Archive | February, 2011

My First Video

28 Feb

I just finished creating my first video using Windows Live Movie Maker, which I found surprisingly easy to use.  I made the video for another course I am taking this semester.  Our group is presenting on the topic of stress and we thought it would be a good idea to share what our fellow students think about stress.  I interviewed five people and asked them three questions:
1) How would you define stress?
2) What are some sources of stress in your life?
3) How do you manage stress?
I think this video will be a good introduction to our presentation and will hopefully engage the audience.  I didn’t have too much time to spend on editing and adding a variety of effects.  However, I did crop some clips, add transitions, titles, and changed the order of the clips.  I know that I could spend hours editing the video because there are so many options! I will definitely play around with it more when I work on my final project. Feel free to check out the video and let me know what you think! You may recognize our classmate Aaron, who also stars in our Door Scene video! Thanks Aaron!


Queer Representation in Media – Bruno

27 Feb

Tomorrow I will be presenting an analysis on the queer representation in the movie Bruno.  I made a Glogster poster to aid in my presentation.  I will be temporarily posting it here so that I can easily access it tomorrow night.  However, I will be removing it after my presentation because I am unsure of copyright laws.

Pets in the Classroom

23 Feb

A few days ago, I was lying on my parents’ couch with my two dogs and thinking about how much happier I feel when I am around my dogs.  I live an hour away from my parents and regularly visit my family and see my dogs.  This thought lead me to thinking of the benefits of having pets in the classroom.  Obviously, dogs would not be the best option for a classroom pet but there are many great options such as fish, turtles, or hamsters. I was lucky enough to have classroom pets in grades 2 and 3 (two hamsters) and grade 5 (a turtle).  However, I have not seen any pets in the classroom since entering the Faculty of Education and I have visited many schools.  I imagine many schools can no longer have pets because of allergies but I truly believe there are many benefits to having pets in the classroom.

I decided to do some quick Google searches about the pros and cons of pets in the classroom.  I found lots of information to support having pets in the classroom and very little against having animals in the classroom. I came across a resource guide created by a professor in the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan.  She claims that there are many benefits of having pets in the classroom but the primary reason is to teach responsibility.  I agree with her, pets require a great deal of care, love, and commitment.   In the grades in which my class had pets we each had weekly duties in regards to caring for our pets.  We had to give them fresh food and water, play with them, and clean the cages.  My classmates and I looked forward to our week of caring for the pets and spent most of our free time watching our pets with fascination.  I experienced firsthand the excitements kids can feel when they become responsible for a pet.  Therefore, I feel that pets are a very effective way to teach responsibility. The professor also shares two more ways in which classroom pets are positive – they promote empathy and increase children’s exposure to nature.  These ideas are further supported in this essay, written by a University of Calgary student. A recent focus of education is to teach sustainability and an appreciation for nature.  I cannot think of a better way to teach this then to bring animals into the classroom.  Students can begin to build relationships with animals and therefore want to keep them happy and healthy.  There are many benefits of pets in the classroom, what are some that you can think of?

Lastly, I will share some of the cons of pets in the classroom.  First, as I mentioned above, many students have allergies to different types of animals. The teacher would need to consider everyone’s allergies and the possibility of new students (and their possible allergies) joining the classroom.  Second, pets add an extra cost for the teacher since they will need to purchase food, shelter, and accessories (toys, bowls, etc.).  Third, the teacher would need to find a place for the pet to live during the school’s holidays.   My school teachers always sent home a letter asking if any families were interested in caring for the pets.  Luckily, my teachers were always able to find a willing family.  However, if they did not then they would need to care for the pets.
There are many pros and cons to having pets in the classroom but I believe they are worth considering.

cuddling with my dogs on the couch

Bird Child by Nan Forler

21 Feb

I have discovered a wonderful book that I wanted to share with all of you.  I am taking ELIB 216 with Barbara McNeil and one of my assignments is to do a critical examination of a picture book.  This is how I came across the book Bird Child by Nan Forler.  The first thing I noticed when I flipped through the book were the unique illustrations.  They looked as if they were painted but the faces of the people looked so lifelike.  I researched the type of media used to create the images and discovered that the pictures were painted and then photographs were digitally placed over their faces.  The result is very unique and could be a fun project to do with students.  The text was equally amazing and has a very powerful message.  The story is about a small “bird-like” girl who has the power of “flight” – she is able to look down at what is happening and then look up and see what can be.  She uses this power to help a new girl overcome bullying.  The book has a very powerful message and would be a great book to help teach about respect, responsibility and bullying.

I was very surprised to find out that Bird Child is Nan Forler’s first book. I hope she continues publishing books in the future.  There are so many books out there but finding high quality literature is very important; Forler’s work is definitely high quality. Also, Forler is a teacher who lives in Ontario.  I think it is important to use Canadian literature in the classroom, as well as books from many other countries and cultures.  If you are interested, you can find journal reviews of Bird Child here.
I encourage you to check out Forler’s book and please feel free to leave other book recommendations in the comments section. Thank you!


Final Project Ideas

17 Feb

[Note: I had written this post on February 2, 2011.  However, I did not want to post it until I spoke to Alec about my ideas. I decided on a different project, which I will blog about soon.]

On Tuesday we discussed our Final Projects for the first time.  I began thinking about what I may want to do for my project.  I came up with a few ideas and decided I would share them.

Idea #1 – Barbie’s Impact on Gender Socialization

I have already completed some research about this topic when I wrote a paper in my second year.  I truly believe that Barbie has a very negative impact on both females and males.  I would like to continue this research and hear more about what others think about Barbie.

Idea #2 – Representation of Women in Media

I have been interested in the representation of women in media for awhile now.  I think that the messages that are being sent are detrimental to all members of society.  I believe that media should reflect the diversity of our population.  I could go on and on about the problems that are caused by images like this one.  This image not only sends negative messages but images like these are commonly used as thinspiration in many online “support” communities.  I encourage you to check it out.

Idea #3 – Hope’s Home Volunteer Experience

As part of an assignment for one of my classes I am supposed to volunteer at an organization that is related to Health.  I chose Hope’s Home because it seems like a wonderful environment to work with diverse children.  I would blog about my experience as well as create a project based on my experience.

I am still unsure how I want to create my final project and who knows if I’ll even stick with these ideas.  I’m glad I have a starting point and look forward to hearing about everyone else’s projects!

Tech Task #6 – Door Scene

10 Feb

Here is the video that my friends Heather, Megan, Aaron and I made inspired by the Door Scene.  Check it out!

Tech Task #5 – Priceless

3 Feb

Check out my “priceless” video!