Final ASL Project

Hey guys!

I have finally finished my learning ‘Hello” by Adele for my final representation of my Learning Project. I’ve had so much fun learning ASL this past semester, and I can honestly say I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. I may not be fluent in the language now, but I’ve learned many phrases and I think I could have a basic, starting conversation with someone! I do plan to continue with my learning, as like I mentioned in my first post, I think it is an incredibly important skill to have. Especially if I am going to be in the Education field, because you never know what students might come into your classroom!

I began with learning the Alphabet, and a the time it was a struggle but just this weekend I was teaching my cousin and I remember every letter and was even able to help her! That felt good. Then I learned the Numbers 1-10, which was actually more difficult than I expected. But I was still able to learn them! It was easy once I practiced a few times. After that I felt kind of free to learn, and I looked at many different videos. Some showed basic phrases, questions and answers, some showed common words like mother, father, family, school, etc., and then I started working on my final project. In the middle to show some of my project, I created a little video of me signing my name, where I’m from, and what I’m doing.

Now to sum it all up, my video of me signing ‘Hello’!! It’s a little slow, I wish I could’ve done it to the music, but it was just too fast and I kept messing up. Even going slow I messed up a bit in the middle, but instead of restarting I just ended my video, started a new one from the same spot, and put them together using YouTube Editor! Hope you’ve all enjoyed following my learning!

 

Summary of Learning

ECMP 455 is over for the semester, and I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot. From participating in an #edchat on Twitter, which showed me that I should get out there and voice my opinions and got me more comfortable being online, to looking at just how voicing certain opinions can affect a career and how/what to do to be careful, professional online users, I look forward to starting my teaching career with all of this new knowledge. I learned not only how to behave and properly use technology, every week we were introduced to so many new, fun, and creative tools to use in a classroom. I know I probably won’t remember them all exactly when it comes time for me to have my own classroom, and there might be many more out there by then, but I think that I now have great ideas and starters to get myself and my students using technology in the classroom! That being said, here is  mine and Alex Taylor’s Summary of Learning 🙂

We made it using PowToon, which was an awesome tool. It was super easy to upload our own pictures, do voice overs on the slides, and use cool graphics to make the video a little more visually appealing. Unfortunately, with the free trial version we were only allowed to make videos that were 5 minutes or less. We didn’t realize that at the time, and we had more than 5 minutes worth of information to share, we had to create two videos and put them together using YouTube Editor. (another great tool we learned about in this class). Hope you all enjoy, and I would recommend using PowToon for any future creations!

Online Opinions

In response to last weeks class, I know I’m a little late, but I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on online discourse.

I do think that constructive online discourse is possible. I think this because in the world we live in today, almost everything is possible online. However, I do think that there is many, many factors that limit the constructiveness of the discussions. One might think that being in an online community would be better, because people have to really think about their thoughts and write them down before anyone can read it, so it would be more likely that in that time they are able to maybe cool down or think more rationally about what they are saying. In a face-to-face disagreement or heated discussion, I think a big problem is that people say things that they might later regret, because they didn’t take the time to think about what they were saying, and how it might be taken by other people.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen in online discussions. I think there is a lot of negativity surrounding them because of the anonymity people are allowed online. When people are forced to own up to their opinions (good or bad) I think they spend a lot more time focusing on what they are saying, but when they are able to post things and voice their opinions without anyone knowing who they are, that’s when things can get very uncivil, and therefore nonconstructive.

I think that it is possible to change someone’s minds in an online discussion, just the same as it is possible to change someone’s mind in a face-to-face conversation. Online discussions can be just as persuasive than personal interaction, as long as the people are remembering that while in an online space might be easier for them to separate themselves from their words, to truly share your opinions you just have to think about what you are saying. I think as a society we have a lot to still learn about how to properly communicate in an online community, but I definitely think it is possible!

Hellooo

Hey all!

Another update on my learning project 🙂 I’m currently learning the song ‘Hello‘ by Adele, and it is going quite well. I have the first verse, the chorus, and some of the second verse learned! I am particularly enjoying this learning project because I find it easy to practice the words I’ve learned while I’m doing many other things- like cooking, walking around my house, as a break from my math studying. My friends probably think I’m pretty strange as I’m always waving my hands around my head doing signs.

I have just been using the same video for learning the song, which has some advantages and disadvantages. It is unfortunate because I only get to see one person’s interpretation of the lyrics, but I tried looking up other videos and they are just too different from the version I’ve been learning and I didn’t want to get confused! So while watching only one video is good because I don’t get confused, but I think it would be really interesting to get different interpretations. For example, in the video I am learning where the song lyrics say “..but I ain’t done much healing” it is changed in my video to “..but I don’t feel healed” and in other videos it might be translated a little differently.

I think this is the most interesting part of learning the song is seeing how the lyrics are changed to make signing easier, and how even though they’re changed they still mean the same thing. I’m looking forward to getting the song down pat and sharing it with you guys!

Slow and Steady Progress

I’ve been a little distant with my blogging on my learning project. 😦 I have still been keeping up with it, just slacking in the blogging about it part. So far I have learned the ABC’s, numbers, common phrases, and some other commonly used words (like what, if, after, etc.) I think I have learned quite a lot through the various videos I have watched, but at times it becomes over whelming. I’ve never learned another language and now I know why, it’s hard! I can watch videos over and over again and nail the movements with them as they do it, but as soon as I get to trying it on my own I confuse all the hand movements together and end up having to re-watch the video anyways.

I know I promised a video a long time ago, and I did make one for you all! It’s an old video now, I can sign a little more complex things now. Emphasis on a little.. it’s a slow journey! P.S. don’t mind all of the birthday decorations in the background 🙂 Here’s the link so you can check me out- https://youtu.be/5L5woU2rhrc

I’ve started working on my final end project now… a song! I’m thinking of doing “Hello” by Adele. I was very surprised at how many different songs are already on Youtube translated to ASL, there are tons of them! I actually think this is more effective than trying to learn random words, because I think of it more as a sequence of movements rather than separate gestures. I’m really excited to keep working on it, and hopefully be able to memorize the whole song.

Tweet Tweet

My thoughts on twitter are always changing. In my first year, first semester, I was in a class called ECMP 355. Not sure if any of you have heard of it or not. My professors encouraged us all to join twitter as a professional and an educator, rather than using it for funny memes. At first I thought to myself, “I love memes. I don’t want to give that up..” but soon after I turned my account into a young, professional educators account.

In the very beginning, I was almost scared of this new twitter style. I started off my following as many different education accounts, other teachers, professors, the university, everything and everyone that I could think of. Since I was really unsure and new to the whole idea of technology in education, I mostly just used twitter to see what everyone else was up too, read interesting articles, and get inspirational ideas to use in my future lessons/classrooms. I was a little hesitant to actually share my thoughts with the world, so I did a lot of retweeting and not a lot of tweeting my own opinions or experiences. Over time I have began to open up to the world, and share a little more on twitter. I still use it mostly for getting ideas and resources, but I follow more classmates now so it’s more friendly interaction.

Some of the benefits of using twitter in Education I think are that it’s very easy to connect- so by using one hashtag you can see all the students/teachers that are sharing their thoughts on that topic. As well, it’s quick and easy to send out and read tweets because of the 140 character limit. This makes it more appealing for students to summarize their thoughts or read a quick informational tweet, rather than writing or reading a large paragraph or essay.

One of the obvious challenges of using twitter is the potential lack of internet access. If you plan to use it as a way to keep in touch with your students out of school time, there might be some students that have no way to be on twitter at home (or students who just forget to check), so some of your messages would go unseen.

Numbers and Questions

I’ve moved on to much harder signs now– the numbers 1-10. If you are anything like me, you might be thinking, doesn’t everyone count with their fingers? Wouldn’t it be the same in ASL? That’s what I thought. But in the beginning of the video it states that you only use one hand when signing most things. So then I realized I had a lot to learn.

Turns out it is still not all that different, just a rotation of the hand and holding up different fingers. I would say overall I mastered the numbers 1-10 fairly easily. I enjoyed the video because it was easy to follow and the little girl was cute. My favourite number to learn was 10, because it is just a thumbs-up with a little wiggle.

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The second video I watched was called “25 Basic ASL Signs for Beginners.” I thought this sounded like an appropriate video for me to watch given my skill level. The video was good because it went through each movement about 3 times, and one time it plays through in slow motion. The only downfall was that it had no sound, and while you don’t actually need sound because it is sign language, I still enjoy videos that have audio aids to help guide me along in my learning. I also enjoyed this video because it didn’t just go over a bunch of different signs in a random order, but had it split up into category type styles.

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I like this because not only does it show the most basic signs, like “yes,” but it shows them in a practical and real-life situation. It does this throughout the video, showing you what to do if someone you are talking to is signing too fast for you, or how to introduce yourself, and many other things that are useful for everyday signing.

I must keep practicing before I can upload a video of me signing, but that is my plan for next week. Hope everyone else is having as much fun with their projects as I am with mine! See you all soon 🙂

ASL Basics: ABC’S

I have to admit, I am a little behind in my learning project. The good thing is, from watching the show that inspired me to learn ASL I have picked up a few things, so I already feel like I have begun. But, I have now started for real. I thought the best way to begin was to learn the alphabet, because although most words in Sign Language have their own movements, if there ever is something you don’t know you can always spell it out. That’s why I consider the alphabet to be the first thing I need to master. I began by watching a short video of a man doing the alphabet, found here. I enjoyed the video because it shows different angles of his hand for us to make sure we have our positioned correctly. I found the downfall of the video to be that it was silent, and didn’t say the letter that he was performing. I think it would have been more beneficial for him to either say the letter, or have a visual aid along with the movement.

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Since I am still learning, I decided to try another video. This time I went with something made for kids, because why not? I hope this one has lots of visuals and makes learning a little more fun, and “ASL ABC Lesson and Song” has an enticing ring to it. This one was much better. It was a little girl teaching an adult woman how to do the alphabet, which pretty much automatically made it better than the last because kids are just adorable. And I was correct, this one did include visuals of the letters while we were learning.

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Another excellent feature of this video is that since it was in the structure of a lesson, the girl was able to explain exactly how to put your hands to correctly sign the letter. Also, they gave helpful tips to remember how to do each letter. Tips like “to differentiate between D and F, remember in D the first finger goes up, because D comes before F,” and “N has just two fingers over the thumb, because an handwritten n has two bumps.” (as in the picture below)

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Now i have gone over the alphabet many times, and I will try to keep practicing until I have it completely memorized. Right now, I can only remember letters a-k. So I must keep working on it! Next time, I plan to learn the numbers. And if that is easy, as I think it might be, I will learn basic words that relate to a person. Things like family, sister, brother, mom, dad, etc. Stay tuned!

Math 101 Tale

For my content creation tool I chose Little Bird Tales. I chose it because I remembered it from ECMP 355, and I wanted to look into it a little bit more. I like it because it just like an online art pad, so you as teachers have complete creative control over the flow and design of your lesson. Here I have started a lesson, “Math 101.”

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You can see it gives you the options to free draw with almost any colour you may want, use text, make lines or squares, fill in shapes, and has an eraser that can erase it all. You can also upload your own pictures, and save your image onto your computer.

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Here I have started to work on the first page of my tale. “Lesson #1: Addition.” You can also add video to any page in the tale. When first playing around with this, I accidentally recorded myself saying “hello, hello, hello” over and over again, and that was not something I wanted to be associated with my Addition Lesson The good thing is though, Little Bird Tales has a very handy “How Do I..” drop down menu, that lists almost any problem you might encounter while using the tool. I like this feature a lot, and I find that most websites and tools don’t have problem solving tips so easily accessible for users. I was able to look up my problem and delete the recording right away!

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Overall, I this this tool is very interesting because of the freedom it gives to teachers, but it is a lot of work to go through and create pages and upload/draw all of the content, add audio, and share as a class. I think it would be good to do for simple lessons, or content that you want them to be able to go through and access any time. As a teacher I might use this for review material, to break down units and go through to summarize what we’ve learned.