Blog Post #8: Self Directed Reflection

This definitely had to be the most enjoyable project I’ve completed throughout the whole semester, let alone the whole year! The lack of instruction and abundance of creativity and self-exploration was engaging which constantly made me want to complete this project. I have always been interested in video editing software and the countless numbers of customization features given. Thus, I decided to learn how to operate Premiere Pro, an editing software by Adobe.

My experience learning how to use Premiere Pro was more frustrating than anything. When it comes to creative projects like these, I try to create them to the best of my ability, because I can really show what my strengths are, unlike in usual mainstream subjects. I never though video editing would have been as stressful as it was.

I received most of my editing ideas from cinematic YouTubers who edit videos for a living… little did I know my video was not going to come out as I planned. When I first was importing my clips from the computer, I was searching up YouTube videos on how to make basic cuts on clips and adjust speeds. I wanted to cut the clips to the beat of the track that I chose to use which made my eyes almost bounce out of my head. I had to replay the beat over and over to make sure that I made the cut right where the beat dropped. I did that for about 8 beat drops which in the end I am glad I did. When the sound track is cut to the clips, the viewer will be more engaged and likely to finish watching the whole scene.

Another feature I used was the speed adjustment feature. This feature was not to complicated but again, I was editing to the music which is what made it difficult. I listened carefully to the emotion of the audio track to see whether I should speed up/ slow down or simple leave it the way it was.

Transitions were quite difficult that is why there is only 1 in the video. Unlike the simplistic format of iMovie, editing software Premiere Pro’s transitions are very difficult to find and hard to place into the stream of clips. The transition feature also allowed you to adjust the speed of the transition, which I then I had to re-watch the clip many times to see what speed fit seamlessly in.

For my first time using Premiere Pro, the video turned out excellent and without error. It’s funny how the video I created is barley a minute, yet it took me almost 3 hours to learn the features of the software and 2 hours to edit and upload the video to YouTube. I realized that the more customization features involved in a software, the more hurdles they will provide while editing. As well, when I felt frustrated because the clip was not moving where I wanted it to move, I to take a step back and realize it’s only a minute video and in the end, everything will work out.

The link below contains my video, Enjoy!

Video edited using Premiere Pro


Blog Post #7: Technology in Education

John Green, a well-known author was speaking about and giving his insight on technology in education. John Green mentioned that when he quit his job to become an author, he noticed that the learning he was experiencing was different than the learning in the classroom. He was not surrounded people that were learning with him. John Green believes that technology in education, specifically YouTube and other platforms, can really aid in the advancement of effective learning in students. These special platforms are for everyone, not only students to engage in a topic which they want to learn or need reinforcement in. Most of these platforms have a ‘teacher’ figure – the creator, as well as classmate ‘figures’- the people in the comments.

I chose this talk as opposed to the rest because John Green is one of my favorite authors. I enjoy his well-written novels, Paper Towns and the Fault in our Stars. Another reason as to why I chose this talk was its topic – technology in education. I was curious about what he had to say on this topic because he is a very creative and educated person.

I agreed with a majority of John Green’s Ted Talk because I am an advocate for a larger presence of technology in our education system. One of his main points was how many media platforms offer help in education, such as Reddit and YouTube. He mentioned how the best learning for most students takes place in an environment surrounded by like-minded individuals. For example, if a student is studying vectors in calculus, he will excel more in that class if he is working with others and learning with others who are doing the same. YouTube is a platform that allows for the creator to make videos to teach a certain topic along with a comment section which allows for the learners to ask questions or simply state what they think about the video and the content of it. I personally turn to YouTube as a quick and accessible way to perhaps clarify a concept learned in class especially in chemistry and math. I definitely agree with John Green on the fact that learning with like-minded people makes the learning experience more effective.

It’s not that I disagreed, but more so disliked the fact that he was somewhat biased on the topic of YouTube being the best platform for learning has he does operate his own successful channel called Crash Course. YouTube, followed by many other media platforms come with their faults, especially YouTube, when it comes to learning and academics.

The questions I have after this talk are what if the sources that you are learning information from are incorrect or illegitimate? That could lead to a bunch of confusion for a student who came online to find help with his/her studies. Another question I have is why he joined YouTube after being a successful author?

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend because his topic is something that we can all relate to – technology in education. We are the generation of innovation and so, what better than to mix that with education? By watching this Ted Talk, they would find John Green’s insight on technology in education and how helpful learning with like-minded people is. He also makes relatable comments about how going to school is just a bunch of hurdles that are never-ending and always seem impossible to jump over, but in the end you will be able to if you try your hardest.

Blog Post #5: Mobile Phones have Made a Positive Impact on the World

Some may argue that mobile phones have made a negative impact on society but I decide to argue otherwise. Modern day cell phones do something that baby boomers never thought would happen… connect the world with absolutely no wires, in a device that could fit in our pockets. How awesome is that!?

Cellphones allow for innovation to take place in the palm of our hands. It has created a culture among generation X which is quite amazing. 95% of teens carry a cellphone on them which makes them feel connected and part of something which is what every human being wants. Cell phones also allow for people to be connected 24/7 which is beneficial in some cases. Firstly, students won’t have to go over to a classmates house to work on a project when you can have google docs on your phone. Google Docs allows for multiple people to edit a document all at once which is very convenient. Secondly: it provides a creative and fun way to teach students. Khan Academy is an online math tutor/ review site. Khan academy provides fun and interactive ways to learn boring math which engages students. Also, just the fact that you can learn math on a mobile device may be more intriguing to other students.

Mobile phones also give site to developing countries. Many residents in developing countries own cellphones even though their home may not be so luxurious. On their cellphones, some may have Free Basics which gives users access to a small fraction of the internet for absolutely no price . Part of the Free Basics package is Facebook Basics, which allow people who want to keep in touch with what is around them to do just so. Free basics keeps citizens in developing countries educated on current affairs going on around the world and close to home all online. Readers must be diligent about what news they are reading and verifying weather it is legitimate or not.

Mobile phones also allow for multitasking which can help people save time especially on the go. According to a study by Harris Interactive, the convenience of smartphone apps saves people an average of 22 days per year. That’s right, checking your email, texting your friends, and checking the weather all in one place means you have almost an extra month’s worth of free time. But, remeber that “saving time” doesn’t necessarily mean “being more productive,” however, since you probably just use those extra 22 days to binge watch Netflix.

GPS is a device that many people rely on to travel from point A all the way to point B. GPS units are costly and obtrusive. Luckily for our generation, applications exist as Waze, Google Maps and Apple maps all at the touch of our mobile devices. All smart phones have location services which pinpoint your exact location depending on the individuals privacy settings. This is very handy when vising a new city or simply in your own city when traveling somewhere new. Unlike traditional GPS units, Waze and Google maps offer the fastest and most direct route while taking into consideration traffic wait times, accidents and construction. These application make traveling with your smart phone very convenient.

Smartphones have revolutionized our global markets, education systems, navigation units and many more. Without smartphones, we would be disconnected from the revolving world around us and I don’t know who could imagine living a life like that.


Blog Post #4: Placement Wrap Up

I really did enjoy this experience of working for someone and executing their ideas. I really enjoyed how we were left to work all on our own with very little direction from our teacher. It allowed us to explore many skills which us, students can’t put to use daily because of all the instruction we ARE given. Now, because of the little instruction, my partner and I were more proud of our end website because we had completed it all by ourselves, with communication from our placement teacher.

Our first placement with Mrs. Levy went fairly smooth. She allowed us to communicate with her during her 3rd period class when we had IDC ICT. She was not very particular when it came to specifics to  her website which allowed Mary Anne and I to get our creative juices flowing and really step out of the box to impress her. The website turned out amazing. The only difficulty with this placement was towards the end of the placement during parent teacher interviews when meeting with Mrs. Levy became difficult due to her busy schedule which conflicted with ours. At the end of the day, the website turned out fabulous and Mrs. Levy was excited to us it with her students.

Our second placement with Ms. Indirian ended up falling through because she had already sent the poster to a printing company. This was not a success.

Our last placement went quite smooth as well. Communication between Mrs. Batras was direct because my partner Mary Anne was in her 3rd period Biology where Mary Anne could follow up with our progress on the wesbite as well as specifics, then she would relay all the information back to in class regarding changes or anything else Mrs. Btras wanted to add. The only difficulties that we faced was that Mrs. Batras was using a website that had been coded as a reference to how she wanted her website to look. This was hard because Mary Anne and I both do not know how to code, therefore causing us to use Google sites, which has preset themes, and customizing options are VERY limited. But with all that said we made it work, and created a home site as well as 3 other course sites that she will be able to use with her students to display power points and all else she would like.

Yes, I do think that the project has value for IDC students because of the level of independence that comes along with the project. As I stated earlier, projects assigned in school have strict guidelines which do not promote creativity. Creativity and designing your own blue print works on many skills that grade 12 students should have, especially when moving on post secondary schooling. Making a schedule and working within it is also very important. This involves precise planning and can not be done without thorough communication between the teachers and the students. This experience gave us a taste of how it is in the world outside of school, not always being spoon fed instructions, and help not always being available. It also touched on improving our problem solving techniques. For instance, In the making of Mrs. Batras’s website, she wanted a slide show of comments from rate my teacher. At first Mary Anne and I had no idea on how to insert a slide show on Google Slides but with some trouble shooting and fittleing with the website, we finally figured it out. This taught us, that with persistence and determination anything is possible.

This IDC placement is also very useful to teachers. It will give the teachers to explore a new piece of technology that could enhance the quality of learning for the students. There are some pieces of technology at school like the probes which the teachers do not know how to use which means that they are not being used. It also allows teachers to take on new projects like creating a new website which the could not do own their own due to lack of time or the lack of technology knowledge.

I honesty really enjoyed the freedom of this project and having to work on our own with little instruction, thus I would not change anything.

Blog Post #3: Procrastination Check Up


This whole experience was quite surprising for me to be honest. Going into this I had fixed mindset,”Pfttt and agenda is NOT going to help with my horrible time management skills”. But surprisingly it did. In every class, after the teacher wrote down the home work, Id take out my agenda and start writing away. All the home work I had to do after school was now organized. My agenda provided me with essentially a blue plan of what I had to complete after school. One thing that I noticed that really helped was since the people I sat around with used their agenda , it reminded me that I had to utilize mine. The only down side was that sometimes Id chat with my friends at the end of class and forget to write down everything I had to do.

Using my agenda has definitely improved my learning. When I got home I knew everything I needed to complete. No more scatter brain Sarah! Id rank the tasks from most important to least important depending on when it was due, and its difficulty level. Sometimes I’d even plan according to the time. For example, Id do my biology homework from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm then a 15 min break, then IDC from 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm. Since I knew that I had another task to do after after the first completed, for some reason i never got off track. As well after I had completed a task, id tic it off in my agenda which provided me with such satisfaction. That feeling of satisfaction was addictive which lead me to completing all my work all time. Due to this feeling of satisfaction that I am receiving I continue to use my agenda.



Blog Post #2: Procrastination

Procrastination is like that awkward conversation at the Christmas dinner table about school, boys and life after high-school. Its something that you try and avoid but always somehow nips you in the butt. I’m that procrastinator that actually procrastinates unlike Julia who claims that she is a professional procrastinator, even though right when she gets home she finishes all of her homework before dinner. Now… lets not get to carried away, this is about me and my stalling tactics.

I’m going to explain a typical day in my life during after school hours. As I’m walking home from a long tiring day at school, during which I practically dyed because it was 40 degrees Celsius, Im thinking about all the snacks Im about to eat to replenish my body for all the homework i have to do later on because as they say “Healthy body, healthy mind”, Right? Right. i make my way into the pantry and grab some cookies and a bag of chips, plop my self on the couch to watch some YouTube videos. by this time its probably around 4:00pm. I set a time limit for myself and that at 5:00 I will complete my homework until dinner then continue after dinner is done. Then 5:02 pm roles around and whoops, looks like I wont be doing any work until after dinner because pfttt who can finish their math in 58 min, that is not enough time, we both know I needed an hour. after dinner my mom usually goes for walks which means I go with her, so then I push my homework till I get back. Then when i get back its late and I have to shower, then bed time roles around and homework gets pushed to the next day. Oh well, that what I tell myself. I really wish I could just go home not have any distractions. That would make my life soooo much easier but no, life doesn’t want to be nice to me.

I need to start putting a way my phone right when I get home so that it will be out of sight out of mind. Another bad habit of  mine is that if I do not understand the task at hand I give up and think that I am too stupid to accomplish it. Instead of putting myself down, I should just give it a chance and really put my focus towards trying to solve it.

One of my most haunting problems is time management. I will get home and start my home work at a time when my parents usually go to bed as i said in my opening paragraph. I am going to try and use my agenda and write down all the assignment that I have due. For example if its Monday and I have a project due on Friday, I will complete a small section of it everyday so that when Thursday nigh comes around im not drowning in work and stress. Lets see how this works out!