Angler Update

I haven’t been fishing, or tying flies, or even getting to watch fishing videos on Youtube!

The last two weeks for me have been a whirlwind of stress, panic, and complete exhaustion.

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I have also learned that fly fishing will be a lifelong learning lesson for me. Not the actual fishing part, but what it teaches me about myself, Such as:

  1. The importance of having goals: I am a very goal oriented person. I keep a daily to-do list, a weekly agenda, and a monthly schedule all color coded and organized, but with fly fishing it was a more personal goal that truly made me see a change and growth in myself.
  2. Passion based learning is the coolest: Having something to be so passionate about made me want to learn more. I craved learning as much as possible as soon as possible and it really opened me up to an entirely new community of learners.
  3. Patience is key: I didn’t start out as a good angler, and by some standards I am still not a good angler, but I have learned that if you truly care about something you must have patience for it and for yourself. I have never thought of myself as a quitter, but when things have been a struggle for me I just moved on to something else where my talents would be better showcased; like moving from the business department to the English department.
  4. Taking a break is okay: Life gets messy and plans don’t work out, but that doesn’t make you a less dedicated learner when you need to change focus or check out of something for a while, because when you come back to that thing you needed a break from you will more than likely notice that you come back refreshed and more willing to learn than you were before.
  5. Learning cannot be ranked: Looking at some of the other Independent Learning projects I felt like mine wasn’t as important or maybe even as challenging, but that doesn’t matter. Independent learning can only be measured by your own personal growth and by your own standards. Whether it’s learning a new language or learning to play chess, if you are passionate about it and it makes you a better learner then it is important.

I loved sharing this small part of what I hope is a big journey for me. Fly fishing has actually brought me a lot closer to my boyfriend and family. I’ve met a lot of really cool people. I am planning a lot of cool trips. And I hope that I can transfer my love of fishing into my future writing career.

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Life Hacks: Infographics

My life has been forever changed thanks to Karen Jensen’s article Tech Review: Online Creation Tools Piktochart and Canva. In her tech review, Jensen explains each tool, how to use it, what to use it for, and even gave examples of prototypes she created for the Serving Full T.I.L.T. (Teens in Libraries Today) series.

I can see why she quickly became obsessed with both tools. I chose to create my info graphic through Piktochart. It was unbelievably easy!

  • I just chose a template theme that related to my topic visually.
  • I changed the type to include my information and changed the colors.
  • I changed the map to feature the United States because that is where my statistics were based.
  • I changed the icon graphics to better represent my theme of fishing.

And here is the finished product:

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I am even going to use this info graphic in a mock-up magazine publication that I am creating for my editing and design course this semester. I also plan to use the Canva tool to create my back page advertisement since Jensen recommended this tool for posters and the like as opposed to Piktochart. But both tools are going to be well used by me!

Now, the Comic Book/Strip Creation tools also reviewed by Jensen were less appealing to me because I don’t necessarily need this tool as much. However, I thought it would be awesome to create a fun cartoon for our college newspaper one day while combining it with a lifestyles piece on actual students/super heroes of our campus! I can just imagine the possibilities already! Any suggestions are welcome!

I am also considering using one of the comic book apps to feature one of my Daily Creates for this week!

LOVED THIS WEEKS LESSON ON TECH TOOLS FOR SHARED LEARNING!

‘Serial’ Learning & Killing Stories

6643223421_2c7574a7e2_oFor this weeks lesson on Podcasts and Digital Storytelling, I just so happened to listen to the first episode of Serial and a story on I Read Banned Books. I though that both of these resources presented the same theme of both growth and death in education.

We all know about our favorite books being banned, whether they are new controversial novels or classics. I am against book banning. Banning books in schools only accomplishes one thing, the death of a students desire to read. We should never discourage reading. Parents and administrations may be worried about the content of some of these books, but the argument has been made again and again, if students are reading about sex and drugs, they are most likely not out there doing it!

Next, I have become obsessed with the ‘Serial’ podcast series. I am a big fan of Cold Cases, Forensic Files, Unsolved Mysteries and so on, so the content of ‘Serial’ clearly grabbed my attention. But after reading Linda Flanagan’s article What Teens are Learning from ‘Serial’ and Other Podcasts, I started to consider the benefits of using podcasts in the classroom.

3086892145_8529db08ef_zAs I have said time and time again, I do not plan to become a teacher, but if I was I would definitely use podcasts and digital storytelling as part of my lesson planning. First of all it seems like the podcasts and digital stories do a lot of the teaching for you. Like Serial for example. The case is laid out week by week and students have to make their own inferences about the evidence presented to them, that’s critical thinking skill building! The episodes also present opportunities for students to engage in discussions allowing them to practice speaking skills.

Sure, there may be disadvantages to podcasts and digital storytelling in the classroom, such as students falling asleep or not listening, but let’s face it, that’s a problem for some students in every learning situation. I think that teachers would find that more likely than not, students will find the podcasts and digital stories extremely interesting and will be more than willing to create their own podcasts and stories as well.

Angler Update

So I haven’t been able to go fishing for a little while and I’ve been really busy with classes, work volunteering, graduation applications, and so on. This being said, I don’t really have anything to blog about this week which is really upsetting to me. Not only for my grade’s sake, but because it makes me feel like I am not as dedicated as I need to be. But as I tell myself in many upsetting scenarios, “Such is Life.”

Sometimes life gets in the way of what seems ideal, much like trees get in the way of my casts. I really hope to spend more time off the water learning to tie flies so that I still have material to blog about and just because I really want to learn how to tie a decent fly and experience what it’s like to catch a fish on your own fly!

Well this is hardly an interesting blog post, but I felt like I at least owed my few readers an explanation.

Here is a little blue gill that I caught a while ago. I also caught about 30 of his little friends. It wasn’t even fun after the first 12 since I didn’t even have to cast, just throw the fly out about two feet, and I would have a dozen going after it. Not the brightest little guys, but they sure are cute.

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Disconnecting

In the spirit of this week’s Digital Literacy lesson about Mindfulness and disconnecting and simplifying the use of internet in our day-to-day lives I did just that. I realized that I, like many of the students from Convent and Stuart Hall in San Francisco, am addicted to my devices.

15901983042_cf465f5636_oThese students were challenged to disconnect from tech for three days. Some students succeeded and some students did not make it the full three days. One student that “failed” said he felt “naked”  without his phone and that his fear of “missing out” on social media was too great. I don’t feel that I’m on my phone all that much, but I feel more comfortable if it is with me at all times. If I forget my phone when I leave the house, I go back to get it. Even if I’m only gone for fifteen minutes… A lot could happen in that fifteen minutes! Right?

I use the excuse that because I am so far away from home and my family I have to have my phone at all times because that is my lifeline to them. Well, my siblings are all at school from 7:30 to 4:00 and my parents are working from 8:00-6:00 so I can’t really keep in contact with them during the majority of the day, so that excuse is just an excuse.

Well it’s time to quit. Now, I’ve never been addicted to anything before (coffee doesn’t count) but I hear that quitting cold turkey isn’t the best strategy so I’m starting off small and building my way up to Leo Babauta’s zen habits.

I QUIT FACEBOOK! I deleted it and I feel great. Like Babauta, every time I got on Facebook I felt 4461019149_448d2df8ee_ooverwhelmed by ads, birthdays, game invitations, and a lot of notifications. And don’t get me started on status updates. Frankly, anything I saw on there was not important and if it was, I probably already heard of it through direct contact with that person.

I DELETED PEOPLE I FOLLOW! Obviously I didn’t delete everyone, I just refined who I am following. I don’t need to follow 50 cat related accounts on Instagram and Twitter. I just don’t. I have two perfectly adorable cats under my own roof. I also deleted accounts that are nothing but noise. If an individual is posting 15 selfies a week and it annoys me, what am I missing out on if I delete that person? Well, 15 selfies, but nothing critical.

IMG_4663I GOT RID OF MY OWN NOISE! Do I need to post selfies or 100 pictures of my cats on Instagram? Well, if that is what I want my identifier to be, then yes. But if I don’t want to be a vain, crazy cat lady then probably not. So I deleted a ton of posts and pictures from my Twitter and my Instagram accounts.

I still need to figure out how to filter out my email accounts and unsubscribe to a few other things, but so far I feel great about the changes I have made to simplify the internet and disconnect that much more.