wharf. This is the kind of joint where you get one of those plastic bibs with a picture of a lobster on it. I can't wait! This is the kind of legit PEI experience I have been searching for!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Live from Cavendish, PEI...


I am currently in a lovely little place called Cavendish, Prince Edward Island. We drove here from Moncton, N.B. this afternoon via Confederation Bridge. So freaking cool! My Mom's fiance, Trent, lived all around the Martitimes during his university years, while he went to Dalhousie University. Trent was living in Summerside, PEI while Confederation Bridge was being built! Look up some info on that, it's very interesting and I had no idea it existed.

I love PEI. Some things that I have learned about it so far:
  • Recycling is mandatory by law here. Which I think should be enforced by law everywhere, in every province. Why don't we have this law in Saskatchewan I wonder?
  • PEI is cottage country in many parts. Where we are, there are many cottage/resort places that can be rented out. I thought this was a super cool idea. So smart for a wedding or family reunion or a vacation like my fam-jam is doing right now. Our little cottage is at a place called Anne's Windy Poplars and it is so neat! So much space, and really cute. We have a BBQ, stove, dishwasher, hot tub, and wireless (thank goodness!)
  • The traffic lights in PEI are all shape-oriented. For example: the red/stop light is a square, the green/go light is a circle, and the yellow/caution light is a diamond shape. My mother and boyfriend, who both happen to be colourblind, appreciate this concept. Once again, why don't we have this in Saskatchewan?
  • All of the dirt, even in all the fields (PEI is very agricultural which surprised me!), are red. Red dirt. Everywhere. It makes the land seem more magical and vivid. So cool. 
  • Everyone in the Maritimes has a hint of an accent. Sometimes you notice, sometimes not. They all say "youse" though, which I try not to laugh at.
  • There is also a very strong Francophone culture in all of the Maritimes. All of the signs are bilingual here, which is different from the signs in Sask, as well in PEI, some of the houses that we passed have gold stars on their doors, which means that they are Acadian. Trent explained to me that it is a very proud culture, but the language can be confusing because it mixes French and English words in the same sentences!
We are 3 hours ahead here. Which totally messed all of us up yesterday, we were done by 9pm, which was 6pm SK time! But today we are on track, and settled into our wonderful little cottage! Tomorrow we are going to go into Charlottetown, and check out what's good there. Do some shopping and some pub-visiting!

That's all for now!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Scratch That.

Well, it was over as soon as it had begun...

It was brought to my attention that I probably need permission for the songs that I featured on my podcast...

So... I sent some emails but I have no idea if they will get me any answers so for the time being my podcast has been taken off the site, along with my whole Podomatic account because I couldn't figure out how to take the podcast off on its own. I got frustrated and just deleted the entire thing.

I am feeling very discouraged and embarrassed. It honestly never crossed my mind that I would need permission for each song on my podcast. Not to mention it was never pointed out to me until it was too late and already posted. Hopefully I don't get sued by Arcade Fire.

So at this point I am not sure where to go from here. The basis of my podcast ideas were based around music, and I am not sure if I can obtain the proper permission for this and future podcasts. I am going to have to do some research and asking around to figure out what I can do now.

I'll keep you posted...

The Canadiana Podcast

So I finally figured out how to get my podcast onto the internet! I have been working for a while, converting and formatting and buffering and whatnot. Finally, my first podcast has been posted on Podomatic, which is pretty user friendly though I am still having some difficulties. I wanted to post the actual podcast onto my blog using the embed feature, but I couldn't get it to work. If anyone could tell me how the heck to do that I'd appreciate it. I know I'm supposed to copy the code, but the question is where do I paste it? I'd also like to put a media player on the sidebar of my blog but I am unsure which one to use with my podcasts...

Anywho, I'll blab for a minute about my process with my first podcast. It was fun to do, and I found Garageband quite easy to use, aside from trying to figure out the volume controls and all that, once I figured it out I was good to go. I liked that all of my pictures and music came up on the side, so for each song all that I had to do was click and drag and the song came up. I had a moment today when I was trying to figure out how to post it, and realized I needed to hit the "share to iTunes" option, then it finalized it and sent it to my iTunes library, and I could from there publish it on Podomatic, which took two tries to get it published.

So this is my first try at podcasting, and I'm sure I'll want to make some changes, but I think I will leave it as is, and there will perhaps be a timeline of my learning through my podcasts, sound-wise. One thing that I have already noticed is that my voice sounds a bit quieter than the music, which I have found in other podcasts that I have listened to so this did not surprise me. I might play around with the next one and try and equalize the volume between my voice and the songs. I am brimming with ideas for my next podcasts, and I will be working on them during my trip! I leave tomorrow very early in the AM. So if you will excuse me, I have some packing to do still! Let me know what you think of my first venture into podcast-land! Thanks for listening!

The Canadiana Podcast

Thursday, 26 May 2011

A little humor

I'll get down to business in a couple hours, or maybe tomorrow, but for right now here is something that I know makes me smile. Has anyone seen A Hard Day's Night? Well if you don't, I'll explain. It's a movie about the Beatles, back when everyone got along. It's in black and white, and it is excellent. Any Beatles fan, or music fan in general should see this film.

In the words of my Film 100 prof (insert heavy Russian accent):
"Have you seen this film?? Non?? I HIGHLY recommend it!!"

But I do. I've seen it more than one person should probably see a movie. My sister and I can recite the words off by heart. The Beatles were funny guys, just a couple of kids from England, trying to make sense of the madness that was Beatlemania.

What made me think of this was the fact that yesterday, my bandmates and I finally decided on a band name, after endless brainstorm sessions since January. We finally came up with something we liked, and more importantly, was not already claimed! So we are from here on out named The Seven Seas. Fun fact: There are actually seven of us. One reason why it takes months to do anything. Kidding, it actually makes writing songs super fast because one of us will have a chunk of lyrics, and where we got stuck someone else will go, "Oh I know what to do there," and pick up where the other person left off. It's great. We have created a Facebook page if you are interested in following us.

Now, let's get down to it!

"I now declare this bridge, open!" - John Lennon

"Torpedoed again, eh?" - George Harrison

Monday, 23 May 2011

My Network Garden


My phone is lame. I wish it was something that was capable of doing something exciting but it cannot. It texts and receives calls and that is about it. Sometimes it doesn't even do that much. Maybe when I have a real career I can get a real phone. Then I can tweet where I want, when I want. It's a nice thought.

So I know in my last post, or the one before, I talked about how I have saved many links from using Twitter and reading my 355 classmates' blogs, and I think that is how I have been expanding my personal network. It began with my classmates and with some links posted in class, and then from there I am now finding my own links and people that I follow on Twitter that have great resources as well, always posting links to sites or to their own blogs, which I now subscribe to. So now now only do I have my 355 folder in my Google Reader, I also have a folder named "Educator Blogs" that I have found through Twitter and through links shared in class. Some of the ones that have been immediately valuable to me are:
  • The Creative Education Blog - Covers many different areas, includes lesson ideas, classroom management help... I found this blog after I started following @creativeedu on Twitter.
  • What Ed Said  - This is another blog I found after I began following @whatedsaid on Twitter. Also has many resources within it. 
  • Autodizactic - This is another educator-run blog that has many ideas and food for thought. Focuses a lot on technology in the classroom
    • Now, these are only a few of the blogs that I have started following that have great ideas and resources for a pre-service teacher such as myself. 
Now, there are also some resources that I have found on my own, and have slowly become obsessed with. One of them is CBC podcasts. Now, I know that there was talk about the Spark podcast and how cool that was. I have listened to Spark, my boyfriend was introduced to it by one of our teachers, and he introduced it to me. But I have always been drawn to the music podcasts and one that I have listened to for years now is the CBC Radio 3 Podcast with Grant Lawrence. This podcast focuses mainly on Canadian indie music, and it has introduced me to some awesome bands. Most importantly, Grant Lawrence is an awesome guy, he's funny and loves what he does. He has been the MC for the Regina Folk Fest for the past few years as well. Anyways, he wrote a book called Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck, which my boyfriend bought me for Christmas. After I read it, I decided that I would email Grant to tell him that I loved his book and how I was in education for drama and english and how I loved storytelling.

Well, he emailed me back! Here is a little snippet of his reply:
"Thanks so much for your email! Thanks also for your kind words... so glad to
hear you enjoyed the book. Once you get settled as a teacher I've love to
come to your class and talk to your kids about storytelling and writing. I do
it fairly frequently these days at high schools."


So I'm gonna say that Grant Lawrence belongs in my learning network, because he has already offered himself as a resource in my classroom and I don't even have a contract yet! Woot.

Another CBC podcast that I listen to religiously is called "Definitely Not The Opera" or as it is commonly called, "DNTO." DNTO is hosted by a lady named Sook-Yin Lee, and this podcast is all about people's stories. Each podcast has a theme, like "Can you go home again?" or "The story behind the photo" and the people telling the stories are all Canadian, and it is sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes totally gross or creepy, or totally inspiring. Everybody loves a good story, and it brings everyone together. I want to implement a form of this kind of storytelling into an english or a drama class, because it is somewhat performance based as well. DNTO is always giving me cool ideas, connecting me with authors to look up or websites to check out. Storytelling is a lost art, and in a digital age, I want to teach my students the power of storytelling.

I think that these resources are important to my learning because they help to shape me into the kind of teacher that I want to be. I want my classes to be engrossing, inspiring, to bring people from all backgrounds together. 

So, here is a video bringing together 2 of my personal network loves, this is a video of Grant Lawrence telling one of his stories (included in his book) for a DNTO special story-telling podcast/performance.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

A Little Facelift

Hey Team,

so as you can see, by Dean's recommendation I went into my design settings and made some little changes to the look of my blog here. I am listening to Dan Mangan right now, just moving some things around as I see fit, real relaxing stuff.

Except I have one problem that I have tried to solve, but cannot seem to figure out, I would really like for my Tweets to come up on my blog page, similar to Kaylen's blog, where she has her Twitter comments coming down the side. I would like that as I think the two go hand in hand. If someone could explain to me how to make it to that not only could people follow me on Twitter from my blog (as it is right now), but I also want my Tweets to come up. Is there something I need to change on my own Twitter settings perhaps? Let me know if anyone has any wisdom for me, I'd appreciate it.

I listened to the recording of class this morning, with my cup o' coffee and some fruit, my favorite way to listen to our 355 classes, since I missed the live session (power = out in Cathedral on Thursday night) and I really enjoyed listening to what Kyle and Jordan had to say, got some good ideas from their presentations... many more sites have been bookmarked from that session. The article that was mentioned about the intern that could not blog during their internship gave me an idea: Why shouldn't we? In fact, we all should during our internship, then our supervising teacher would not need to get us to journal, they could simply look at our blogs. Other interns could look at each others blogs, and they could get ideas, bounce ideas back and forth, and know that are not alone if they are stressed or are having challenges in the classroom.

I am hoping to do a lot of blogging this week, as well as some planning for my professional page, since on June 1, I will be going to the Maritimes for 9 days with my mom, sister, soon to be stepfather and, as I was surprised last week by my family, by boyfriend! We will be going to Moncton, PEI and back to Halifax. Don't worry Dean, I'll have wireless pretty much everywhere I go! I plan to blog a little about my trip and watch the recordings of class. I am very excited to go east, the furthest east in Canada for me has been Winnipeg thus far... So I am hoping to get some work done this week to make things easier for when I am away.

I will leave you lovely people with what I am listening to at this very moment, a little something called "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele. Now this video is sweet for multiple reasons, the first being that it is refreshing to not have multiple girls in bikinis anywhere in this video, the aesthetic intensity and artfulness is so cool. And the fact that the drummer is included is awesome too, because the pounding drumline in this song is very significant to the tune. Have a rockout moment, a report back to me with your favorite rockout songs (I will make a lesson out of this one day). That is all!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Some thoughts and something to share:

So I've been playing around with Google Reader for the past 2 days, and I gotta say I really like it. I already read about 6-7 blogs everyday that I have found over the past few months, and now it is much easier to check them because it shows when there is a new post. It works really well and I like having everything organized. Now I have separate folders for my ECMP 355 blogs to read and for my blogs that I read on my own. And from Twitter, I have also found blogs that are written by teachers and people with similar interests to mine. It's like resource central over here! I have started a bunch of folders and some word docs with lists of sites and ideas for classes and lessons. I love it! I am constantly opening these folders or lists to add things so that I don't forget them. I didn't realize how many ideas and resources I would get from taking this class. The best part is that the learning doesn't stop after ECMP 355 is over. I can continue to use Twitter and blogging and Google Reader to connect with people and gain valuable resources that I can use someday in a classroom. If ever I am stumped on what to do, I can just go back to my lists, or folders, or do a shout out on Twitter or Facebook and ask for help.

Now, I also signed up for Diigo today, and I am a little uninterested right now in using it, but over the next couple of days I'll play around with it and see where I get. My thoughts right now are that I only use one computer, my MacBook, and I just don't really see the use in having my bookmarks somewhere else right now. But I'm gonna look closer and see what else it does.

I also took a look at that Google Docs thing with the Twitter for Teachers, and I connected with some drama, english and art teachers on Twitter, which is awesome. Thanks Dean for posting the site address, I went right to it after I watched the class recording and started looking at teachers and schools that I could connect with.

I also looked at Devon's blog today and watched the "Story Pirates" video, which I thought was awesome. So I wanted to include a video of my own. I was introduced to Sarah Kay on Facebook, a friend of mine named Echo put up a video of her doing a TED Talk. This video I replayed 3 times, I was so affected by it. I'm not super into poetry, but this video makes me want to look further into it, and use my words for performance. Enjoy and let me know what you think! I have other links to her site if anyone is interested.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

It's Wednesday, but it should be Friday.

So this week has been nuts already, and it's only Wednesday. It does not give me hope for the rest of the week.

Monday and Tuesday, I was taking my first aid training at J & T Consulting in Regina in the warehouse district. It was an awesome course, my instructor was a firefighter here in Regina, and he was a great teacher, especially since he actually uses the things that he teaches us everyday. I feel ready for anything! Of course, because the last few days have been kind of crazy in a karmic sort of way, my car got totally pwned yesterday by a small girl driving her boyfriend's huge jacked-up truck. The driver's side door was crunched, as well as the window on the door and the mirror.

Don't worry, luckily I was not in the car at the time. We seem to have everything figured out at this point, but still, car accidents are stressful, even when they aren't your fault!

And today, hardly a couple hours ago, I missed my first opportunity to use my new first aid knowledge! My younger sister got a job working for EYES camp this summer at the U of R. It's an engineering and science camp for school age kids. They blow stuff up every once in a while and today my sister burnt her hand doing an experiment. She was in Caronport, so the doctors treated her there. I am actually just waiting for her to get home now, she is on some strong meds so I'll have to keep an eye on her once she gets home.

My Dad says that he thinks since our car got crunched, and my sister burnt her hand, that this means that he will get a hole in one golfing today. Let's hope things get better and not worse!

Now back to my first aid, I was wondering to myself yesterday whether teachers working for the public or separate school system need to have up-to-date first aid training. I don't think that they do, but they should because of how much can happen in a classroom, no matter what age the students are. What could happen because a student has a seizure, or a diabetic emergency, or even just a cut?

On a more ECMP 355 based note, I started using Google Reader today, and so far it has worked well for me. I didn't realize how many people were in the class until I had to copy the URL's into it! I told my boyfriend about how I was going to be using it, and he was all "the thing with the RSS feed?" and he looked super impressed. I even almost convinced him to join Twitter! The guy can barely keep his facebook up to date, but I think he'd benefit from the simplicity that is Twitter. That's what I have found anyways. I still find it super flattering that people actually want to follow me, I'm like, "really? Cool! Guess I'll have to be more interesting!" But I have had some darn good tweets with the crazy week I've had.

Oh, and if anyone was wondering, I know Petey B was, the recording went very well. I have never sang or played guitar for that long without stopping in my life! But we made it through, and I can't wait to hear what the mastered/finished songs sound like! And I will be posting them on here too, as I think they reflect my professional interests, and my musical capabilities, which have grown so much since I started university. It's so technological, to record music, which is also why I want to post them here. I'd also love some feedback! Positive only though, I cry easily... Ha.

I am also really hoping to be able to sign in live for class tomorrow, I wanna get in on the discussion! Not to mention I feel like a student deadbeat right now, I have so many ideas for blogging and I haven't done any of them yet!

Well, if you'll excuse me, I need to tend to my heavily drowsy and injured sister. Oy. That girl I tell you...

Saturday, 14 May 2011

A "Tweetcher"?

So... if I am a teacher, and I use twitter...

Does that make me a "Tweetcher"??

noun. Tweetcher: Tweeter + Teacher = Tweetcher. A Teacher who tweets. A tweeting Teacher. Tweeting and teaching.

Think about it.

But seriously. I was kind of intimidated by the idea, but I like using Twitter. It's really cool, I can follow different local and international artists and bands that I like, as well as people in the education community from all over, and other organizations that interest me, like Sask Music, and the Sask Arts Board, the Science Centre! It's very cool, and I hope that I can make some connections with people, especially when it comes time to be creating lessons and planning units in the classroom. I can hardly wait! The ideas are pouring out, and using Twitter and reading blogs I have found ready helps me with gaining ideas and different perspectives that I can apply to lessons and to what kind of teaching I want to do.

I hope I can take all of these resources that I have been given, like google reader, diigo and all that jazz and play around with them this week and use them for the greater good! If I have any questions, I'll be posting them on here and on my Twitter, so hopefully someone will be willing to assist me!

Anywho, gotta put my creative "Tweetching" on hold, there is practicing to be done for our recording session tomorrow with my band!

Wish me luck!

Best week ever.

Ok, so before I blog about things that pertain to ECMP 355 for this week, I gotta get out what has happened to me this week and I'll make it short and sweet...
1: My Mom and her Fiance, who we are going on a trip with to the Maritimes on June 1, surprised me with a plane ticket for my boyfriend, Richie. Apparently everyone has known for months, including Richie! I am so happy that they wanted to include him on our first family trip altogether.
2: On Thursday night, Richie and I went to see Elton John! We were supposed to be sitting way up in the back, which was fine, but someone stopped us inside the venue, and gave us SECOND ROW SEATS! Most amazing concert ever.
3: I had emailed a guy named Grant Lawrence this week, who is a radio host at CBC Radio 3, which I have listened to for years now, he does an awesome podcast of indie Canadian music, and he also wrote a really great book called Adventures in Solitude, which I emailed him to say how much I liked it. I mentioned I was becoming a teacher, and he emailed me back, and said that when I am settled as a teacher, that he'd love to come and talk to my class! How cool is that?!

So yeah. That has been my week. Oh and the cherry on top of the cake is that we are recording tomorrow at SoulSound Studios! So my day will be filled with rehearsing! Woot. Here we go!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

So, here we are.

Once, when I was 15, I started a blog. It was called Directions. I was going to grace cyberspace with my beautiful and intelligent musings about the world around me...

Needless to say, I may have written one post, but I am not even certain that I got that far.

When I began ECMP 355 a couple of days ago, the first thing that I became aware of was that I would need to begin a blog. I have been granted the opportunity to start anew! So, of course, I have christened my blog with the name of my first failed attempt at blogging six years ago. The name still has stuck with me all of this time, named after the collection of visual accompaniment to Death Cab For Cutie's album, Plans.

Anyways, why don't I get to the basics of who I am and why I am here.

My name is Riley, I have just completed my third year of studies at the U of R. I am in Arts Education, majoring in drama and minoring in literature. Arts Ed seemed like the perfect fit for me, as it combined all of my loves in life: anything to do with theatre and acting, anything with words, old or new (my current book: Water For Elephants), playing guitar and singing (I am actually in a band... we are going to be recording on May 15th, which makes me want to jump up and down and squeal and makes me feel completely terrified at the same time), I love to move and dance, and I love using visual images to inspire creativity and to use in learning.

As for the more personal stuff, I have lived in Regina my entire life, and am coming up on my third summer in my house in the Cathedral area, where I live with my Father and younger Sister. My parents separated when I was 18, and trust me, divorce happening later in life is not any easier when you are older and can understand the situation. Needless to say, the last couple of years have been a big adjustment for my family and especially for myself. The one constant in my life has been my boyfriend, Richie, who I have been with for just over five and a half years. University has also been very enjoyable for me, meeting people who have the same interests as I do, and I have a mad passion for gathering up information about things that interest me.

My experience with technology has gone up exponentially since beginning university. It has also gone way up since purchasing a Mac, now I find technology much more friendly since aquiring a machine that helps me to understand and use it. I hope to use some programs on my Mac that I have yet to use, like iMovie, so that I can be using my Mac to its full capacity! One thing that I depend very much on technology for is music. Music is a huge part of my life, I am constantly finding new music, listening to podcasts, and creating music with my band using garageband. I am a CBC Radio junkie, and I am always looking up the playlists on the website to find songs that I have heard.

Because I am in Arts Ed, I feel that technology in the classroom is a foundation that has already been set by my professors up to this point. We have been using different forms of technology and media already for various lessons and projects. Though I feel that I do have some experience already, I feel that I want to learn how to use technology more to connect rather than to just supplement a lesson.

Due to many of the horror stories that I have heard in the news and from people that I know, I am always a bit tentative towards the idea of using social networking sites within the classroom, but I understand that it is something that I must keep learning about, rather than fighting against. I hope that I can maintain a balance when I become a working professional between being connected with students and parents and being away from the school, I know that teachers are not meant to be on call every hour of every day, and I know that some teachers have issues with technology allowing students and parents to be in touch with them all the time.

In this class, I hope to achieve some ways of connecting my students with the world, in a safe and educational manner. I hope that this class helps me to become a teacher than students will want to learn with, that guides students toward technology in a smart and responsible manner. I think that people either depend too heavily on technology, or avoid it out of fear. By educating students in what technology is and what it can do, perhaps we as educators can begin to teach students how to use it wisely, rather than students finding out the hard ways.

I am very much looking forward to using this blog as a forum for ideas, I already have a list full of things to share!

Thank you for reading. Now, to leave you with a video that came from the inspiration for my blog's name, from Directions, here is "Different Names For The Same Thing."

Someday, I will make my students play indie music together.