Welcome to my final update on my photography journey this semester. However, my newfound hobby will not be ending here. I am going to continue to post to my photography Instagram account, so feel free to give me a follow if you would like to see more!
This learning project really challenged me in ways I was not expecting. I started out with the broad idea of taking landscape photos, to realizing I really only like sunset photos. This then proved to be very difficult to do, because sunset happens at a very specific time and happens quite quickly. I finally managed to talk my husband into videoing my ‘process’ (click the video below to get a snapshot).
Here is how it went for me most nights:
FIRST I would sit on my couch in the evening, watching the sky from my window, checking the sunset time on my phone
IF I saw the sky turning nice colors I would run to grab my gear, jump in my car, and drive as fast as legally possible to Douglas park hill
THEN I would run up the hill (if the gates were locked, which was every time except for when we shot this video *luckily*), swatting a million mosquitoes
AFTER finding the perfect spot I would begin to get my Manual setting set up just right to capture the photo (these settings were changed constantly as the light shifted throughout the sunset)
FINALLY, after taking at least 30 photos, and the sun had set, I would drive home, sift through them all, and choose my favorites
Needless to say, my husband HATED this part of my learning project. But now that I am in the habit of chasing the sunset, I hate to miss one. It really is one of the most beautiful, unexpected, parts of the day. Each night brings new colors, new obstacles, and new beams of light. Here is one of my favorite shots from my latest sunset chase.
– Girl & Camera – Online content to consume – Online space to create – Share a photo to Creative Commons *slightly terrified to do this but also excited!* – Take some in-person photography classes
Learning Online: Pros/Cons
– Resources at my fingertips – Influences from around the world – Space to share and create with a wider audience – Endless information for whatever you need – Free
– Isolating – Endless scrolling – Tough to ‘weed’ out the good from the bad resources – Increased personal screen-time
Overall, I found learning online to be very ‘user-friendly’. However, I sometimes struggled to get personalized information. I would be outside, taking photos, and realize that I needed an opinion on how to emphasize certain angles or light features. But I had no one to ask. So I would look it up on my phone or trial and error it. But it was hard to find specific-in-the-moment answers. I think to continue my journey I would love to take an in-person photography class to balance out my learning experience. I see the benefits of learning a new skill online, but I also think I learn best through a combination of online and in-person. I have learned so much in these last 7 weeks through online resources and I am so grateful that this project re-inspired me to try photography again. I can honestly say that this is a skill I will continue to build upon and learn about both online and hopefully in person!
In conclusion, if you would like to learn more about the specific digital tools I used along my journey, feel free to scroll through my other posts. And don’t forget to give me a follow if you would like to continue with me on my photography journey!
I included this in my summary of learning as well. However, it also ties into the Networked Professional Learning Assignment. I went back through every interaction on Twitter, every classmate’s blog, and every photographer on my Instagram and listed ALL the accounts, hashtags, and pages I followed. This does not include my Feedly blogs, Discord interactions, or BeReal. However, it gives a good visual of the connections I was able to make in the last 7 weeks and hopefully can continue to grow after the class as well.
I am most excited to continue to use Twitter, Blogging, Instagram, and BeReal. following this class. Discord and Feedly served me more as specific resources, whereas, I feel that the other platforms can continue to grow my #PLN in the future.
Welcome to my Summary of Learning post! I will keep this short & sweet so that you can spend more time checking out my summary and reading less. I chose to use TOME (an AI presentation tool) to try something new for my final project. I had never used it before so *fingers crossed* it presents the way it should. It was really neat to try working WITH AI for my final project. I wanted to use it as a tool, like we learned from Alec Couros, and embed it with my own content and voice. Integrating AI is something I would LOVE to continue to work on in my own profession with students and colleagues.
Thanks again for following me on this journey! And thank you Katia for facilitating so many deep conversations, teaching us new concepts, and expanding my #PLN.
Thanks for all your support in reading my blog each week. This last week was tough for me to accomplish what I had planned to do. I was really looking forward to trying a long exposure at sunset and also videoing my process. Unfortunately, my husband (who I was going to ‘hire’ to film me while I walked you through the process) got called away for work this week, so I wasn’t able to simultaneously vlog and take photos. My second dilemma was that the weather was just not great. Between the rain and mosquitos, I wasn’t able to get a long exposure shot like I had planned. So I still took some photos, most of which are not nice enough to share, and I settled on one that was neither long exposure nor a vlog. However, my plan is to do a final wrap-up post of my project this week where I am able to deliver both of these things! **Fingers Crossed**
With all the unpredictable weather this week, I spent a lot of time continuing to research photography tips and tricks. As I was researching I started to notice that there were certain platforms I preferred compared to others. Some were a lot more user-friendly, inspiring, and more informative than others. So for this week, I thought I would compile the various sites/apps I have used on my photography journey and review which ones I felt were helpful in my self-taught journey. (Ps. I borrowed the rating system from Laura Gaboury when I saw the way she rated her bread with dough balls! Loved that!)
Self-Teaching Apps/Websites for Photography
As you can probably see, I have found Pinterest, Youtube, and Instagram to be the most helpful in my photography journey. Although I have used all 5 to help with my photography, I have found those three the most useful. However, the nice thing about all 5 of these online spaces is they are a great springboard for finding other really neat resources and websites. I actually considered listing Google but I realized that I seem to prefer to start my searches on one of these sites OR Google eventually takes me to one of these sites. It’s interesting to think that Google was ALL the rage and now I rarely use it.
Do you find this as well with Google, or am I the only one?
Overall I have really enjoyed growing my photography learning network through these platforms. I think that the ability to save, share, or create allows these platforms to work better as a teaching tool for learning a skill online. Being able to participate on the platform or save things for later is a BIG plus!
I’m curious though, what platforms have YOU been accessing the most on your learning journey?
P.S. Not photographed…the mosquitos drinking all my blood while I took the photo below
Well, this week’s class was a real eye-opener. I honestly had no idea what #openeducation meant. I remember signing up for #eci831 and trying to research the term, but I never found a clear definition. After starting the class I sort of forgot that I still didn’t know what it meant. So this week when it was the focus I was excited to learn what it meant!
As soon as Alan Levine started speaking about what open education was I began to have flashbacks to the early days in my career when I relied on so many veteran teachers to share their ideas and resources with me so that I could figure out what I was doing. However, with those good memories of ‘consensual sharing,’ I also recalled times when other professionals had taken ideas/resources without consent, even to claim them as their own. Some of these negative experiences, unfortunately, shaped a lot of my feelings about sharing my resources and my views around (what I didn’t realize to be) open education. The few teachers who didn’t share well ruined many great opportunities to collaborate and share. As I look back I don’t know why this tends to happen in schools. Why can’t we all just work together? How hard is it to ask for a copy of something? It boggles my mind that educators who teach sharing to their students can struggle to share amongst themselves.
I also decided to try some open education tactics with my colleagues this week. I had a primary teacher explain that she was stuck on how to word some report card comments. So I asked her if she had ever heard of ChatGPT. She said yes but didn’t know what it really entailed. So I walked her through the steps and showed her how to manipulate the request to get it to create comments for her. She was SO excited about how much time she said it would save her. Within the next ten minutes, I heard that she went and told another teacher about using ChatGPT, who then told someone else, which then ended in me hearing another teacher explaining to ME that I should use ChatGPT for MY comments. I laughed so hard at how fast word had spread (so much so that the teacher didn’t realize I had initiated the use of ChatGPT)! It reminded me of the power of sharing and collaborating, especially in education. Within a day most of the staff were excited to try a new strategy and felt connected and grateful to other staff members! What a great team bonding opportunity. Maybe open education really isn’t that hard. Maybe all we need to do is start small, share 1 idea with 1 person, and watch it spread.
I am not sure why we don’t engage in this more, maybe more educators are looking to share ideas but just don’t know where to start. I think if we take away the idea of ownership and teaching solo and replace it with collaboration and community it may give more opportunities for teachers to share.
Here are some simple steps I am going to try in order to create more opportunities for sharing:
Ask for advice/help
Notice things that other educators are doing well
Praise a teacher for a great resource/idea
Ask if you can try it/have a copy
Ask if you can share it with another colleague
Say thank you
What’s the culture of sharing like at your school? What has been your experience with sharing in a professional sense?
“Can online social media activism be meaningful and worthwhile? Is it possible to have productive conversations about social justice online? What is our responsibility as educators to model active citizenship online? “- Katia Hildebrandt
This last week we had a discussion in class about social media activism. As the week went on I continued to think about my opinion and my own involvement. I also continued to read through the articles that classmates were Tweeting to our #eci831 page and read through numerous people’s blogs. As the week progressed I was struggling with how to make my blog something ‘new’ and engaging, not only for me but also for the reader. Then I thought this might just be the perfect opportunity to finally create a ChatGPT account and learn from an AI’s perspective. I had a lot of fun exploring the site and learning that I could link my chats! So I decided to use ChatGPT as my source on the subject this week! Feel free to read through my interview and click on the questions to take you directly to our chat. I sort of felt like I was ‘cheating’ but I also think there will be a lot to learn with the politics around ChatGPT. ENJOY!
Chat GPT: Yes, online social media activism can be meaningful and worthwhile. While traditional forms of activism involve physical presence and direct actions, online activism has gained significant importance and effectiveness in recent years. Here are some reasons why online social media activism can be meaningful:
Global Reach: Social media platforms provide a vast and accessible space for individuals to share their thoughts, ideas, and experiences with a global audience. This reach allows activists to raise awareness about important issues and mobilize support on a much larger scale than traditional methods.
Amplification of Voices: Online activism enables marginalized or underrepresented groups to amplify their voices and share their stories. It provides a platform for people who may not have access to traditional forms of activism due to geographical, cultural, or other barriers. Social media can help bring attention to issues that may have otherwise been overlooked.
Networking and Mobilization: Social media platforms allow activists to connect and collaborate with like-minded individuals and organizations. Online spaces facilitate the formation of communities that can share information, resources, and strategies for creating social change. These networks can help mobilize support, organize protests, and coordinate actions both online and offline.
Rapid Response and Real-Time Updates: Social media platforms provide a way for activists to respond quickly to emerging events and share real-time updates. This speed and immediacy can be particularly valuable in situations that require urgent attention, such as natural disasters, humanitarian crises, or instances of social injustice.
Fundraising and Resource Mobilization: Online activism can also be effective in generating financial support for causes. Social media platforms provide opportunities for crowdfunding campaigns, donation drives, and fundraising events. The ease of sharing information and making online transactions makes it convenient for people to contribute to causes they care about.
Shaping Public Opinion: Through online activism, individuals can engage in conversations, share evidence, and challenge misinformation. By promoting fact-based narratives and engaging in constructive dialogue, social media activists can shape public opinion and influence the broader discourse around social issues.
However, it is important to note that online activism should not be seen as a substitute for offline action. While social media can be a powerful tool, it should ideally be used in conjunction with other forms of activism to create a comprehensive and sustained impact. Additionally, online activism should be conducted ethically, with a focus on respectful engagement, accurate information sharing, and genuine efforts to effect change beyond virtual spaces.
ChatGPT: Yes, it is possible to have productive conversations about social justice online. While online discussions can sometimes be challenging due to the anonymity, diverse perspectives, and potential for miscommunication, they also offer opportunities for people from different backgrounds and experiences to engage in meaningful dialogue and learn from one another.
Here are some tips for having productive conversations about social justice online:
Foster a respectful and inclusive environment: Encourage participants to engage in respectful and empathetic dialogue. Set ground rules that prioritize listening, understanding, and valuing diverse perspectives.
Assume good intentions: Give others the benefit of the doubt and approach discussions with an open mind. Assume that people genuinely want to learn and contribute to the conversation, even if their viewpoints differ from yours.
Be mindful of language and tone: Use clear and respectful language, avoiding derogatory or inflammatory terms. Tone is often difficult to convey online, so be cautious about how your words may be interpreted by others.
Practice active listening: Take the time to understand others’ viewpoints before responding. Reflect on what they are saying and ask clarifying questions if needed. This helps to avoid misunderstandings and allows for a more productive exchange of ideas.
Educate yourself: Before engaging in discussions, familiarize yourself with the topic at hand. Read up on different perspectives, seek out credible sources, and be open to learning from others. This will help you contribute more effectively to the conversation.
Be open to growth and learning: Recognize that social justice issues are complex and multifaceted. Be willing to reconsider your own beliefs and learn from others’ experiences. Approach conversations as opportunities for personal growth and increased understanding.
Acknowledge privilege and intersectionality: Recognize the privileges you may hold and how they shape your perspective. Be mindful of the intersectional nature of social justice issues, considering how different forms of discrimination intersect and affect individuals’ experiences.
Focus on issues, not individuals: Keep the discussion centered on the topic at hand rather than attacking individuals personally. Critique ideas, arguments, or systems rather than attacking individuals’ character or motives.
Take breaks when needed: Online discussions can become emotionally charged or overwhelming. If you find yourself becoming too frustrated or exhausted, take a break. It’s important to prioritize your well-being and come back to the conversation when you’re ready.
Remember that not all conversations will result in complete agreement, but the goal is to foster understanding, empathy, and knowledge exchange. By approaching online discussions with respect and open-mindedness, it is possible to have productive conversations about social justice.
ChatGPT: As educators, our responsibility to model active citizenship online is significant. Here are some key aspects of our role in promoting responsible online behavior:
Digital Literacy: Educators should equip students with the necessary skills to navigate the digital world critically. This includes teaching them how to evaluate online information for credibility, understand the consequences of their online actions, and develop a healthy digital footprint.
Ethical Conduct: We must model ethical behavior ourselves and guide students to act responsibly online. This involves teaching them about issues such as plagiarism, respecting intellectual property, appropriate online communication, and understanding the impact of their digital actions on others.
Respectful Dialogue: Encourage students to engage in respectful and constructive dialogue in online spaces. Teach them how to express their opinions while considering diverse perspectives, practicing empathy, and maintaining civility even in the face of disagreement.
Media Literacy: Help students understand and critically analyze media messages and online content. Teach them to recognize biased information, identify misinformation and disinformation, and develop a healthy skepticism towards sensationalism.
Responsible Use of Social Media: Educate students about responsible social media usage. This includes discussing the potential consequences of posting inappropriate content, cyberbullying, privacy settings, and being mindful of the long-term impact of their online presence.
Digital Citizenship: Foster a sense of digital citizenship in students by emphasizing the importance of being active and responsible participants in online communities. Encourage them to contribute positively, collaborate with others, and use digital platforms to bring about positive change in society.
Online Safety: Educate students about online safety measures, including protecting personal information, identifying and avoiding online scams, and understanding the risks associated with sharing private information or engaging with strangers online.
Critical Thinking: Promote critical thinking skills to help students evaluate online information independently. Teach them to question sources, fact-check information, and recognize the difference between opinion and fact.
Upstander Culture: Encourage students to be upstanders rather than bystanders in the face of online harassment or cyberbullying. Teach them to support and defend their peers, report abusive behavior, and create a culture of empathy and inclusivity online.
Continuous Learning: Finally, model the importance of lifelong learning in the digital age. Demonstrate your own commitment to staying updated with technology, digital trends, and responsible online practices. Encourage students to be curious, adaptable, and continuously develop their digital skills.
By modeling active citizenship online and providing guidance in these areas, educators can empower students to become responsible, ethical, and engaged participants in the digital world.
Thanks for reading through my chat with ChatGPT, did any of the AI’s points match up with your own blogs?
So I decided to pack for a short camping trip, I figured that this way I could sleep at the spot I was going to take the picture. In my mind, I thought I would be able to wake up, set up everything, and then crawl back into my tent to take the photo from my phone (inside the warm tent). I thought I had it all figured out…
I arrived at the campsite and set up. I did a little more research to ensure I was completely prepared for my early morning. As I crawled into bed I made sure I had all my equipment right beside me and I set my alarm for 4:00 am. When the alarm went off I jumped out of bed and quickly grabbed all my belongings to start setting up. I got my tripod ready, I aimed my camera, and then I ran back to the tent to start adjusting the shutter speed as well as some of the other settings (I am still trying to only use the manual setting so that I get more confident with adjusting the controls). However, my tent was too far from where my tripod need to be so the connection from my phone did not work. So I sadly crawled out of the tent, found a lawn chair, and set up a spot just after 4:00am.
As I waited for the first sign of the sun I began to get excited, I had very high hopes after reading so many blogs and watching so many videos of some amazing sunrise, long exposure shots. However… as I waited I started to notice colour forming out of the corner of my eye, to the left of me…not where I had set up camp, and nowhere near where I could easily access the sunrise…I had booked a campsite facing the WRONG direction… I couldn’t believe it, after all the research I did, I never thought to look up WHERE the sun would rise. With sunSET photography you just follow the sun and the colour, with sunRISE photography you have to be there before the sun, so you have to know where it is (obvious now, was not obvious then).
Anyways, I decided to still make the most of the opportunity so I tested different shutter speeds and took multiple photos. I will share the one I finally decided was the best of the worst, but just know I was disappointed with it.
I guess this is why this assignment is called a learning project, if you don’t fail sometimes then you aren’t learning. I learned a lot from this week’s project, I think I was just more devastated because I got up at 4am and didn’t get the shot. Oh well, there is always next time. I think this week I will go back to sunsets (they just seem to be easier for me) and I will try a long exposure sunset (no more 4 am wake-ups). With this class nearing the end I may also try to use another camera to vlog my photography process so that I can demonstrate how I get my shots!
Thanks again for tuning in to this week’s update! Hopefully, I will have more of a success story for you next time!
…I did get a camping trip out of it so it wasn’t all bad!
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Instagram where I have been posting other photos I have been taking as well!
So this last week I said I wanted to work on using the settings in manual mode more effectively. Manual mode allows you to control the image that is taken, it also requires more skill than using a preset setting (feel free to click on the link to learn more about what manual mode means…if you are interested). So in order to do this I sought out some new digital resources to learn about using each setting.
This video (and website) were extremely helpful in breaking down the basics of shutter speed for me. I really enjoyed that I was first linked to the website and then I could scroll down to watch the video. I am realizing that I prefer video options for learning but that I also enjoy reading content as well. This resource was a winning combination for me! They also had articles on some of the other features I was exploring but I chose to seek out other resources to help broaden my resources.
For this setting, I found an online course through Panasonic that gives you mini-lessons on the basic functions of a camera. I was able to work through the course independently. I enjoyed this style of learning online as well because the lessons were short. Versus the shutter speed resources, where the article was quite lengthy. However, the Panasonic lessons did seem a little outdated with their images and website, but it got the trick done. I could see this resource being helpful in a high school photography class.
For this setting, I had to look up a camera interface from the Canon website so that I knew what it was for! I then searched the term and came across a blog called The Lense Lounge. The page I read up on provided a lot of great visuals and common questions and answers. It also led me to the connected Twitter which will allowed me to continue to follow their content going forward. It seems that exposure level is one setting that a lot of people can miss!
magazine website. I was able to find a specific article on this camera setting. Although the article was helpful, and short, which made it an easy read. It didn’t have as many clear visuals or videos.
– short & sweet – visuals – camera-specific images
– no videos – outdated
– length – no videos
– no videos – a lot of academic language
Now that you have read through my resources, let’s look at some of the fun photos I was able to shoot this week after learning about the 4 different manual settings!
I have decided to further narrow my photos from general landscapes to sunsets/sunrise. This definitely adds a layer of difficulty to when I can take photos (the sun sets VERY quickly ha) but I am just obsessed with the colours!
For next week my goal is to use the Photography Life resource and see if I can find more information on whether or not I can take a long exposure of a sunset. I will have to get a tripod and ensure my camera has the capability. So, until next time, thanks for following along! Again, feel free to follow my Instagram where I post more frequently!
Began posting more frequently on Twitter both to connect with educators, the school community, and to rebuild my PLN in a larger way
Well, congrats if you read through my whole timeline. I figured it was the easiest way to document my journey with Twitter. I think because my only experience with Twitter has been for professional purposes, I see many benefits of having my Twitter account. I have gone through years where I posted and connected with other educators regularly and then times when I took a step back and posted more sporadically. There were times in my career where I had Twitter “friends” that I had never met in-person but we collaborated and shared resources as if we worked in the same building. I won prizes for my students through Twitter contests and found ways to connect my students with people all over the world. Sharing my teaching and my student’s learning also opened up opportunities professionally for me, such as participating in certain PD and curriculum development. It was also a great professional portfolio to always have ‘in my back pocket’, I could pull up images of my teaching style whenever I needed. More recently I have enjoyed looking back on some of my teaching from my first few years in a classroom.
However, you may have inferred from my title that I have some thoughts on Twitter that may not all be positive. These thoughts developed as I continued to use Twitter throughout my career. As much as I enjoyed connecting with other educators online, I began to feel early signs of ‘teacher-burnout‘ as I tried to find new exciting things to post each day. The pressure of not only creating the lessons, teaching them, and assessing them BUT also posting them, began to wear me down. I started by turning off my Twitter notifications on my phone, this way I knew I would need to go onto the app to see any activity. However, by turning off the notifications I also started forgetting to post as much. I found myself posting less and less, which inturn affects your interactions when you do post. I would post every couple of months and get minimal engagement (compared to previously) so I began to question why I was posting at all.
With the start of #eci831 I challenged myself to purposefully take photos and begin posting again to connect with my school community, school division, and educators. I then pushed myself to start building my #PLN again by creating posts that others could interact with rather than just ‘like’. I still have my notifications turned off but I am intentional about checking my Twitter once a day. This has allowed me to create a better ‘Twitter-life balance’ as I am calling it. I am excited to see if I will continue with this momentum after the class ends.
Some questions I still have to work through are:
Do I have an intended audience going forward, after this class is over?
How can I post content that is more than just a photo dump?
How do I engage my students on Twitter?
Now that I am not a classroom teacher, what is the best way for me to utilize Twitter?
What is the best time in the day for me to check my Twitter?
Thanks again for reading through my thoughts on Twitter. Were your experiences similar or different?
Before I get into the last couple weeks of my Learning Project Journey, let’s play a little game called “Can you Spot the Difference?”
Here is a series of photos I took with different settings on my camera as well as one on my iPhone. See if you can spot which one was taken on my iPhone!
As you may have gathered from the title of my post, I am still having a really hard time adjusting the settings to make the photo look as high quality as an iPhone naturally can do. I have been watching Fulaan Creative on Youtube because he makes content specifically related to my camera type. I watched some introductory videos about my camera as well as some photography basics videos. I learnt that although the automatic settings are more user-friendly, the manual settings where you can adjust the aperture and shutter speed allow you to learn how to manipulate your camera better for specific settings. So the last few times I was outside I worked on adjusting the different settings to see which ones got me the closest to the representation of the landscape that I was photographing. However, this is a lot more finicky than I thought it would be. Therefore my goal for the next week is to find some more specific articles/videos that can teach me some tips and tricks about adjusting the manual settings…rather than me having to trial and error every setting.
I also decided to create an Instagram to post about my journey and to connect with other photographers. I found a few really good hashtags (#canoneosm50, #landscapes, #sunsets, #canonphotography) that provide a lot of inspiration and some accounts to follow with photographers using the same camera and shooting the same style of content. I love being outside in nature, specifically at sunset, so I decided to call my account LandscapesOfJoy. This somewhat limits my content but I also think there are a lot of different skills to be learnt when you do portraits, night photography, or landscapes so I figured it was best to just chose one. Anyways…if you feel like you would enjoy following my journey on Instagram, head on over to landscapesofjoy and give me a follow!
Thanks again for checking out my update! Feel free to share any tips/tricks if you have ever dabbled in photography!