Last Week in Daily Creates

Day 11- Make a Human Postcard

Day 12- Create a Wonky Movie Poster

Wonky Poster

Day 13- The What If Machine

What if there was a little dog who couldn’t play outside?

Bradley had been in the pet store for several years.  He had come to enjoy the store, and he was treated very well. Over the years many of his friends had been sold and had left him. Bradley wished that somebody would buy him. His cage was near the window and everyday he sat and watched the people walking by, hoping that one of them would come in and buy him. Bradley longed to be able to go outside.  He didn’t know much about it. He just knew that outside people, and animals, were free. They walked and ran.  Bradley wanted to be able to experience this too.  Maybe someday he would find an owner who would let him go outside. Until then he sat by the window and dreamed of what it would be like to someday be free.

Day 14- Walking Backwards

IMG_20150728_120113324

I needed some guide rails for walking backwards, definitely didn’t get the no hesitation part down.

Day 15- All in the Cards

I looked down at the address I had written down. I hoped that I had written down the right one.  I wanted to be able to deliver the new blanket I had made for one of the women in my group.  I hoped that the link I used was correct and hadn’t led me astray. There is nothing worse than going to the wrong person’s house.

Day 16- Today I feel like…

Today I feel like an identity

I feel like somehow,

I matter.

Today I feel important.

I feel unique.

I am my own.

Day 17- Why did the chicken cross the road?

Photo CC- Tambako

Photo CC- Tambako

Day 18- What should we be worried about?

We should be worried about the things we have control over.

Finishing It Up

Learning the Language

I’ve learned so much recently about using online resources to create different things. I really loved both Piktochart and Canva. I thought both were fairly self-explanatory and easy to use.  I finally ended up using Canva to create my project because it had I template that I thought worked really well. One thing that I really struggled with was figuring out how to add the text.  I’m not sure why I struggled with this so much. After I got it figured out I felt kind of stupid. I ended up turning to the different tutorials that they had on the site. The tutorial was a easy to use, and it gave me simple and precise instructions. It was really nice to find a tutorial that didn’t take me forever to read.  Something that I found really cool about this template was the pictures. The template came preloaded with its own pictures, but it was easy to replace them with your own once you uploaded them. You simple drug the picture into the circle, and then used editing tools to make sure important parts were cropped.  It was super easy to do, and I think it turned out really well.

What’s nice about sites like these are that there are so many things you can do with them.  I can definitely see myself using this in the classroom in the future. I don’t think it would have to be just me using it either. It’s a great resource for students to use for projects or presentations. It’s easy to use, plus its free.  It allows the students, and myself, to create or own original ideas, or build off of a template. When I was looking through the different templates I noticed many that I would use for other projects. I like the freedom that the site has. It allows you to be the creator, but still helps you begin the project in different ways.

I do realize that this is a bad play off of the Jackson 5, but I couldn’t resist.  It was nice after all the struggles I had, to actually feel accomplished after I started working on numbers.  Numbers aren’t exactly easy, but they helped me to get down the basics of sign language. Once you have mastered the numbers and letters you start seeing many of the same patterns used in other words.  These basics are the foundation for the language, just like they are in English as well.  I wanted this to be displayed in some way, and I really like how the final project turned out.

Just How Dependent am I?

I feel like our dependency on technology is a topic that is discussed a lot, especially recently.  It’s something I have definitely considered in my own life.  When I first left home to go to college I was perfectly fine, but then I realized how little time I had actually spent with my family.  I started to miss them and regret not spending more time connecting with them.  While I still could connect with them through phone calls and Facebook it wasn’t the same as having a face to face conversation.  Watching Paul Miller’s TED Talk definitely made me stop and reevaluate things again.  I understand what he means when he says that when you don’t have internet or your phone it is easier to connect with people. I’ve discovered that in my own life shutting off my phone when I’m with friends does wonders for the conversation. I’m not distracted waiting for a text message, and I can’t go scrolling through Facebook when the conversation starts to get awkward.  This doesn’t mean that I have this down to a science. In fact I feel more dependent on the internet now than I ever did before. It may not be the same things distracting me, but there are still distractions.

When it comes to being productive there are times when I feel like the internet or my phone supplement what I am trying to get done. Other times I feel like they are just dragging me down. As Paul Miller said when you start to feel even a little bored you immediately reach for your phone. I do this so very often. As soon as I start to feel bored in a situation my phone immediately comes out. It also serves as a way for me to procrastinate what I need to be doing.  Instead of doing my homework I may waste time by checking all my social media pages, sending a few text messages, or even binge watching on Netflix.

I still do try and disconnect at times, especially when it comes to friends and family. I’ve started shutting my phone off in the evenings when my family is home. This summer I’ve been able to reconnect with my family by just taking some time to hangout with my family. I shut my phone off during meals, and after supper I just leave it off. I’ve discovered this gives me a chance to actually have conversations without having to worry about anything else that may be going on.  There’s definitely so much more that I could be doing to make sure that I’m using my phone and the internet responsibly. I really liked the article about simplifying the internet.  Leo Babauta had some really good suggestions that I am considering. It may not even be a bad idea to get rid of Facebook all together, though I’m definitely leery about it.  I think this has really helped me to realize that technology can be a really good thing, but it should be used as a way to supplement our lives, and shouldn’t control our lives.

Q & A

What’s the first thing you learned when you learn a foreign language?  When I was learning Spanish we started out simple. First it was the alphabet, then numbers, and then the basic questions. What is your name? How old are you? How are you today? What time is it? We also learned to answer these questions as well.  I’ve discovered that learning sign language is similar to learning a foreign language.  I found that if I started out slow by first learning the letters and numbers it was easier to then move on to some of the more difficult concepts.  I figured that learning basic questions, and the answers to those questions would be a good place to start.

I figured that it would be easiest just to start with, “What is your name?” While the sign itself was fairly simple things got a lot more complicated after that. In sign language each person has a special sign for their name. Sometimes that sign is one that they created themselves, or it is an assigned sign from the ASL. I’m still not really sure how the whole name thing works, but I was surprised by how complex it really was. It was just another reminder that ASL is really a different language, and doesn’t follow the same rules as English.

The second question I decided to focus on was, “How are you?”  This opened up several doors. Once I had the sign down it was then time to start learning the many different answers. There are several different groups you can focus on here. I started with things like “good,” “bad,” and “fine.”  Then I moved on to emotions.  I only focused on a few emotions like sad, happy, angry, and excited. I also learned some things like “tired” and “hungry” since these are also common responses.

While I wish I could say that I have all these down to an art I really don’t. Its still a struggle to get my hands to do what they need to, but its getting easier. I’ve discovered that repetition is key to learning sign language. Every time I sit down I run through the signs that I’ve already learned, and kind of warm up my hands. This also helps me to remember the different signs and what they stand for.  When learning a sign it helps to repeat it multiple times. This gets your hand used to moving in this way and allows your muscles to start to remember the motion.  I’m still not amazing at all the signs but its encouraging to see how far I’ve gotten in the past few weeks.

Here’s how to do both of the questions I mentioned:

Making Voices Heard

Before this I didn’t really know what digital activism was.  I’d never heard the term before, but I soon realized that I knew exactly what it was. I see digital activism occurring everyday.  People share articles that are important to them on Facebook, or retweet something that is important to them on Twitter. I see this type of activism everyday, and I didn’t even realize it. I think that is one of the great things about digital activism. Its something that we do without even thinking about it. We see an article we think our friends should read, or that we agree with and want to share with other people. We then share this article with the rest of the people in our social media network. This idea is just one part of digital activism though.  You can do more than just share an article. You can start a page on Facebook or even create a group. Through this you can make connections with people who are also working toward the same goal.

Digital activism allows students stand up for things they feel strongly about. I really enjoyed the article, “My Kids, a Cause, and our Classroom Blog.” It opened my eyes to the different things students can do. I love how these kids were able to take something simple like healthy eating and make it into a digital activism project. By creating a blog and doing a little bit of work these students are helping to promote healthy eating, not only in their own town but around the world. Getting our students involved in issues is a good for several reasons. It allows them to start to develop their own opinions. They then are learning how to defend their opinion, and educate other people about that opinion. They are forced to step outside their comfort zone and become educated on different social issues. Digital activism also allows students to get involved. Instead of standing silently on the sidelines it allows students to show that they care to. It doesn’t requires a lot of work, but it can make a huge impact.  For example look at the work of 17 year-old Justin Harris who has touched countless lives just by opening a Twitter account that helped people who struggle with suicidal thoughts. Through his work he has been able to save lives, and connect with so many people. That’s all because he saw a need and decided to do something about it. We need to encourage our students to do the same thing. Becoming involved is so important, and it gives students a chance to be a help to those around them.

Writing with New Words (Daily Create)

Sometimes it’s nice to just sit and declutter my mind. Especially after a long day like today. It started early this morning before I was even to work. This guy was smoking an e-cigarette right outside the door, and the vapors really got to me. It gave me an awful headache. Work was all abuzz about two employees who had gotten caught sexting. On the way home I decided to buy a new movie but I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t Blu-Ray. I guess it’s just time to go to bed.