This week my plan was to focus on strumming, which is exactly what I did. I knew I wanted to get a strong strumming technique down before I learn the many chords (which is my next posts plan). I began by using the Ukulele Hunt website to search up some additional information on strumming. The page I used was called Ukulele Strumming for Dummies, which I found *somewhat* fitting for me. This site had written information for strumming hand positions, where on the ukulele to strum, and multiple videos of strumming patterns.
After gathering as much information about strumming I could off of this website, I moved onto Youtube. The two videos I found most helpful:
- How To Strum the Ukulele // Beginner Ukulele Tutorial
- How to strum a ukulele for beginners - 3 different methods!
The best part about these videos is that these women show multiple ways how to strum and from different angles. If YOU are learning ukulele and trying to figure out the best way for you to strum, check out the first video. It shows how hard you should be strumming and gives exercises to do before.
The three types of strumming I tried were:
- with my thumb
- with my index finger
- with my thumb and index finger pushed together
Explaining how to strum isn't as easy as I thought, so instead here's a video of my (average) strumming.
The last way I showed, with my thumb and index finger pushed together, is now my favourite method and what I am going to be practising throughout my ukulele playing days. Now I really need to focus on relaxing my wrist while strumming to get a more smooth and easy strum.
Through all the research I did, the best advice I received was to strum how you feel comfortable. There are many more ways to strum than I have shown and almost everywhere I found information, encouraged you to do whatever you like the best. I found this advice to be so relevant as forcing myself to strum one way would add on more difficulty, which I do not need. So my advice to you, if you are or ever have the urge to learn how to play ukulele, strum however feels best for you, as long as it works you will be great!
#ukecandoit (check out the 'Latest' as shown below, to follow my learning project tweets)
On May 24th, I participated in my ordinary zoom conference with my #edtc300 class. However, this class we had a guest lecturer talk about the 'selfie generation' and the emerging culture of technology. This guest lecturer was none other than University of Regina professor, Dr. Alec Couros. I had never taken a class or experienced a lecture from Alec before and needless to say I was very engaged and impressed.
When beginning this #edtc300 class and even more into this lecture, I always assumed I knew a lot about technology. I feel as though being in my early twenties that I grew up with technology as it became more advanced. I went from researching using encyclopedias to now literally googling everything on my phone in seconds. So in class when Alec reminded us about the dangers of putting stuff on the web and the internet in general, it made me take a step back. I use the internet and social media in general way more than I'd like to admit to, so I have become so accustomed to it that I forget it can be a scary place.
As an adult I feel as though I can be aware of certain dangers such as different spam and catfishing, but when children and teens are on the internet they may not understand this. Teaching about the internet and digital citizenship safety is extremely important to start at an early age as most children encounter and use technology before they start kindergarten. As a future educator, I want to use this technology, but in a safe way. Some sites I found very useful to do this are:
- Tips for Kids and Parents About Internet Safety
- 10 Things to Teach Your Kids About Internet Safety
- How to Teach Internet Safety to Younger Elementary Students
Along with teaching about being safe on the internet in my future classroom, I am planning on bringing multiple aspects of technology into the learning. There are millions of ways I can bring technology into every aspect. Participation is something we discussed in class and I immediately connected to. I am not normally one to talk in class discussions (shocker I know). But it is common for people to feel stronger when they are behind a screen. This is where different chats come in. Even in a zoom class it is much easier to chat than speak in person. Technology can ease this anxiety that comes with class participation. One option for this can be using Kahoot!. I find that participation and technology can be a huge positive in a future class. Another positive I find with technology in the class is to connect with students. In Alec's lecture he talked about connecting and building relationships with students through aspects such as memes, vines, and youtube videos. It is so important when connecting with students to speak their language through different technology. I had a professor last semester that included memes in the slides and it sparked the whole classes interest. I have seen this work with university students and am very open to including different types of technology in my classroom. Done in the right way I believe technology is a huge positive to the future classroom.
Lastly, I want to talk about something I find spooky on the internet. This is the advertisements everyone views. When you use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more, the ads you see are not what everyone sees. They are completely dependent on you and your interests. I find that my phone can read my mind. I can think about something and not say it out loud, then all of a sudden I will see advertisements and sponsored posts about it. Or else I will google something or even talk about a certain product or movie, then that's all I will see. Technology is insane. So next time you are on social media, pay attention to the ads you are seeing. It's quite creepy.
If you're interested in learning more - check Alec Couros out on Twitter here
This week I focused on my personal ukulele teacher. This 'teacher' includes iPhone apps, YouTube channels, and a lot of google. When I first attempted to start playing ukulele I looked up a few chords and watched a few Youtube videos. As you may or may not know (as said in my other learning project blogs) that this didn't work out too well. However, I think this is because of my lack of effort, rather than the use of technology to learn. So here I am again, using technology, to teach myself some magically ukulele skills.
The very first thing I looked to was YouTube! My first (and favourite channel) I found was The Ukulele Teacher. This channel has a variety of videos from beginner lessons to learning complex songs. It is great for ukulele players of all skill levels.
Other channels I follow include:
- Elise Ecklund
- U Can Uke
- Ukulele Underground
- About Ukulele
- Ukulele Cheats
- Ukulele Tricks
Yet none of them are, in my opinion, as great as The Ukulele Teacher. But all are still useful for a beginner like me.
After looking at YouTube channels, I chose to dig into apps! When looking for apps I found ones that looked appealing and had good reviews.
The ones I have downloaded are:
- Real Ukulele
- The Ukulele App
As shown below, there is also an app called Yousician, but I have recently deleted it and would not recommend it.
The first one I found was based off of The Ukulele Teacher! This instantly appealed to me and I downloaded it. There are multiple pages such as: about, news, lessons, tools, videos, and options. The main pages I used were videos, lessons, and tools. Here are a few pictures of what the app looks like.
Lastly, what I researched on google was saving images of chords, like the one below.
Now you have seen my ukulele 'teacher' for the next few weeks. I'm excited to start (finally) becoming a ukulele star, according to my learning plan. Stay tuned for the next post where I learn multiple types of strumming!
Remember to follow my progress on twitter using #ukecandoit (hint - make sure to check the latest tweets in order to find mine)
Deciding what app to talk about this week was much harder than I thought it would be. When finally stopping to decide I instantly had a long list of apps that I have used in class or just myself that I absolutely love! Things like Kahoot, google drive and all the extensions, google classroom, onenote learning tools, seesaw, factile, and the list goes on and on. However, I wanted to share something that I didn’t know too much about. So this is how I ended up diving into DropTask!
I first heard of this app through one of my colleagues in another spring class (EPSY 400). I recently did a presentation all about students with ADHD and when discussing assistive technology, this is an app we shared to the class. I thought it looked so cool and wanted to learn more about it!
AND this app is free to sign up, which is fantastic.
Check out this video below for a quick explanation of the how DropTask works.
Now that you can see how awesome DropTask is, I am going to talk about my experience with it.
Basically DropTask is a mind-mapping and task management app. Instead of using normal calendars or lists, you can organize your thoughts in a different and colourful way. This is also great for collaboration (like google docs and slides). Multiple people can be There are so many things you can do with this app.
I began by signing up. I connected it to my google account and I had an DropTask account set up in less than a minute. Next the site quickly walks you through how to use it. Next I started to create my mind map. I added a #edtc300 and EPSY400 category and tasks within each of these larger category circles. I was able to move everything around very easily.
Next I started adding more detail to my tasks. There are many different options available. This includes the progress made, importance, urgency, effort, notes, and due dates. For example, on my eIIP task I added a due date and made it both very urgent, very important, and with maximum effort (the red flags and size of the task were altered when I did this). For my blog task I chose to play around with the progress and marked me at 20% (which is that additional circle around the task bubble).
Overall, I think this app is really great! It works awesome for time management and students would easily be able to manage their tasks, group projects, and homework. Plus it is a fun, colourful, and interactive way to move around and visually see what needs to be done. There is truly so much more that can be done as well. I plan to continue using DropTask myself and highly recommend it to everyone and anyone.
Well what can I say about Twitter? Let me take you back to when I first got Twitter in approximately 2011 (give or take a few years).
First getting Twitter was so exciting! I’ve heard about it through my friends and wanted to see what it was all about. So one day after school I went to my grandparents house, sat in their computer room with my friend, and signed up for Twitter. Once I was all signed up I started following my friends and very random accounts with funny stuff. I remember having so much fun looking through everything on Twitter. This excitement lasted for about 2 weeks. I have never been one to post lots on social media, so my twitter days were spent just browsing through other people’s tweets. I also kept my twitter private as I knew the internet could be dangerous and I didn’t want just anyone to see what I was sharing. I had the occasional retweet and like, but I kept mine pretty plain. When I did tweet though I used very long and strange (and kinda funny if I do say so myself) hashtags. I remembered my friends complaining that there wasn’t enough characters, but I never had that problem! Eventually, I just stopped tweeting all together and became locked out of my Twitter completely. I ended up just deleting the app.
Then I enrolled in a class that needed a Twitter account, UGH. I really hoped that this time Twitter would be better than before. I talked to my good friend @erin_zinger and she told me that Twitter can be a great educational tool and she encouraged me to create a new professional looking Twitter. I just went for it and deleted all my old tweets from my old account (hiding the evidence of my youth) and made a new one completely. But this time my Twitter experience was much different. I now LOVE Twitter.
My second round with Twitter was a little different. Instead of following funny accounts and my high school friends, I started following my colleagues and educators. I already liked Twitter much better! Now I tweet about educational topics and things I am passionate about! When I heard we had to tweet approximately two times a day I thought this would be the most difficult thing, yet here I find myself adding Twitter into my social media scrolling mix. Instead of just Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, I now find myself on Twitter more than the other apps (besides Instagram, I can’t stay away). I truly do love Twitter and with using #edtc300 I can expand my educational community and learn new things from my colleagues and complete strangers. I didn’t realize how big of an educational community is on Twitter, but now I am finding it so beneficial.
To end of my blog (so I can get back on browsing Twitter) I just want to mention one of the coolest things I had experienced so far in this app. Just as I mentioned, I discovered that Twitter has a huge educational community. So when I participated in my first #saskedchat it was very overwhelming, but truly enhanced my Twitter experience. This was the best and quickest way to engage with my classmates and educators from all over. This was extremely fast paced, but the questions and conversations built were very insightful and interesting. This is something I recommend all my fellow future and current educators join in on and experience the crazy wonderfulness of a #saskedchat yourself!
Don’t forget to connect with with me!
So it has begun... Getting reunited and tuning my ukulele (aka step 1 and 2 of my plan) has been this weeks task. It may seem simple, but hear me out. Hearing music is not in any way something I exceed at. It was truly quite the process. As I used to dance throughout all of my elementary and high school days, counting music is something I am quite capable of, so I was really unprepared for what I was about to embark upon. Trying to tune my ukulele is something completely new and different for me. But to keep up with my attitude throughout this learning project.... #ukecandoit
. . .
Getting reunited with my ukulele began just as you would if you were meeting a good friend. I planned a time to meet, put on some comfy clothes, had snacks and beverages ready, and a positive attitude. My ukulele has been living in my room on a small spot of my floor leaning against my dresser for months now. I'm sure my ukulele felt good to get up and stretch its strings. As we both began to talk by strumming the strings, all negative feelings were put aside and we were ready to go.
Once we were acquainted again, I began the tuning process. This is where I pulled up the two apps I have on my phone and determined which one would be best for me. As a beginner I needed something easy that helped me, because this is where the difficult part started. The apps I compared are Simple Ukulele Tuner and Tunefor Ukulele tuner free. In my opinion, both the apps worked great and I was continually switching back and forth, double checking my tuning job.
In case you are a beginner like me and may not know how to tune a ukulele, this is how I'm 97% sure you do it. On a ukulele there are four chords: G, C, E, and A. I worked my way from left to right, chord by chord, while tuning. Therefore, I began on G. I pulled up my app and went on my way. To use both apps, you click on the chord you are tuning and the tone will play. You then strum the chord and turn the nob until the sound on the app is correct. This may sound confusing, which it is. It took me a few hearty tries with each chord before (I think) it was tuned correctly. If I am being honest, it sounded the same for me before and after it was tuned. I now realised that every time I play I am going to need to pull up my apps, as my ears can't do the job for me. This week I am thankful for technology!
Overall, this week was a success, according to my plan. Can't wait until next week where I really get to dive into playing my ukulele.
Remember to watch #ukecandoit to check out my progress
Today I became friends with Feedly. If you haven't heard of it, Feedly is a cool website where you can read different feeds and articles, also known as a feed reader. This meant absolutely nothing to me until I first checked it out during my #edtc300 class. So let me share a little bit about what I know and have done on feedly so far.
First on feedly you will need to make an account, which is free, HOORAY! Once I became somewhat comfortable with the site I began following feeds specifically related to education and technology. As of right now my goal for this site is to use it for educational purposes only. After following specific sites (that are linked below), I began getting into the good stuff. This is when I started to pin things to a #edtc300 board and read/save multiple feeds. There is tons of information, articles, and tips for educators. I could stay on feedly and read forever. Thankfully, there is a read later button, which is a really useful tool. Now before you get too excited and want to go check out feedly for yourself, I am going to share two different sources that I found very useful for an educator with a passion for technology.
The first source I have been loving is Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. This is a great source worth following because it directly relates to teachers and technology. Looking through the page there is tons of articles with all kinds of tips, apps, and websites for teachers and students to use. They post twelve articles per week, so there is always new content to explore. My favourite article I recommend to check out is Some of The Best EdTech Websites for Teachers and Educators, but there are tons of others worth looking at.
The next source I want to share for the fellow educators out there is Teach Thought. This page posts eight articles per week surrounding the topics of education, technology, and teaching. There is content for teachers to reflect and improve upon their teaching, along with bringing technology and new strategies into the classroom. Some articles I suggest looking at is An Alternative To Google Search That Focuses on Privacy and 20 Questions To Reflect On Your Teaching This Year So Next Year Is Better.
Blogs I'm subscribed to:
Digital Education - Education Week
EdTechReview RSS Feeds - All
Education Week - Technology
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
Educational Technology News -- ScienceDaily
Emerging Education Technologies
Educational Technology and Life
Hello there! My name is Kyla Wolfe. I am a pre-k to grade five elementary education student at the University of Regina. I am currently in my fourth year of the program, which means that after I finish up two spring classes and go to my internship in the fall I will be done. This is very scary, but very exciting.
I am really looking forward to bringing technology into my internship and future classrooms. However, I am not a tech wiz yet. Through this class I feel as though I am going to build a solid knowledge base about technology that will be a wonderful asset. I think one important aspect about technology I am wanting to learn is a basis on how to teach students how to be safe and properly use the internet. With social media and the craziness of the internet, I believe that it can be dangerous and learning how to be safe is extremely important. Speaking from my own experience, I am not one to normally post much on social media besides a few pictures here and there. I am much more of a lurker than a poster. I currently have all my account settings up high and did not think of using my social media pages to reflect my self as a professional. This class has already changed my perspective on how I should be using technology and connections to my advantage.
Through this class I am expanding my educational twitter account to show personal growth with technology and as an educator. I recently retweeted an interesting article about digital literacy. If you are interested in learning about using technology to our advantage and teaching our students to properly use it, you can find it here.
Connect with me on twitter here.
Learn more about me here.
The decision has been made. Drum roll please ......... I have decided I am finally going to learn how to play the ukulele. *takes bow*
In January I purchased my own ukulele and I was very determined to learn how to play it. That lasted about a week and a half before pre-internship got crazy and my ukulele started to collect dust. This class now gives me more motivation to learn how to play this instrument again. However, music is not my strong suit, but I am willing to try my best and hopefully be able to strum a tune or two.
MY GAME PLAN:
STEP 1: Reunite with my ukulele. Its been awhile and we need to get reacquainted.
STEP 2: Tune my ukulele. I already have two tuner apps on my phone, Simple Ukulele Tuner and Tunefor Ukulele tuner free. I found both of these to be great apps for a beginner.
STEP 3: YOUTUBE. This is going to be my main source of learning while teaching myself how to play. I am going to follow channels like The Ukulele Teacher.
STEP 4: Strumming. This is a key element of playing the ukulele and I am going to focus on getting a proper technique going.
STEP 5: Chords. This one is going to be tricky. Now to learn some basic chords. Eventually I will focus on the chords needed for step 7.
STEP 6: Pick a song. Here I will choose a song that will be my main focus for the rest of the project.
STEP 7: Play a song. My main goal here is to play *most of* the chosen song from above.
STEP 8: Be a pro ukulele star.
*hint* use ^this hashtag to follow my journey on twitter