Magic of a Sunset

After seeing one post on Pinterest I had a spur of the moment decision to take pictures of the sunset, which seems easy but it definitely is not. The mechanical side of it is simple, for a silhouette picture I had to drop the triangle balance (which I discussed last week) to below the equal line of zero. The difficult part is staging the picture, including what level you are taking the picture at, and what is in the foreground or background.

This video outlines what a silhouette is and how to do it (particularly with a sunset)

When I first started taking these pictures I was struggling to get the picture to match what I was seeing in the view finder. I would change the shutter speed and it would either be too bright or too dark so I decide to take pictures at a variety of shutter speeds and look at them on the computer instead. The camera screen is too small and does not always show the resolution so it is easier once they are on the computer.

One thing that I did not think of when taking the pictures was how am I standing. I did not realize until I went back and looked at the pictures on my computer that my horizon line was in the middle of the pictures. Though this is not particularly appealing to the_MG_4422 eye, it is even worse is silhouettes because of the drastic contrast. For example, this picture has light, a subject and landscape but the horizon line makes half of the picture completely black.

The other area I was struggling with was having the silhouette of anything other than a tall standing tree. If you have any suggestions for objects for silhouettes I would be happy to read about them in the comments. I wanted to take the picture either with leaves or a bridge as the silhouette but they did not turn out as well.

 

I have gone out a few times after this but because of the rain there was not as much of a sunset.  Even though they sky was not as colourful, I was able to use the river to practice taking pictures of reflections, since I was planning on doing that as the theme for next week. It was so much fun because the water was so still. The only area that I struggled with was where to put the line between the water and land, I could either put it in the upper or lower third of the picture. I ended up going with both but I think I prefer the lower thirds being land and water rather than the upper third.

 

My goal for next time is to practice dropping my ISO and finding better lighting so my pictures do not become grainy.

My favorite pictures over all from this week were…

 

Balance of Technology

Technology will always be changing, and as teachers we will need to adapt to this change. Within middle school and high school almost every classroom had a ceiling projector within the classroom, but some teachers still chose the wheel chart projector. Teachers are preparing students for the future, then we need to question why are we using technology from the past. Within every education class you will be taught to adapt, and this is no different when it comes to technology, teachers must adapt. I was recently at the STF conference and the idea of online school was a large topic. How do we keep children in school rather than online, especially in high school? One way I believe will help with that problem is integrating more hands on technology in the classroom. It is fun to learn through online videos and games, many of which can be done at home, and it is even better when you get to create something practical with the technology in person, for example a robot.

To think how much YouTube has changed since Wesch’s video. There is no longer need to bookmark separate websites to show what is popular, YouTube does it all. The YouTube algorithm gives viewers videos that connected to their previously watched videos to give new suggestions.  As the increase of vloggers comes into YouTube, I would like to see what age group is must often represented in the videos and who is most often watching those videos. There are things, like YouTube kids, that try to control what kids are watching but these are not perfect. There is no way to control what your students watch on their free time but try to guide them into healthy choices. An important part of what we teach is to train students to be critical of what they are watching, so that they can discern what is real and what is simply entertainment.

As Wesch explains the internet is all connected, posting a video on one website can then be shared all over multiple different platforms. Students can find a video on YouTube and then do a deep dive in to that person’s social life through their videos, Instagram, Twitter and snapchat. It is later explained that YouTube has become a community, even YouTube now have names for their followers to make it feel more personal, for example Molly Burke calls her followers the killer bees. Though this is great and you are able to meet people who have similar interests as you, it is still a connection made through a screen. Making a community within your classroom, where students are able to make connections with one and other and with their teacher creates that critical human contact.

Students are becoming more private from parents but have much more information shared with the public. Within the class lecture, Katia explained that children are no longer using the phone or internet with their parent’s supervision. Everything that once was watched by parents including phone calls and computer usage can be shared with others such as screen recording personal phone calls.

Though it is hard, there needs to be a healthy balance between using technology and working with others.

Exposure Triangle and Focus

This week I based my learning around a few different Skill Share Classes. I also watchedIMG_8306 some YouTube videos for more information.I am mainly focussing on the Exposure Triangle: ISO, shutter speed and F-stop. The triangle is affected by the amount of light present and the speed in which the picture is taken. When one of these are adjusted, it affects the other two settings.

 

To practice this, I took pictures of a three blade moving fan. The fan is able to show movement which is affected by the f-stop. Within the first picture the third fan blades come together, it as shot with a f/25 and a shutter speed of 1/25. The other picture, were all three blades are separate, has a f/4.5and shutter speed of 1/1000.

The next topic was subject, what the photo is centred around. A good rule of thumb is toScreen Shot 2019-05-20 at 3.47.16 PM have a the subject 1/3 into the picture to have both foreground and background.

Within this time, I realized that I still struggle with understanding which specific part of the picture is in focus, especially when taking it. For example, I was taking a picture of a tree beginning to bloom. In one picture the flowers are in focus but the other it is clear that the flowers are blurry. This was just a simple change of orientation of the camera, which changed the whole focus of the picture. (within the second picture the black lines are pointing to the areas that are in focus, while the blue is what was supposed to be in focus.)

I took all of this information and I decide to take a few candid pictures of my dog.

Twitter in the Classroom

Back when Twitter first came out I never used it, as none of my friends did, and soon after it was no longer considered popular so I never thought of using it. I first joined Twitter for another education class but I did not understand it so I deleted the app. From what I have understood Twitter is used mainly for politics rather than a social media site but once you get past that it is a simple way to find others with common interests. I think that it is a great resource for sharing information but it is similar to any other message board. As of right now I am only following the people within my class and a few other well-known Twitter teachers, which makes my feed primarily education based but I am sure I would have a different point of view with other followers.

Coming from a generation were phones and social media were not used within the school, it is weird to think of using it with my future students. For students in either middle years or high school, Twitter could be used for current events especially, so students can find events that they are interested in. Twitter could be used as an online version of pen pals, where teachers pair up classroom and choose a hashtag in which the students share conversations. The article 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom by Samantha Miller is packed full with different reasons to use Twitter in the classroom. One idea she had was using Twitter to have conversations with industry professionals to find out the truth about career options. The other suggestion, acting like a character from a book, is similar to an assignment I have participated in the past within elementary and high school but with the social media twist. A student chooses a character from the book that they have read and they act like them online, which demonstrates how much the student understands about the character and helps bring them to life.

This week I participated in my first #SaskEdChat. I wish I would be able to go back through the chats from previous weeks to see the other topics that they discuss, but that will wait for a time when I am not taking a class. It was interesting to see who were in attendance and the topics that were talked about. Though I found our session beneficial and welcoming, I struggled with the wording of the questions because most were based for standard classroom teachers not pre service teachers. Being that the hashtag references “Ed” not just “teachers” I would think the class would be more inclusive to education aids and other resource workers. Over all it seems like a great resource and it helps show how different schools are all over the province.

Quick Update

I found this hack on Pinterest this morning and I was so excited to try it out. It is really easy to do, all that is needed is a computer and an object to be the subject. I used a standard picture of lights off line and made it full screen, then placed my object in front of it. After fussing with the lighting and finding out how to hide my key board, I am proud of the results. I would love to try this again with different lighting to see how the reflection on the bottle would change.

Modern Newsletter

I started to fill my Feedly content by following a variety of sources linked to #edtech, including TED Ed and Free Technology for Teachers. I widen my search by only searching education, in which I found a variation of blogs and news articles for diverse views. When looking at the sources I was following, many were based in the US, so I strengthened my search to focus on Canadian education.Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 5.33.27 PM

The first source that I have chosen to follow, in reference to education in general, is the Canadian Education Association (CEA). I choose to follow this magazine specifically because of its focus on Canadian education. Many of the articles I found were based in the United States, which is helpful, but there are different rules and regulations within the USA so I prefer to read Canadian content. A down side to this site is that the posts are roughly once a month unlike many others that post a few within one week. Within this source the article that caught my eye was “Stop Asking Them to Turn Off Their Devices!” The point of the article was to allow students to use their devices in a safe and responsible manner. I found this to be very relevant to this EDTC class.  Though there are not many articles, the website link is pack with many more resources.

My second source is Educational Technology, a website full of teaching and learning resources, especially apps.Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 1.22.09 PM

Recently the music program at my elementary school was cut meaning student from kindergarten to grade 3 do not have a traditional music teacher. The article “Another Important Guide for Music Teachers and Students” 
got me thinking that maybe the homeroom teachers could use iPads or smart board apps to teach music within their own classroom. This resource publishes roughly 14 artilces a week ranging from science to music to video making. The other article I found was “3 Handy Apple Guides to Help Teachers Integrate Coding in Teaching“. Ever since I supervised a coding program for children at the public library, I have been terrified that one day I will be asked to teach my students how to code. Though this article only gives a few tips about learning and teaching code, I am sure there will be more to come.

 

About Me

Hi, my name is Sarah Wright. I am in my third year of the education program at the University of Regina.  I am originally from Estevan, Saskatchewan, a small city at in southeast corner of the province.

Over the past 5 years I have worked at my local library, which is a place that encourages everyone in the community to become digital. Through technology we are able to give our patrons more access to books and media, including a service called Hoopla that allows users to have access to books and movies on their tablets. Technology can open many doors for people, especially in education where both the student and teacher can benefit.

Through my time at the University of Regina, I have been asked to blog within most of my education classes. It allows students to connect with each other, their instructors and other people within their professions. I will be using the blog primarily to reflect on the content I am learning within my classes. There are many teachers within Canada that have amazing blogs to connect teachers to others and give helpful tips to be the best educator you can be. Blogs are not the only network that teachers use, as there are many teachers on Instagram and twitter that can help brighten a teacher’s day with their positivity and stories. One of my personal favorites is Joe Dombrowski, or most commonly known as mrdtimes3 online. I look forward to learning more about blogging and its use in the classroom.Close up on the Woman's Hands Working on the Laptop

Photo Credit: wuestenigel Flickr via Compfight cc

The Beginning of My Photography Journey!

For my learning project I will be learning about photography, focusing on taking a strong picture and not having to edit it afterwards. I took a photography class in grade 10, where I learned the basics of how to take pictures in the manual setting and basic editing techniques, but my knowledge stopped there. I have forgot much of the information, especially within the setting and lighting sections so I would like to learn this again and expand my knowledge. This weekend it was raining on and off so the lighting was not ideal, so this is when I found an article title “How to Take Great Pictures in Bad Lighting”.   I then went back to my teacher’s class website, that has small explanations and exemplars of our assignments. Along with a few other websites I was able to understand the terminology again and how to change the setting in the camera.

I have created two Pinterest boards, one for the technical side photography and the other as an inspiration board of different pictures I would like to recreate.  These boards will be my starting point each week and then I will be able to use the suggestion area to solicit more information.

My goal is to learn more about shooting pictures at night, taking portraits and taking wide focus pictures. When looking at the pictures I took without any theme in mind, I was drawn to still motion close ups rather than a wide variety of pictures.  My end goal is to practice my photography skills so I can take pictures for my sister’s high school graduation.

These are just a few of the pictures I took this weekend.