ECMP 355

A whole new meaning to “finding myself”.

Thankfully I looked back at the tech tasks from our course, because I discovered I had never posted one of them to my blog! This is a good indicator about how busy the semester was. Anyway, luckily this tech task is a fun one so I didn’t have too much trouble re-doing it.

There’s something so wonderfully narcissistic about searching for yourself on Google. It feels a lot like cleaning your room and getting to look back on all sorts of things from your past and reminisce about how they came to be.

When I search my name on Google, quite literally nothing comes upon the first page that is related to me. One of the consequences of having a fairly common name! I was also surprised that my favourite Laura Shepherd that is not me, the director of Care Bears, was not in the top couple of hits either! She was further down on the page though.

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In fact, I have to go all the way to page 3 to find anything related to me! As far as Google hits go, having the first one be a Relay for Life page is not a bad thing to come up!

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When I add on Regina or Moose Jaw I get a few  more hits about me, but there’s still definitely a good mix of other people too.

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In some ways I think I’m a little bit sad (and definitely surprised!) that there’s other Laura Shepherds in Regina and Moose Jaw that show up when I’m searching for myself. I feel like I’ve done quite a bit of work to give myself a positive online identity and would like that to be shown off in Google. However, the things I am seeing that are of myself are all things I would classify as positive and paint the sort of picture that I want to be out there for myself.

I’ll definitely continue to check up on my digital identity through Google in years to come to make sure that what people are seeing is the “me” that I want them to see.

 

 

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Thoughts From Places: ECMP 355

For my summary of personal learning I chose to pay homage to my favourite youtube channel, Vlogbrothers. They often make videos entitled “Thoughts From Places” (see http://dft.ba/-tfpforecmp355 for an example) in which a series of shots are taken and overlaid with narration usually pondering some great thoughts about life.

I chose this format because I find it to be a great way to make a visually interesting video that has some deeper thinking behind it. I definitely had some thoughts about our course to share and wanted to challenge myself to construct a vlog of this nature. I also love the idea of “bookending” the course and starting with a vlog and ending with a vlog.

This video is a kind of combination of ECMP 355 reflection and end of my undergrad degree reflection all in one. I wanted to have a video to look back on to remember some of my thoughts from right now in my life, and this seemed like a great opportunity to do that.

At first I worried that this was not the kind of summary video that the assignment called for in the sense that it doesn’t highlight a bunch of the specific tools we used this semester… but I really felt like this highlighted my learning in a much more accurate way. After all, this whole time it has been stressed that the marks shouldn’t matter and the learning should be what’s key. I feel like this style of overall learning and reflection summarizes my learning much better than listing all the individual topics we covered would have and will be more useful for me in the future.

After all, we have to make our assignments useful for ourselves, otherwise there’s not really a point in doing them at all.

Thanks for the great semester, ECMP 355 friends! I’ve had a great time learning from you all and can’t wait to keep up with what you’re doing via your blogs!

This world can be ugly, but isn’t it beautiful?

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For my first try at tackling an assignment from the DS106 assignment bank I chose to a visual task that asked the creator to combine their favourite lyric with an image to make the meaning even stronger. The assignment can be found here if you’re interested in seeing more about it.

I chose the lyric “This world can be ugly, but isn’t it beautiful?” from the song “There, There, Katie” by Jack’s Mannequin. This lyric has stuck with me for a few years now. I think it means that even though our world might feel overrun with dark and ugly times, the beautiful parts of our world are always out there if we just look for them. The picture I chose to pair it with is one that I took a couple years ago, and I think it shows off a small beautiful moment in the clouds that could easily be missed if you’re not taking the time to look for it.

I found this activity to be very accessible. Though I used Photoshop to create the image, it could easily be done on any online picture editing website. It’s the kind of assignment that has a million different possibilities for placement, image choice, and lyric choice which opens it up to a wide variety of students, and can therefore be engaging for students of all kinds.

During my internship I did some work with quotes with my grade 8 students. They loved being able to share their personal favourites and many of them chose song lyrics to share with the members of our class. I think adding this photographic element to that would result in even more deeper thinking about how to visually represent the words, as well as a great cross-curricular connection between Visual Arts and Language Arts!

Beating the Block – A Collection of Thoughts

It’s been a struggle for me to be able to make a blog post that doesn’t come from a set criteria. For some reason I find myself unable or reluctant to just let myself put down my thoughts and share them with the internet world.

Even as I write this post I find myself constantly backspacing the words, feeling like there’s a better way to say what I want to here. I think a big part of this comes from a desire to show off my best side, like each post I make should be at my very best.

However, it’s important for me to break through that thought process and start getting things out there! Anything’s better (well, maybe not anything) than a blank blog.

So here’s hoping for a new start. I’m going to aim to post more, interact more with others, and start building up a real presence in our classroom online community. Goodbye backspace button, hello “publish post”s.