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.


  1. The fact that you have not only referenced to Death Cab for Cutie in your entry (as well as your blog as a whole), but also posted a link to "Different Names" makes me an immediate fan! And as a fellow musician and Arts Ed student, I can't wait to read (and hopefully hear) more!

  2. So glad you're getting a second chance Riley. You seem very at ease with this medium. I know not everyone feels that way.
    So any thoughts about your first attempt and why it may not have been successful?

  3. Hi Dean,

    thanks very much for the compliment! It is difficult not to feel self-conscious about every single word that you say, thinking, "how are people going to take this?" and I think that is what contributed to my failed blog so many years ago. I just felt too self-conscious about what I wanted to talk about. I think that now, after having followed a couple of blogs myself in the last little bit, I have learned what kinds of things are acceptable to talk about in a blog.

    After reading different blogs, I had ideas of what kinds of things I would like to say and what I would include in my blog posts, like a link to something that I had mentioned in that post. Similar to a lesson, really. Providing evidence and visual aids to get my point across.

    I'm very happy with the positive feedback so far! I have lots of ideas for other posts.