My Childhood Walk

In ECMP 355 last week, we were asked to create a 3-5 minute presentation on a topic of our choice.  An alternate assignment was the Childhood Walk.  You get images from Google Maps and create your story from those images!  I decided to create my Childhood Walk in a similar way as Doug Peterson and Stephen Downes, but instead of showing areas in my city, I’m going to stay on the block I grew up on.

This is my house! You can’t really see it because we had a ridiculous amount of trees.  I have lived in this house for my whole life, so I have a lot of memories from this place.  My sister and I were very much into the outdoors and we would wander our block every single day.

Childhood walk7

We have a very steep driveway that everyone is afraid to drive up on!  My sister and I lived dangerously, so we would drive our scooters down our driveway often.  We would pretend that we were on “The Amanda Show” with our scooters and we would sing the theme song out loud and proud!  We were obsessed with the show and we would act out segments and quote the characters.  Some examples were “Amanda, please” and “Welcome to the girls room”. We thought we were expert scooter drivers and we would scoot around in circles, swerves, etc.!  Now that I think about it, this was extremely dangerous and I don’t remember if my parents were aware of us doing this.  I also realize now that we were crazy weirdos!

Childhood walk1

When we were kids, we would take vacations every summer in our motorhome!  We have had two motorhomes in total and this is our last one.  Some of my best memories come from my family vacations.  Every other summer, my auntie, uncle and cousin from Ontario would come down to Saskatchewan to spend their summer holidays with us.  Camping was a family favourite and I would always look forward to it. We went to Pike Lake several times, which is located outside Saskatoon. We have a lot of family living in Saskatoon, so most of them would visit us at our campsite.  We have also camped in BC and went to Radium Hot Springs quite often!  I don’t see my family as often as I did when I was a child, so I definitely miss the good old days.I have a lot of memories in those motorhomes and I will never forget the good times we had!

Childhood walk3

When I was a kid, my best friend lived right next door to me!  They were a Chinese family with a grandmother, a mom, a dad, and two boys.  One boy was around the same age as me and the other boy was the same age as my younger sister!  Our parents would take turns babysitting us and we were over at one another’s houses every single day!  When my sister and I went over to their place, we would usually play Pokemon on their playstation or pretend to be the Power Rangers.  I was a very demanding kid and I would insist on being the pink Power Ranger.  The grandmother didn’t know English very well and my mom is convinced that my sister and I could understand her when she spoke her language.  Another memory I have from their house is eating a lot of sticky rice!

Childhood walk2

My neighbour friend was extremely afraid of dogs!  This one time, my sister, our neighbours and I were walking on our block and a person with a dog came by.  My friend freaked out and we hid behind a rock on someone’s property.  After the dog left, the owner came out and yelled at us.  We were all so scared and ran away.  The rock is not there anymore, so just use your imagination!

Childhood walk5

My sister and I would wander our block and find ant hills.  We would pretend that we were doing a documentary on ants and we would describe every single thing that they did.  I believe we also did this with lady bugs and I think we pretended we were british, too.  We would pick honey suckles off the trees and taste them everyday!  We would also pick flowers off of trees and we got in trouble for that.  Apparently, we were trouble makers!  It seemed like we were the only kids on our block because you would never see anyone come out and play during the day.

Childhood walk6

So there is my Childhood Walk!  I recommend doing this because it’s nice to go down memory lane every now and again!  It makes me want to be a kid again!  Take the challenge and create your own Childhood Walk!

Digital Storytelling

I’m quite amazed with all of the tools we have used and explored through ECMP 355 for digital storytelling lately!  I was not aware of most of the tools we went through!  When I thought of digital storytelling, I only thought about telling stories in videos; more specifically, Youtube videos.  Little did I know, there were way more ways to express a story with technology!

The first two things we looked at on October 3rd was 5 Card Flickr and 6 word stories.  In the 5 Card Flickr story, you choose 5 pictures and create a story with those images.  I did this recently in a past blog post.  I thought this activity in class was wonderful because it channeled my creativity and kept me interested!  I feel like this would be great for children to do because I can only imagine what stories they would come up with!  It’s a great way to get your creative juices going and it could be an introduction into creative writing for children!  The 6 word story is exactly what you think: a six word story!  Here’s an example: “Tanline on his ring finger? Goodbye. – Ruby”.  You’d think this would be simple to do, but it is quite the contrary!  I considered doing one because I thought it would be easy, but creating a story in 6 words is difficult!  This could be a great exercise to demonstrate the need to shorten sentences if the information in the sentence is redundant because you have to choose your words carefully in a 6 word story.  Another thing we looked at on this day was movie trailers that were edited to create a different movie genre.  For example, someone transformed Mary Poppins into a horror film:

This was very interesting because just by changing the music, colour and order of the scenes, you can create something completely different.

The next week, we started working on our Door Scene videos, as mentioned in my previous post.  We learned ways to make a video more suspenseful and we learned how to use iMovie more effectively.  It will be interesting to watch the videos from other groups because it will prove that a story can go in all different directions with their creative choices.  The next thing we are exploring is podcasting!  A new post will probably come up for that!

So, for a last thought: Are there any other digital storytelling tools that you know of? I would be thrilled to explore more!

Five Card Flickr Story

In ECMP 355 today, we talked about digital storytelling!  I never realized that there were so many cool apps and web tools for storytelling.  We talked about puppet pals, iMovie on the iPad, Five Card Flickr stories and 6 word stories.  In a Five Card story, they ask you to choose five photos and then you write a short story, based on those five pictures.  If you want to make one for yourself, here’s the link: Five Card Flickr Story.  Here is the Five Card Flickr Story I made today in class:


Five Card Story: Bobby’s Exciting Adventure

a Five Card Flickr story created by Ashley Y


flickr photo by keepps


flickr photo by keepps


flickr photo by Serenae


flickr photo by bionicteaching


flickr photo by bionicteaching

Once upon a time, there was a cat named Bobby. Bobby was an inside cat and he was very curious about the outdoors. He longed to feel the outside air and to soak up the afternoon sun. One summer morning, he managed to sneak out while his owner was leaving for work. He ventured out to the garden that his owner maintained. He passed by many vegetables, flowers, plants, ect. After he passed by the tomatoes his owner was growing, he noticed two, small, strange looking objects. He looked closer and examined the swirled pattern on each of them. He swatted at one with his paw and a long, squishy animal passed through an opening in the object.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing? I’m trying to nap here!,” exclaimed the creature.

“I’m sorry! I’ve never seen anything like you before! My name is Bobby and I’m a cat! Who are you?” Bobby asked.

“My name is Maurice and this is my wife, Glenda. We are snails!” Maurice answered.

“Cool! I’ve never heard of a snail before!” Bobby said.

Glenda woke up shortly after that and the three of them talked and became friends. Maurice and Glenda told Bobby all about snails and the other local creatures around. Bobby was fascinated and wanted to see more! He said farewell to his new snail friends and headed off to continue his adventure. He did not know where he was going or what he was going to see, and that excited Bobby even more! He passed by a house by a huge body of water. The house looked abandoned and creepy, so he did not dare come and explore. Bobby was definitely a scaredy cat! He ventured on and saw a field with a lot of trees. He saw a blow up slide and a soccer net, so he figured it was a place where children played. He walked across the field and noticed a new creature that he has never seen before. He seemed very scared.

“Hi, there! I’m Bobby and I’m a cat! Who are you?” asked Bobby.

“I’m G-g-george and I’m a cow,” he said shyly.

“Hello, George! What’s the matter?” Bobby asked in a concerned tone.

“I was playing hide and seek with my brothers and I went to far. I’m lost and I can’t find my farm!” George exclaimed. He started crying and Bobby felt very bad. Bobby had a very good sense of direction and knew he could help.

“I’ll help you find your home, don’t you worry!” Bobby reassured him.

As they walked, George told him all about life on the farm and the animals that live there. Bobby was intrigued by his stories and couldn’t wait to see his home. They ventured outside the forested area around the park and eventually found his farm.

“Thank you so much, Bobby! I hope to see you again, new friend!” said George.

Bobby ventured back home and he thought about all the new and exciting things he saw that day! He was so thankful to meet new friends and to learn about their homes and lifestyles! When Bobby arrived to his place, his owner was crying and he realized that she was worried sick about him! He felt really bad for leaving without permission, but he will never forget the adventure he went on that day!

 


Kidblog

In the first week of ECMP 355, we had a glance at Ms. Cassidy’s blog with her elementary kids with edublog.  I found another blogging site for K-12 students called Kidblog, which is a free blogging website (run by wordpress) that allows the teacher to provide and manage blogs for each individual student.

kidblog

There are no email addresses needed for the students, also!  All the students need to do in order to login is to create a username and a password! You can also allow guests (possible parents) to access the blogs and maybe write one in there.

Login

Students can publish posts and engage in discussion on other student’s blogs!  You can use Kidblog to:

  • create classroom discussions
  • learn digital citizenship
  • practice writing skills
  • create an e-portfolio
  • reflect on learning
  • formatively assess writing

This blogging tool could be used for documenting progress for a number of things.  In Ms. Cassidy’s case, she’s using her edublog to document her 6 year old student’s progress with school work!  If you have a class of older students, you could start a learning project similar to ours in ECMP 355, where they document their progress with learning a new skill!  You could also use this tool to reflect on class content!  The possibilities are endless!

I started a test blog to check the educational tool out and it is fairly easy to figure out if you are familiar with wordpress.  It’s quite easier to operate than wordpress, actually!  The sign up process was quick and adding student users was even quicker!  Since the students have their own username and password, they can blog anywhere their heart desires!  Depending on what you want your students blogging about, this could be a huge benefit because they could document their achievements at home, also.  If school work is posted online, parents can easily go on the site and see the work a child has been done and the progress they have made.  It’s a very safe blog site, also!  The blogs are automatically set to private, so only classmates, guests and the teacher can see the space, unless the teacher chooses to make it public.  I definitely do recommend this blogging tool because it is a different way to display and demonstrate work done by a student and it teaches students new skills by introducing a new mode of learning!

Superiority vs. Understanding

This first blog post is kind of a rant.  We had a guest speaker in my Creative Technologies class on Monday and he brought up a point that people should not explain processes or steps in a complicated way to seem smarter, but rather simplify the language in order for others to understand.  He used this in a completely different context, but he reminded me of my troubles while trying to read academic articles that have a ridiculous amount of difficult words and phrases in just one sentence.  I have come across numerous articles, videos, ect. that have confused and frustrated me deeply.  I understand that academic writing should have good vocabulary and grammar, but some of these explanations do not make sense at all to me.  I have had troubles in the past with retaining information from what I read (which is slowly getting better), but I honestly have to read these articles over and over again, just to get a basic understanding of what I’m supposed to absorb from the material. Another thing about writing is recognizing your audience.  The articles available to us at the university are obviously serving a purpose to us students, but we are not all super geniuses.  This does not apply to every scholar, but I feel like many do try to show off way too much in order to sound smart or superior.  I also understand that university is more challenging in order to trigger your critical thinking, but there are a select few that are just plain difficult and ridiculous.  I feel like I could incorporate this point into my future teaching because young children are not going to understand the lesson if I throw in a bunch of complicated words and phrases.  The key is to teach in a way that everybody can understand and to create a safe environment for students to ask questions if they are unsure.  That is just my opinion, so feel free to disagree! Hopefully I keep up this blog and find more things to talk about!