Summary of Learning and a Semester of Growth

Retrieved from: Custom Slow Down

Well, I can safely say I never thought I would be making a music video in my life. I decided to write a song for my EC&I 834 Summary of Learning to Ed Sheeran’s popular “Shape of You” song that all the cool kids are listening to. In case any of you are wondering, this song has more syllables and is a faster pace than you think; that ginger boy can make it look effortless. I literally had to find a slower-paced version of
this song because my brain could not form the words needed at a regular pace.

Re-writing songs to summarize what a class has taught you is difficult– both in terms of finding the right syllables (which I still don’t do) and because it requires you to condense what feels like an endless amount of information into a few verses and repetitive courses. Nonetheless, this is a process that I enjoy, and I am grateful this course gives me an opportunity to be creative.

I recorded the song using GarageBand. This program is great because it allows you to use unlimited tracks; you can record little snippets and pick and choose which portions you want. I think I had a total of 7 tracks by the end of recording (it’s a really hard song, okay?!). This song actually required more than one track because the vocals overlap in certain areas. If your next question is “wasn’t it weird to sing over your own voice?” The answer is yes. Yes it is.

Image Retrieved from: Pinterest – Hearing Voices

I decided to also film a video this time around. This was mostly to push myself out of my comfort zone. Generally speaking, I dislike being on camera and I wasn’t sure how to edit a video (using iMovie) where I am lip syncing for the entire time. So, I did what any other person would do: I found a background that looks super snazzy, so even if my editing wasn’t good, people would still have pretty things to look at. Seriously though, I don’t know if you have taken a minute to see the amazing graffiti Regina has around the city, but I highly recommend taking a drive around Cathedral area and witnessing the majestic murals painted everywhere. I can’t draw pro-style like Andres, so I decided to showcase art around the city.

I’d recommend taking a look at the lyrics to my song before watching the video. I decided not to include lyrics on the video itself because it took away from the beautiful artwork in my video (believe me, I thought about it because then people wouldn’t be focusing on me!). The lyrics can also be found underneath the YouTube video. Take a look at the final product!

There are a few things I’d like to mention before signing off for the final time. I had three goals at the beginning of this course:

  • Find alternatives to Learning Management Systems, so I can create resources and content that is open for anyone.

Did Koskie Do It?

Yes! This class explained a lot of alternative platforms to use for classes. I looked at Canvas as an option, but I seem to have a fondness for classroom blogs instead. Canvas reminded me of Moodle, a platform I currently use for Psychology 30 (but it is password-protected). I think creating a classroom blog gives teachers more opportunities to make an online space personal because you can customize everything. It was important that my resources were Google-able and other people could access it.

  • Create a blended classroom, not using an LMS, for a minimum of one of my classes.

Did Koskie Do It?

Yes! I decided to create a classroom blog for one of my courses this semester! I have many of my lesson plans for Media Studies 20 on this hub. Students access it every class, and they even created their own blogs, learning conventions of blogging along the way! I am a strong believer in open-source learning. I want students and teachers to see, use, and adapt my lessons! Collaboration is a lot easier if we don’t keep our resources in paper binders.

I also decided to use Google Classroom for the first time. I did this for ELA B10 and ELA 20. The biggest benefit  to Google Classroom is submitting assignments and the ability to give immediate feedback to students. You can read more about what the strengths are of each platform I tried this semester. This was definitely a class where I pushed myself to “just do it” and see what happens.

  • Learn from other’s experiences, failures, victories, and knowledge, as well as collaborate with people to create open-education resources.

Did Koskie Do It?

Sort of. I definitely learned a lot from the feedback I received on my module. People explained how to create categories on Google Classroom and different ways to organize classes. I made an effort to comment on at least 5 people’s blog posts every week. It was cool to see the different perspectives on tools and platforms people were trying out.

The module Elizabeth and I created was not open-source, so I didn’t really create open-education resources through collaboration. This is something I would like to improve on. I think online collaboration can really enhance online spaces and my teaching practice. I did, however, collaborate with my old Social Studies teacher, Steve Variyan, to create Tubaland for my module! He saw one of my tweets asking for ideas and we met in person. This just goes to show you how powerful Twitter can be, despite my seemingly inability to tweet consistently. Sorry Alec and Katia.

All in all, this semester was one of the most rewarding ones I have had yet. I stepped out of my comfort zone in the classroom and jumped head first into putting theory into practice. I can’t wait to continue blending my classes and create more open-source learning opportunities.

  • Koskie Out!

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