EdCamp Introduction


Today in class we watched a short film introducing us to EdCamp, or Unconference, which is an event in which educators come together to talk about collective interests and passions. After watching the short film we tried it in class. It begins by a few ideas being posted onto a bulletin board, or in our case a whiteboard, and then having people put a mark by the ones that they would be interested in further discussing. From there, the topics with the most dots are selected groups are formed around these topics. We were given the option to join one of the groups and move to a space that would allow open and uninterrupted discussion.

At first, (even though we are all adults who have been in classes together for a while) it seemed a little bit tricky trying to start it off. But once we got going, the conversation flowed easily. I found it to be a really positive way to interact with my classmates. Although I know I have nothing to fear when it comes to speaking up, I often second guess myself and hesitate and am left with nervousness rather than the clear thought that I had started with. I felt after a few of us had shared our thoughts, it was getting easier for me and for others to share theirs as well. With an unstructured conversation about one structured topic, more ideas and experiences seemed to come forth that I may not have had the pleasure to hear in a more structured setting.

I noticed that there was a scene in the movie that we watched in class a few weeks ago, where one teacher had his class work on talking to each other in this way. He told them that it would be hard now, but that they would have to get used to it because they will need to become comfortable having an open discussion with each other, as he will not always be there to lead the conversation. I find it interesting, and amazing, that these high school students were learning something that even I still struggle with as an adult. This style of sharing ideas is definitely something I will be using in my future classroom!


The Sun Run

Open Inquiry, Uncategorized

This week I realized that one of my biggest motivators for running has been my location. Now I know, I know, beach-city-victoria-lovers are going to be rolling eyes-face-palm-hello-obviously-ing at me but seriously, it hadn’t crossed my mind. It wasn’t until I was telling someone that I like to run to the beach watch the sunset/rise/birds/seals/etc. and run home that I realized that the beach is probably one of my biggest motivators. It is always, always worth it. It is the ‘instant’ gratification that sometimes is harder to find (and very much needed) for running as a beginner. Honestly, my run isn’t a long run, but even within the last few weeks of consistency, I have noticed a pretty significant change in my lungs, legs, back and distance. While I still do not push myself over the edge (as I have learned the hard way that that is a one-way ticket to i-hate-running-I’m-never-moving-again), I find the realization that I am upright, rather than flat on my back, breathing normally, rather feeling as though I may lose a lung, and willing (and WANTING) to do a kettle-bell work out upon my arrival home, all means that this is going somewhere over the rai…ight direction.

On Wednesday night I hadn’t been on a run since Saturday, nor had I done any other form of exercise (which goes against my entire active-living-and-keeping-it-up goal). Although it isn’t the largest gap between Saturday and Wednesday, (trust me, I’ve gone longer) I started to feel a bit more irritable, a soft shade of blue, and little things were overwhelming for me. If any of you have tried to start and stick to an active living routine, you will know that the arrival of this feeling makes it even harder to get back into your running shoes. The only thing that got me out was the thought of the beach with THIS sunset. Seriously, it was incredible. And thank goodness for that sunset because otherwise, it would have been an “ice cream and whine” Wednesday. When I started running, slowly but surely the weight that those feelings brought to my days weren’t as heavy and at the end (middle, actually) of my run the entire sky turned red and pink on fire. And this left me with the very real feeling of “man, I love running.” Now, I’ve only been running consistently for about a month, and although I haven’t noticed a ton of external physical changes the internal changes, the changes I have been feeling (aka the “I love running” feelings) are so. much. more. significant.

I know I am not the first one to say it because I have heard it over and over again. Exercise is essential to one’s health, both mental and physical, but it hasn’t been until I have experienced it myself that it clicked. SO, if you’re wondering if it works… it does, but the best way to find out is to try it for yourself.

Ps. A view to run to helps too… lucky to have this sunset (or something like it) as my running backdrop on a daily!

Fit Bit Fantasy

Open Inquiry, Uncategorized

I have never wanted a fit bit… I don’t wear a watch and I didn’t ever think I would feel the need to track every step that I took. I was wrong. Another run done this weekend but for the first time in a long time, I took my phone with me. Since this project is supposed to be about integrating technology into something I am passionate about, my phone is really my only hope as it is the only technology I have to track my location/steps/run time/distance and/or connect any physical activity I do to the apps that I have started testing out. The problem: I hate taking my phone with me while I run. It gets in the way, I want to be free! Now, I can’t say that I have tried every solution because I haven’t. I could try an armband, or getting those leggings with the side pocket, but I have a feeling I will still feel the extra weight of it regardless of where it is stored.

After a couple of years with a few people I know getting and wearing fit bits, and me being not the least bit interested … here I am. Researching fitbits and other tech watches/wrist gadgets that can do the unthinkable. I WANT ONE. I will let you know how the search for the perfect run companion goes…

off I go!

An Uphill Battle…

Open Inquiry, Uncategorized

On Thursday I hadn’t yet run at all this week, which in any other ‘I will start running and be amazing’ episode of my life would be the sad beginning of this run phase fizzle. BUT this time my goal started out a little differently than usual; this time my goal wasn’t just to run, but to fill in any running gaps within my week with something else that I enjoy. By doing this I am finding it easier to avoid that all very encompassing headspace of shame and guilt when a run is missed due to forgetfulness, busyness, or when the couch has held me captive (aka laziness). So this week hasn’t fit as perfectly into my run schedule expectations but has been just as satisfying and the ShameGuilt hasn’t hit yet *crowd cheers*

If any of you are looking for a way to get and stay (keyword in my case) active I highly suggest this “Do What You Can When You Can” method that I am holding myself to. Ultimately, as long as you do something – which can be absolutely anything – you will succeed.

So far this week: Sunday was a run day, Monday was a kettlebell ball, Tuesday was a write-off (Bachelor Mondays turned Bachelor Tuesdays and an entire evening in PJs with homework out/untouched *oops*), Wednesday was wonderfully filled with sunshine and a happy hike, Thursday was a Not Feeling Great Lets Run It Off, and Friday was pizza night which means the only activity I did that day was eating pizza. Even though I didnt run until Thursday this week (and then again today *woop woop*) I am finding it SO much easier to stay motivated this way; by giving myself more options I am much less focused on sticking to a strict schedule (and feeling sad when I inevitably fail) and am instead giving myself the flexibility to be active in other ways, which means I get to give myself so many more pats on the back. As Queen would say… I am the champion.

He said that, right?

Some photos from our hike! Taken at the top of one of my favourite hikes up Cobble Hill Mountain. Photo credit to Nicole Sandhu and furry friend credit to Tesla the doodle

Most Likely to Succeed

edtech, Uncategorized

In class last Thursday we watched a video called “Most Likely to Succeed.” A documentary about a highschool called High Tech High, wherein teaching is more than lesson plans and structure. I found the film to be extremely thought provoking and inspirational. Throughout the film, I found the importance that they were placing on teaching students life long skills above the required material needed to enter collage was enlightlening. At one point in the film they spoke about the students learning to make decisions, which made me think about my own high school experience. Although the highschool I attended allowed for more autonomy over student learning than your average highschool, it is only now that I am realizing how little I have learned about how to make decisions for myself.

Since high school I have always been advised on what courses to take, what university to go to, what to major in, what kind of job to aim for. Although it is great to have people in your life to help you, as an adult now I feel as though my younger years were more focused on waiting to be told what to do rather than finding out what I wanted to do, let alone feeling confident enough to do it. Because of this, this film made me realize how beneficial this kind of schooling is, where children learn how to live in the world rather than within the was of a school.

I do wonder though, how much these students lives were effected by this different kind of high school experience. I would be interested to hear how easily they felt they were able to adapt to Universtiy expectations and/or what changes they felt their schooling experience had made to their lives after highschool. Did these students find it easier to make decisions for themselves or did the majority of them still attend the University that their parents suggested, take the courses advisors suggested, and aim for a career that would provide the most financial security for their future?

Either way, I felt this movie was worth the watch and am grateful to our instructor for introducing us to High Tech High.

Road to happiness … or at least a start

Open Inquiry, Uncategorized

Since I could remember, I have ‘disliked’ running. While I haven’t disliked everything about fitness, it has never been something in my adult life that I could transform it from a chore to an enjoyable habit. Although I have always enjoyed an active lifestyle and the activities that go along with it (hiking, swimming, surfing, strength training, etc), it has never become a full part of my life. Until now… *cross fingers*

Over the last few weeks, I have been (surprisingly) consistent with staying on top of (almost) daily activity/exercise. This is surprising as I can’t count on my fingers how many times I have tried to start and keep this habit, and I am casually hoping *dear god please please please* that this record of it will help and not hinder (aka jinx the heck out of) my so-far-pretty-positive beginning.

Now, for as long as I can remember, my lack-there-of-desire for running has been very much friends with a very-much-always-around hum of anxious adrenaline. I have always known that this hum of energy within me just needed an escape, but couldn’t get myself to do anything about it, until Maria. Maria is an RMT that I have gone to once before and had a recent visit with her. She is small and kind and oh-so-good at her job amazing. While talking with me she asked if I kept up on cardio, as many of the problems I was experiencing seemed to be the result of stress and her biggest suggestion was to CARDIO. And so, I cardio. And so far it has stuck… so keep your fingers crossed with me and for me, as I am determined to ensure this journey goes for miles, brings smiles and hopefully doesn’t fall through the cracks.

Personal Learning Goals for Class Assignments

edtech, Uncategorized

Although I have grown up with technology, I feel as though I still have so much to learn. I haven’t spent much time or effort diving into areas of technology that I am not familiar with, as it has felt intimidating. Over the last few years I have wanted to start a blog of my own or learn how to create a website, but have always found it pretty difficult. I am looking forward to learning how to create my own website, learning to feeling more comfortable customizing it and I am excited to make it my own and creating something that I will be able to continue using in the future.

As for the first assignment, I am hoping to learn a lot more about health and exercise. I am hoping to incorporate the benefits of exercise on mental health. My goal for this project is to use technology to help me promote a healthy outlook on life and lifestyle in general. To do this I hope to look at all of the tools that are being used, such as different fitness apps, meditiation apps, and nutrition webpages and blogs.

When it comes to the technology inquiry project, my goal is to learn more about how using technology can connect students of all learning styles. As a soon-to-be teacher I wonder how to ensure all students are being given the tools they need to ensure their learning experience is as rich as their classmates. How can teachers use technology to help them meet the needs of each individual student and their unique learning style. I hope to find useful resources that will help me along the way and better understand the benefit of technology in the classroom and to students learning in general.