Apps not appies

I would much rather write a post about appies and where the best one’s are in the city(Birmingham’s) than about computer apps.  However, since this is a class about technology computers apps will have to do.

I recently posted a video into my learning project category and if you have checked it out there is no audio in the video.  I am not sure what happened after I tested everything to make sure audio and video were working but the audio doesn’t come through.  I saw the YouTube video editor tool in the list and decided to try it.  The main reason I decided to try it was to see if I could fix the audio from my learning project post, that has no audio in the video.  I had no luck with being able to find out the audio issue or fix it but I did discover some neat things.

Since I spent most of my time trying to fix the audio to my video I didn’t have time to make a new video to showcase what the video editor can do.  YouTube video editor is very simple to use which I like very much. You choose a video you want to edit and click on the icons to what you want to do.  Each icon brings up a menu and you simply drag and drop.  You can add transitions into your video, photos, music, you can even add prerecorded scenes that are in a menu.  You can adjust the audio and even had word banners.  I liked the word banner idea and want to play with it more the little bit of experimenting I did had the same words across the bottom for the entire video.  I want to see if you can add other words to each frame.

This tool is simple enough that it would be a tool that most kids could easily work with and make more interesting presentations without, too much hassle or photo/video editing background.  I think this tool could take oral presentations a step up.  As a person who struggles with new programs, this one was struggle free.



Tweet, chat, hashtags, oh dear!

I have to admit my foray into Twitter has my feathers in a bit of a flap. I signed up with great reluctance and hesitation but what’s one to do when they want a good grade in ECMP 355, they jump in.  So jump in I did.  At first I found it frustrating and time consuming the two things that drive me buggy when I have limited time to get stuff done.  As I played around with it a little bit, and started to discover how to use the site, it got a little better.  I also had an aha moment, when I realized that the frustration is something I experience with all new to me technology. I am not a patient person, and I tend to expect to know stuff the first time, none of this learning curve for me.  Reality is that I don’t know this stuff and it takes time to learn.  I also realized that I tend to feel this way more when it involves interacting with others, such as in social media.  I felt this way when I first entered the world of Facebook (FB)  as well. I got it over it then and I am starting to unruffle my feathers now with Twitter.

One of the struggles I have with Twitter is the free following of people and that people are free to follow you with out asking first.  I tend to like to share my boys antics and photos on Facebook and I realized very quickly with the different way of connecting on Twitter that I would not be sharing such things there.  I know there is no guarantee of total privacy on FB either but when I put it out there I do know where those posts are going originally and I can set my privacy settings for photos.  I may find that Twitter has some of those same controls, through getting more familiar with Twitter or my classmates who read this may choose to enlighten me.

Hashtags are still somewhat fuzzy to me.  When I search with them, I don’t always seem to find what I am looking for, that is definitely an user problem, not a Twitter problem.  Another thing that makes it fuzzy is that they are used on other sites such as FB, and I am not sure how that links to Twitter or if it does.

The #saskedchat was really good, I enjoy live chats.  Before social media, chats were a great way to connect to others in real time, and I always enjoyed the ones I was involved in.  I felt a bit overwhelmed and a bit pressured to jump in and comment as it was part of our class time.  When I join something new like that, I like to introduce myself and then sit back for a session or two and observe.  I like to get the feel of the people before I jump in because I didn’t really have that chance I felt like I was floundering a bit. I look forward to connecting to more of the #saskedchats in the future. I think it will be a wonderful resource as both a student-teacher and once I am a teacher.

Much to my dismay, I think I will really like Twitter.  The biggest downside I see to Twitter, is the same one I have with FB, they both can be giant time wasters, especially when you just don’t want to write that paper or read that text or vacuum.  I can also see the value in keeping Twitter my professional space and FB private.  Twitter is here to stay.

Feedly my new tech best friend

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I have to say that once I got a chance to play around and explore Feedly a little bit, I really enjoyed what I found.  I mentioned in my introduction post that I enjoy reading blogs, what I didn’t mention is that I have very few blogs I read.  I just don’t have the time to look for  blogs that have relevant content to what I want, so I just don’t bother.

Feedly to the rescue, I like that it is so simple to search for content based on my interests.  I was able to follow in a matter of minutes close to 200 blogs and categorize them into groups so that they are easier to find rather than scrolling through a large list in my bookmarks that are uncategorized.  I have bookmarked it and I see feedly being a go to resource for my student career, my future teaching career and just for finding fun stuff to read.

My approach to  following content on Feedly was pretty simple, it had to be in the top 20 or so, it had to have at least one post a week, more was better and I looked at the followers too.  I also read the titles of the articles that were with the description and that helped me decide as well. The only criteria that was an automatic follow was if it was Canadian content. The only category this didn’t work for was my quilting category and I was not surprised.  Quilters tend to be an older demographic and many aren’t much into technology and posting about their quilts.  I did find some and am hoping they will be a resource for my learning project, we will see. I am sure as I go through the many sites I followed I will unfollow a few but I find its easier to bookmark at will and weed out later.

Now in my not so scientific way of choosing who to follow I found two gems. Larry Ferlazzo blog was the first one that I explored.  What attracted me was the article title in the description on Feedly.  The most recent article on his site was about ESL/EAL learners.  That topic piqued my interest as it is something I am also studying this semester in ELNG 200.  I am hoping that it will be a good resource for that class.  I found myself stopping to read several blog posts on his site.  I had to tear myself away so I could get other stuff done.  I think this one will be a keeper.

My second gem is the Cool Cat Teacher Blog again the title in the description is what caught my eye and enticed me in.  The article was about dyslexia and other special needs.  As a future teacher and a volunteer in the schools, I see that is something that I will need to stay on top of.  I am also drawn to dyslexia information because my oldest daughter is dyslexic.  The big draw for me when I entered the site was that the author Vicky Davis does podcasts, while I prefer to read information, that’s how I learn best, I do like having the option to download and listen to podcasts while I am driving or doing mindless household chores.  The blog and podcasts are what she titled “The Ten Minute Teacher Show”, she speaks to variety of different teachers on topics like dyslexia and special needs, to classroom management and organization.  I think this will be very useful and practical for classroom ideas.

I also found many other education goodies that I just haven’t had a chance to explore yet.  Feedly is a great resource to have for professional and personal development. End Feedly advertisment.


Applique 101

For my learning project for class I have decided to expand my quilting skills.  Quilting is one of my passions, although since I returned to school, I have very limited time to engage in my hobby.  I would considered myself a decent quilter, not an expert but middle of the pack.  Most of my quilts are what are referred to as patchwork.  Patchwork is simply taking the material and cutting it up into smaller pieces or patches and then sewing them together to create something completely new.  In patchwork most pieces are cut into triangles, rectangles or squares because they are easiest to sew.  Circles, curved pieces and other shapes can be used in patchwork as well. This is what makes the quilt top.

this is an example of a type of patchwork quilt. It is a king size quilt I made


Applique is another way to create designs on quilt tops.  In applique you cut a more intricate shape, such as a flower, a house, an animal, the possibilities are endless to what you can applique. After you have the shape cut out you attach it to the quilt top in a way that the edges of the shape look finished and don’t fray.  There are two methods of applique I am going to focus on if everything goes well, I may only get to one.  One is needle turn applique and in my opinion is the bigger challenge because you have turn a very narrow hem under the shape with you needle as you hand sew.  I am not usually very precise or patient when it come to hand sewing.  The second is machine applique, and you finish the edges of your shape with your sewing machine.  The trick here is often to move a large piece of material in a limited space while staying very close to the edge of the shape. We will see how it all goes.  I have tried applique once before and lets say its a good thing 2 year olds don’t care.

Me and Tech= frienemies

A little bit about me first.  I have been married for 27 years this July, we have 6 kids, who simply are my life.  We also have a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law.  Rounding out our group is our Belgian Tervuren Cider.  This is my first semester as an Education student and I am beyond ecstatic to be in the program.  It sounds corny, cliche, cheesy etc but it really is a dream come true.  Someone once told me the career you should pursue is the one you would do without a paycheck, being a teacher is that job for me.

My family


My frienemy technology, I love technology most of the time, however there are times that it is so frustrating and takes so long to figure something out I end up thinking it would be easier to do it manually.  I am pretty adept at Facebook, but other social media I haven’t got a sniff of how to use it, which is what I am hoping to get from this class and more.

When we speak of education technology, two things come to mind.  First is the use of technology in the classroom, obviously.  The second is using technology to learn a new skill or get help with something you are working on.  I am pretty adept at finding tutorials, videos and online instruction to help me get over a hump in something I am working on.  My husband and I have saved ourselves some money, time and frustration by going to Youtube to figure out what is wrong with an appliance or vehicle.  Many times we have found that we were able to fix the problem ourselves.  As for technology in the classroom, well my school days were well before the technology we had now, it was the days of typing in simple commands and saving them to a floppy disk.  All phones were attached to a wall, you used a film camera to take pictures and had to wait a week to see if they turned out.  I haven’t spent much time in a classroom yet but what I have seen in my sons’ classrooms look very interesting and lot easier than paper charts and chalkboards.

One part of technology that I absolutely love is blogging.  I love reading blogs about a variety of topics and have taken away so much information most of it practical and down to earth.  The only blogging I have ever done is for ECS 110 in Fall 2016 and now this class.  I have often thought about creating my own blog but then I get overwhelmed thinking that I have to be smart, profound or have some sage piece of advice at minimum once a week and I decide that I couldn’t possibly be that on.  So for now I will stick to reading blogs.  If anyone has some great teacher blogs they love, I would be very happy if you shared them with me in the comments.