Goodbye Online Harpin’

This is my very last post for my learning project! I’m sure my boyfriend also wishes it was my very last time playing harmonica. He isn’t so fond of my practicing, especially in the passenger seat on road trips. I found that my harmonica often came with me wherever I went. As I learned, I read everywhere that this is a great pocket instrument, which I found to be true! It followed me on roadtrips, to campgrounds, and to the homes of friends/family!

My accomplishments aren’t quite where I would like them to be, but that is not what is important here. What is important, is that I have learned many things about learning from online sources.¬†I also found professional harmonica players like Aiden & Evelyn, who are world famous, award winning harmonica players that look younger than me. Most of the teachers I found on YouTube were older men who have been at it for years and it was refreshing to see a young duo promoting an old instrument by playing new music!

I found that there are many, many, many, YouTube tutorials for playing the harmonica. There are the very beginner amateurs, to the professional harmonica players. Let me tell you, I discovered a whole new world ( ūüėČ click on the link, you won’t be sorry!) of networked people that love the harmonica. It is a passion for so many people and I did not expect that. I was able to find so many tutorials online that I had a hard time figuring out which ones to use. I had to leave some behind that I originally chose, mostly Adam Gussow, because he was too technical for me. He was catering to professional players who have multiple instruments and are interested in making it a career. He taught me a lot about the industry, but he wasn’t what I needed to learn from; regardless of the fact that he was very entertaining!

It was kind of nice to find so many different harmonica players and teachers, because I could sort through them all and find a personality that I liked and was able to constructively learn from. Using online sources to learn showed me a different side of myself that I didn’t know before. I need to be entertained in order to learn online. I skipped past so many tutorials because they were too long, too boring, and therefore too much not working for me. Online tutorials need to be engaging! Everybody has their own teaching style, regardless if the format is in person or online. The nice part about learning online is that you get to choose a teacher who works well with your learning style; that choice isn’t always available in person.

Another thing I noticed about learning online is that you need to be aware that anybody can post online even if they don’t know what they’re talking about. When I was having difficulty playing Draw 2, I watched/listened to many people tell me how to play it properly. Some people were way off!! It pays to be cautious when learning online to make sure you have a reputable source with lots of reviews. The guy I ended up liking the most has been teaching harmonica since the 1980’s.

 

Because of my new discoveries during my learning project, I actually changed lanes with my learning a little bit. I had this idea that I was going to learn blues harmonica, but I let it go¬†(thanks Aiden & Evelyn ūüėČ ) and moved on to pop music, which I was actually much more interested and engaged in learning. However, for the grande finale of my learning project, I decided to go back to the original blues riff tutorial that I wasn’t engaged in (because I couldn’t make it sound good) and see if my skills have grown enough to make the blues work. I found a way to modify these practice blues riffs so that I could avoid the holes I can’t play yet.

Listen for yourself and see how much of a beginner I am. I don’t know if I’m cut out to be a harmonica player after all!

So this is goodbye for my official learning project, but I do plan to keep harpin’ on my harmonica and see if I can get any better!

My Contributions to Our Networked Learning

From the very beginning of ECMP 355, it seemed like the idea of this class was to a)Introduce us to teaching in a networked world, and b)learn how to learn with and from each other. As a soon-to-be teacher, I have already gathered that collaborating with other teachers is a great way to stay on top of your game and share great resources. It’s a two-way learning street that is invaluable in the life of a teacher. This class taught me how to do that online, in a modern and technology-rich manner.

The first place I found was our Google + community.¬†It was the hub for everything about ECMP 355 and a great place to ask questions and collaborate with my peers. Below are some screenshots of how I contributed to the community. I am particularly proud of my very first Screencastify experience when I helped Molly. I’m not sure if I even ended up helping her in the end, but that was the day I went out on a limb and downloaded my very first chrome extension and learned how to use it successfully.

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On Twitter, I have been sharing resources, reading and interacting with my classmates’ tweets, and actively working on my Professional Learning Network (PLN). I liked, commented and re-tweeted endless times. I was able to build my PLN by following like-minded educators and have them follow me back. I reached my goal of building my Twitter followers to reach at least 100 (I hit 105!!). My Twitter feed is constantly updating on the right hand side of my blog, and you can also find it here¬†if you’d like to see my Tweets as well as any replies or comments I have made.

As far as WordPress goes, I¬†regularly commented on my peers’ blog posts and encouraged their learning for their projects, or shared my thoughts on their opinions. You can get the links to my comments on this google doc. I posted more than the required amount of blog posts for my Learning Project as well as the twice-weekly required posts. I was engaged with the course content and encouraged others to read and engage with my writing. I also learned how to use pingbacks unintentionally when I sent one to Harp Surgery.¬†

After that experience I was able to use a pingback intentionally in response to Andrea’s post about Digital Citizenship. As you can see below, there is a pingback from me.

During our ZOOM¬†sessions I participated in the group chat and was engaged with course content. I was a leader in the breakout rooms I was placed in and was able to have successful conversations with many of my classmates. If you need proof, I was often in a room with Laura, and I’m sure she would vouch for me!

Overall, the Networked Learning experience of this course was a great way to find other educators to share and collaborate with. Keeping in touch through social media outlets such as Twitter will be a sure thing in my future!

Summary of Learning ECMP 355

We have gone through so much content in this class that it was difficult to figure out how to summarize my learnings. I decided to get my creative juices flowing and make an audio/video summary that included the use of many different technologies, which was well-suited to this class. Katia introduced us to the¬†Screencastify¬†chrome extension, which had a large part in making videos for my summary. I also used a purchased version of the video editing software called¬†Filmora by Wondershare that I’ve had for a few years, a voice recorder app on my phone, and the Windows camera app on my tablet.

My video below summarizes what I learned during this semester pretty well. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them!

I Guess I’m not a Belieber

So the internet has failed me and I can’t find a tutorial of how to play any Justin Bieber songs on my harmonica that are at my skill level or on the C harmonica that I have. I found one French guy who would allow me to access the tabs for Love Yourself, but only if I wanted to buy a premium account. That’s what I gathered anyways, since I don’t speak French and everything in his video was French. But the word premium must be the same in English and French, because I saw it. Am I right Jordan¬†or anyone else who knows French?

Instead, I decided to go with a classic by Frank Sinatra. “Fly Me To The Moon” inspired by this YouTuber I found who played it beautifully as a beginner.

I found the tabs for it on my trusty Harp Tabs¬†website, and the YouTube Karaoke music to play along to here. It was a little fast and took a lot of practice to keep up! Overall, I’m not happy with the way that the song sounds, but that doesn’t matter! I’m sure my neighbours are so happy that I stopped playing my squeaky high notes and it’s not the product that matters here anyways. Although Frank Sinatra might think differently…

giphy sinatra

via GIPHY

I did an audio recording this time to try out a new app instead of a video. I found the app by searching in my Google Play store for an audio recorder with lots of stars and good reviews. Good reviews are a great way to find the best tech tools!

I was going to insert the audio recording here for you to listen to, but it will not work! At first I thought because it was a .m4a file, so I converted it to .mp3, but I get the message below. I guess it’s your lucky day! It really was an awful recording.

I’m a Belieber!

I wasn’t sure what I should learn next on my harmonica, so I went to YouTube to see if I could find some inspiration. Through YouTube I’ve been able to find a few great teachers and their respective websites which have really helped me produce a good sound.

This time, however, I came across this award winning harmonica duo called Aiden N Evelyn from Malaysia and they have introduced me to the pop world of harmonica! They do covers¬†(click the link if you’re not sure what a cover is) of popular songs and upload them to YouTube. From what I gather, these 2 also do private Skype lessons, but don’t have any free harmonica tutorials or lessons uploaded at this time. Besides their YouTube channel that has videos with over 2 million hits, they also have a website. It think they’re kind of famous!

Now, I happen to be a Belieber. What is a Belieber, you ask?

I found Aiden N Evelyn’s cover of Love Yourself¬† by Justin Bieber! I’ve inserted it here for your enjoyment.

This video also made me curious about that giant harmonica you can see Aiden playing. I have never seen that before! I did some searching online and found out it is a chord harmonica which you can buy at Long & McQuade in Regina for a meager $1225 in case you’re interested. It produces 48 chords with it’s 192 holes. To put that into perspective, the harmonica I’ve been learning on has 10 holes.

I’ve learned so much about the different sounds of harmonicas from binge watching Aiden & Evelyn. Personally, I enjoy the sound of the lower keys, but I just have a regular C harmonica that is recommended for beginners. Maybe some day!

I went searching again to find a tutorial video for the song, and came across this hilarious kid. She put up a video of her “playing” Love Yourself by Justin Bieber on harmonica. Have a little listen and you’ll see why it’s hilarious! Be ready to be blown away by young talent!

Side note: This girl looks even younger than Amanda Todd was when she experienced severe cyber bullying and you can see a YouTuber commented “ur eyes r too beautiful….”. ¬†Everything I see online will now be look at with a different lens.

Stay tuned for some Belieber action of my own on harmonica!

My Own Journey: Social Activism and Privilege

Tonight in my #ecmp355 class we discussed social activism and how it should find it’s place in an online space. Firstly, I would like to admit that I am not one who is much for drawing attention to myself, online or in person, with controversial topics of conversation. I prefer to discuss happy topics or interesting topics that don’t spark a debate. I would love to discuss that cute kitten meme you just shared or that book you just read, but don’t try to involve me in a lengthy debate about politics, gender, or privilege.

Wait, what did I just say?

Chances are that book you just read has some sort of politics, gender, or privilege present in it. And that meme? Yeah, that’s privilege. Since I have begun my journey to become an educator, I have started to look at the world around me with a critical lens. My willingness to discuss a debatable social justice topic has risen.  I have realized that my little happy world I live in is a direct result of white privilege; the children of my relatives weren’t stolen away from families and taken to residential schools.

As an educator, it is my job to teach social activism in the classroom. It is literally my job, because it is literally in the Saskatchewan Curriculum.  I was prompted by my professor, Katia, to think about my online actions in relation to social activism. She wrote back in 2015 about being silent about social justice issues online:

We have a responsibility to risk our privilege to give voice to social inequities and injustices. We have a responsibility to risk our privilege to give voice to those who have no privilege to risk.

I am going to address the act of “risking my privilege”. My brain has a hard time wrapping around that idea. Isn’t it impossible to risk our privilege? I have no power over my privilege. My privilege is my heritage, the colour of my skin, my ancestors. No matter what I do, whether it be going to jail or going to the grocery store, people see me as a white, European, privileged person. I will be treated that way forever and will benefit from that forever. No matter what I do online and no matter how many people don’t like it, I will still be a person who is touched with privilege.

I think that online social activism is not the end all and be all of who a person is, but I do think that being silent is not the answer. This is such a personal issue for everyone and I believe it comes down to our own personal learning journey and where you are at in your life path. Three years ago, I would have had a very different opinion on this matter. I was very passive about social justice issues before I started my journey to become an educator. Since I have grown, however, I see the importance it has in the world around me. I have a reason for and an understanding of why I need to be a social justice warrior.

As Katia mentioned this evening, some opinions are the wrong opinions. I don’t believe my choice to stray from causing obvious controversial debate online is the wrong opinion. I think it may make me less courageous than others in the fight against wrong opinions, but it doesn’t make me wrong. Plus, my journey is just beginning; perhaps in a year or two this blog post will be obsolete in the life of Kim and I will be a totally different person.

 

 

3 Hours Later…

My task for ECMP 355 this weekend was to try out coding. Now, I used to have a blog in my teen years and I recall hours of late night searching online for help to personalize the HTML coding on my blog layout. I used to mess around with the HTML coding and get stuck in a never-ending, buggy-eyed state that always left me feeling grumpy.

I started my project around 7:30 p.m. this evening with a light snack of dry Reese’s Puffs because I wasn’t hungry for supper. Almost 3 hours later…I have a Scratch game! And my game is coded successfully, I would say. It has a timer and a score board, and a reset button to set the score board back to 0.¬†Now I am hungry. And by hungry, I mean HANGRY.

Hangry
When someone becomes irritated, angry, or cranky when they haven’t eaten and are hungry.
Allen: I hate you and I want to punch you.
Randy: Why are you so angry with me?
Allen: I’m sorry, I haven’t eaten since breakfast so I’m just hangry, bro.

Watch my videos below that I made with Screencastify to see how I got started, and how I overcame some problems I was having while trying to code my “Save the Squirrels” game.

When I was looking for help, there seemed to be a lot of Scratch users on the internet. I was able to find this video to help me put a timer on my game, and unknowingly, it helped me in other ways too! I also found this video that showed me how to make a reset button for my timer.

This was a bit of a trying project because it took a lot of time, attention, and energy from me. I feel like using this in the classroom would take extensive amounts of teaching the students how to use it. To start out I would personally get to know how to make a small project really well, and have the students work in pairs or small groups to re-create the same project. I did notice there is an area on Scratch’s website that is specifically for Educators. There are resources and teaching tools that would help introduce this as a learning tool for students.

If you would like to see my masterpiece, check it out below, and try to save some squirrels from drowning! You have 60 seconds to use the arrow keys to move the cloud back and forth to catch the squirrels. Comment to the left once you have your score! Let’s see who can get the highest!

Click here to play Save the Squirrels!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go have a snack before I get even hangrier.