As I indicated earlier, martial arts is an intriguing skill. Though this ability is challenging to learn, I wouldn’t rush to do so. In order to perfect this skill, I had to start out slowly. I used to practice this technique with my director’s daughter most of the time when I was working there. She used to instruct students on fundamental skills.
She informed me that it is important to maintain a healthy weight before beginning martial arts training. However, I discovered that I was overweight when I weighed myself on a machine. After that, I made the decision to start working out at a gym. In the late afternoon, I had signed up for the YMCA gym in Regina, Saskatchewn.
I begin my hour-long run on the treadmill at a speed of 6 mph. According to the treadmill’s speedometer, I had burned 500 calories in a half-hour. Then I have to take a 10-minute break before starting to run on the treadmill once more at the same speed.
I felt exhausted after that. I avoided a lot of junk food as a result of mastering my initial step towards my skill. I used to typically eat Maggie. But when I train for running, I also become overly concerned about my food. Even so, in order to be healthy and fit, I now consume a lot of green vegetables, carrots, cucumbers, avocados, apples, and kiwis. I also drink a lot of water.
I have lost weight until 57 after practicing running for a week. I’m now prepared to go learn this talent. My initial learning phase is almost complete. I now want to take the following stages in the upcoming weeks in addition to working out. I’m going to start practicing’s punches next week.
I don’t use social media frequently. There is no question that it significantly influenced the world as we know it. The majority of work today should be completed on social media. Most of the time, I choose to use only those social media platforms and websites that are convenient for me to use and support my educational goals. Instead of using other social media sites, I would prefer to use WhatsApp to share my images, videos, and essential documents. In comparison to other social networking networks, I find WhatsApp to be simpler to use.
However, the majority of my friends choose to utilize Instagram and Snapchat to share both their photographs and their tales. They explained to me the many features of both Instagram and SnapChat. But as soon as I started using both, I thought Instagram seemed more intriguing than Snapchat. I then registered for an account there. I want to know more about it. When I first started utilizing this platform, I discovered a lot of features. Nevertheless, I have learned how to post media using both geolocation and hashtags. However, it is simple to share one’s stories, pictures, and videos with followers. This software has several fantastic features, however WhatsApp lacks the ability for users to share their posts publicly. On the other side, it has several outstanding features that I have observed while using this app , such as live streaming, private messaging, and short stories.
Additionally, It affects Users in a variety of ways, both positive and negative. One of this app’s greatest advantages, in my opinion, is that it gives us a more visual platform. Users can also edit, post, and share short stories using the most cutting-edge methods with the help of this application. The children, however, experience a great deal of benefit from it. It serves as a platform that is kid-friendly, therefore in my opinion, it gives kids the possibility to feel empowered. For example, kids may express their creativity without worrying about what the rest of the world will think. By imitating their favorite’s role models, children are able to learn about those people, and they have easy access to anything they desire. The addictive nature of Instagram is one of its drawbacks, in my opinion. Although I have seen that younger users of Instagram are more addicted than adults. When I start using it, I also develop an addiction. Even though I used to check other people’s posts and forget about my own work and essential projects, spending the majority of my time texting, sharing videos, and scrolling through Instagram accounts that I followed feels like a waste of time.
I believe that Instagram offers many educational opportunities for teachers and parents to be aware of. For example, instructors and parents can start accounts on Instagram to promote kids’ use of descriptive writing. On the other side, kids can utilize the websites for NASA, The British Library, National Geographic, and other museums to learn about anything in the world.
As a result, it has significantly altered the world. I’d like to learn more about cross-app communications and remixing the reels.
The closest I have come to using TikTok was during last spring’s class when I used my wife’s account.I decided to join for the purpose of this post, but made sure to do something I rarely do.Read the terms of service.I focused on the privacy portion.TikTok says the only information they gather is what you provide in your TikTok profile and the information in any profile you use to login.For example I used my google account (after the first week), my profile only has my age and name. No mention of gathering contacts (unless you link them, which I did not). I did not put on a vpn to get a true sense of what the app would do with my isp address. Initially it leads you to think that they will only gather other information if you give permission, then later on it says browsing history for advertisers. Sneaky.This was not something I noticed until later (as you will see in my point form reflections).
As TikTok is a series of short videos I have decided to present my initial findings in point form.
Week 1 (just using app as a guest, not signing in with an account)
First few videos are all of a hill on fire in Edmonton.
Fires in Alberta.
Lots of Indigenous creators.
Lots of weird cooking videos.
Indigenous content (specific ones on cultural appropriation).
Comedic animal videos.
Comedic kid videos.
Watch one comedy video on hockey and then…
….Lots of Canadian centred content (heavy Canadian accents)
I reread what info they take if you make an account from a third party (nothing about the content you use just profile info).
Sign up with google (same email as YouTube)
Almost immediately creatures I follow on YouTube shorts start showing up (coincidence?).
Still lots of indigenous content (mention of indigenous TikTok).
Started following Lewis Capaldi.
Turns out the YouTube connection was a coincidence.
Animal and kid videos have combined.
Told them not to track contacts and then the first person they recommended to follow was my wife (she does not make videos).
Started to follow Hank Green and felt sad
My dog is quite sick, so I’ve been up late scrolling through TikTok, feeding the algorithm.
Forwarded my first TikTok video
I’ve heard of this happening- where did the past half hour go?
Following Lewis Capaldi was a mistake (dog video)
It knows I’m a teacher. Getting a stream of teacher related content.…which means the few teacher TikToks I was sent before I downloaded TikTok are floating around somewhere and TikTok has access to the part of my phone. I didn’t give it access to…or it’s kept track of my isp from watching videos before I had the app.
It is teaching me slang.
After my dog died it has become an easy distraction. Far too easy.
Throughout the second week I started interacting more, using hearts forwarding three videos and following a few creators. TikTok was much better at figuring me out than YouTube. Even before I started liking and following it got a very quick sense of my politics. With YouTube I watch one conservative video to try and balance my bias and then that is all I get recommended (no matter how many-“do not recommend” buttons I click). This, along with how much information it seemed to have without me giving permission, was frightening.
At the same time I see the benefits. I am getting a broader amount of content that is providing useful information. For example as a CIS white male I have worried about how well I will be able to speak out on anti-lgbtq+ issues. TikTok has provided me with allies that have added to my vocabulary and done so in a compellingly calm way. YouTube thinks I am anti-trans because I watched Neil Degrasse Tyson on Joe Rogan.
While TikTok is far more comforting I am worried about how comforting it is to those on the opposite political spectrum. Is it just one giant confirmation bias? It feels that way and it is very seductive. I don’t know how long I will continue using it, but each time I switch back to YouTube I am fed angry content. TikTok just seems happier. I get fed self-affirming videos, creators that are not just white males, progressive reflections, and dog videos that make me feel sad.
I hope I am able to find my way through the weeds and gain from the benefits while not pulling that comforting blanket of confirmation over my eyes.
I first heard about BeReal during my trip to Mexico over Easter Break, where some of the other members of the tour group told me about it. They were from the UK, and I think it must be a more common social media platform there, whereas I get the sense that it is just catching on in North America. I was instantly interested in BeReal because of its unique design/premise, which favours authenticity and real life moments, rather than the highly-edited and curated feeds one typically sees on other social media platforms.
Being interested in this platform, I told the members of my tour group that I would sign up for a BeReal account when I got back home and follow them on it. They were my only 2 friends on the app, so I soon got tired of the app and my posts dwindled away. I jumped back into this app for this week’s blog prompt.
How BeReal Works:
The app sends you a notification at some point during the day (you don’t know when this will occur), and then you have 2 minutes to post your BeReal for the day. This post is intended to be a snapshot of whatever you are doing at the time the notification goes off; BeReal posts include both a selfie and a picture of wherever you are/what is in front of you at the time. You can react to others’ posts with RealMojis, which are snapshots of your own face showing the different reactions (thumbs up, laughing, etc.). You can also comment on others’ posts, give your BeReal a caption, and view your BeReal memories from previous days. As an incentive to post on time, users are allowed to post additional BeReals if their first is completed within 2 minutes of the notification going off for the day. I don’t remember this being a feature when I first started using BeReal in April – so either it is new, or I totally missed this option!
BeReal is original and goes against the filtered/edited nature of various other social media platforms – I love the idea of being more ‘real’ online and giving others a glimpse into your unpolished, true life
it’s easy to set up an account
RealMojis is an interesting concept that is unique to BeReal
you can easily add contacts you already know right in the app
this app encourages your notifications to be on and for you to have your phone with you at all times (which is not my style at all, so this aspect misses the mark for me)
there doesn’t seem to be any easily-recognizable home page or place for notifications, which (to me) makes the app feel strange to navigate
this app is not common among my friends yet, so there is a lack of people to follow (I reached out to classmates in this course on Twitter to get a few more people on my feed)
legal and ethical privacy concerns for posting at work (especially as a teacher)
there is a Discovery tab, which is just a feed of random people’s BeReals (not your friends); I am not personally interested in this at all
apparently, there is a way to see how many times someone has re-taken their BeReal picture, but I haven’t noticed that anywhere yet (maybe all of my friends are first-snap people?)
the app will tell you how late someone was posting their BeReal for the day (the members of my tour group told me that it is always funny to see people who have posted 5 hours late, and then their BeReal shows them doing something cool – it sends the message that they waited to post so they could show something interesting, which is really missing the whole point of BeReal)
Applications for Educational Use:
Nothing immediately came to mind for useful applications of BeReal in the classroom. Because the app is so time-sensitive (and dependent on notifications being enabled), I don’t see how it would work to use in real-time in the classroom. However, a BeReal inspired project (that doesn’t actually use the app itself, but the concept of it) did come to mind for a history/art project. Students could depict an important event in history as a BeReal. This involves students considering what the person would have looked like during the event, and what they would have seen in front of them in that moment. This same concept could also be used for a novel study or literature project, with students depicting book events and characters as BeReals.
Implications for Youth:
For me, BeReal as a platform can have both positive and negative effects on youth. I appreciate that the intentions behind the app are stepping outside the norm of social media and encouraging people to share their real selves. It gives me hope that future generations won’t be bogged down by unrealistic expectations and pressure to be a certain way.
However, perhaps this push to ‘be real’ is a double-edged sword. Do we really want to share every last detail of our lives with the internet? RoxAnne pointed out in her blog post that this could be potentially dangerous if people online know exactly where you are and what you are doing.
In addition, isn’t there a kind of security that comes with having a real-life self and an on online self, and they don’t necessarily have to be one and the same? I, personally, like having distance between my online and offline selves, and I don’t want youth feeling that they have to share everything with everyone. I also believe it is an important social skill for youth to learn what is appropriate to share in different contexts; if we share everything online, then we aren’t practicing these social norms.
Furthermore, I dislike the message BeReal is sending by: a) encouraging its users to constantly be near their phone and listening for a notification, and b) rewarding those who did so. This, to me, is an unhealthy relationship with technology that could be harmful.
At the end of the day, I don’t see myself continuing to use BeReal regularly. While I love the concept of authenticity and literally “being real,” the time-sensitive and notification-dependent nature of this app doesn’t appeal to me or work for my personal technology-use boundaries I have in place.
Throughout these past weeks, I focused on three main aspects: developing a plan, listening to music while running and breathing exercises. The following accounts on Tiktok allowed me to develop necessary techniques and utilize strategies:
@envisioncoachiingg and @r4ucoaching - highlighted how to properly run to avoid injury such as on your toes as oppose to your heels. This made a world of difference, as I have always been a “stomping Tom” as people refer to me because I am a heel walker/runner. So this took a bit of adjusting but have already been noticing some changes. This has allowed me to take things slow as I ease into running.
@hollyb_fitness was one of the first people I came across and made me realize how running can transform your life! A quote that stuck out to me from her “its you vs you. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.” This was extremely powerful to me and allowed me to develop a plan to get started on this running journey. It does not matter if I am only running 1-2km, it is a start and that is all that matters.
@kirstybannatyne opened my eyes through her motivational videos to simply just get you running. She is an advocate for starting slow and building your way up. Simply start with a 5 minute run and build it over the course of weeks. So, that is simply where I started. To be honest, I was embarrassed at how little I was running within 5 minutes but I have worked my way to 7 minutes over the course of the last 2 weeks and finally took a picture. I completed 1.29km within 7 minutes and 37 seconds and this was a HUGE accomplishment for me! Thanks to Running with Kirsty.
@fasterthany0u gave me the playlists to make running more manageable. Listening to my own breathing was not the play. Once moving from walking to running, I knew I needed music to continue to motivate me and clear my headspace. So that is just what I did. I highly recommend Levels (Avicii) and Can’t Hold Us (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis).
Finally, @mattchoi6 stopped my “horse breathing” with simple breathing exercises to do while running. It put me in check with realizing I was trying to run too fast at beginning, which meant I was not getting enough oxygen back into my system. I tried both of the breathing strategies he suggested to realize the 2 inhales through the nose and 1 exhale through the mouth is what has worked best for me.
However, before I was able to actually utilize this advice from these TikTok’s account, my journey all began on Youtube when I came across an article called How to Start Running featuring Braden and Yitka, as they lay out 5 tips for beginners. They said to simply start slow and when they say slow, they mean it. For the few times, just simply get out working for at least 30 minutes. From there, after walking 3-4, slowly begin incorporating running. This is where @kirstybannatyne came into play, as I used the 5 minute technique immediately.
Here is a reel of photos of the paths I took and two beautiful photos of the after math of running!
Next weeks plan is to STRETCH. Why I haven’t yet is questionable because I am getting SORE. I will be using more of Youtube and Tiktok to help guide me towards proper stretches before and after runs. My plan throughout this week is to record clips of my stretches to share with you all. Hopefully the rain stays away, so I can continue to enjoy my running journey outside!!
I had a LOT to say about my first few weeks learning Español and didn’t want to have a novel of a blog post, so decided to try my first ever vlog – I even did it in one take! Feel free to watch it on double speed if you want to skim through – no hard feelings here! Or check out my TL;DW (Too Long; Didn’t Watch) summary below.
Online language learning course (offers multiple languages, not just Spanish) where you take hour-long classes on Zoom with native Spanish speakers and others who are learning Spanish at the same level as you
I did a 7 day free trial, which offered 3 free classes (one hour each)
I took an Orientation class first, then a class called “Hola!” (Hello) where we learned to introduce ourselves and say hi, and the final one was “¿Cómo Estás?” (How Are You?) where we learned to say how we are feeling and ask others how they are doing
You can book classes at virtually any time of the day (various offerings of different classes at every time of day)
Slides for the classes are available ahead of time to preview and download with instructor annotations afterwards
Materials are 100% in Spanish and instructors speak mostly Spanish (unless you ask what something means in English), so you are fully immersed in the language
I’m hoping to try a Sprint (more intensive learning for a short period of time) in the fall – option to get 50% or 100% of your money back if you attend all of your classes
Pros: immersive experience, lots of speaking Spanish, helpful materials, easy-to-use website, lots of options for bookings,
Cons: pricey if you want the paid version, free trial only had 3 classes available
Popular language-learning app that is designed to feel like a game to keep users engaged
Get a ‘streak’ for consecutive days spent completing lessons
Free trial available for “Super Duolingo” (paid version of the app with unlimited hearts, no ads, additional features like previous mistakes you can review) – lasts 2 weeks
I finished the first Section called “Rookie” (level A1 of Spanish – very beginner) and am currently at a 15 day streak
Learned mostly basic sentences and words (I have, I want, foods, clothing, places, travel-related words, etc.)
Pros: engaging and fun, various kinds of challenges (writing, speaking, reading, listening, etc.), streak helps keep you motivated to keep at it, can follow friends who are also using Duolingo
Cons: can get repetitive, will be hard to get used to the regular version once my free trial runs out
I have, honestly, gone pretty hard the first two weeks of my project, so am feeling a bit lost of where to take my Spanish learning next. Here are my goals moving forward:
Keep my streak going on Duolingo for the duration of this project
Try out some other Spanish learning resources (websites, games, YouTube, podcasts, TikTok?)
Record a brief video of myself speaking Spanish at the end of this project (maybe see if my sister or someone else I know will do a basic conversation in Spanish with me?)
This week I chose to explore TikTok. Prior to 2020, the only TikTok I was familiar with was the song by Kesha however, when the app really became mainstream in 2020, I remember downloading it at the beginning of the pandemic. I was very cognizant of how much time I was spending on TikTok when I first downloaded it, particularly before bedtime. After getting in bed, I would scroll through my phone and find myself mindlessly on TikTok scrolling through videos of cats, puppies, and comedic content. About an hour or two later, after watching endless amounts of short video clips I would panic as I then realized that I was not going to get enough sleep that night. This pattern continued and I eventually decided that enough was enough and delete the app for my own wellbeing.
How it was going…
For the last few years, since deleting TikTok, I would still see videos and watch them however only on Instagram. This tweet from Gareth Waugh describes exactly where I have been in my relationship with TikTok:
Tweet by Gareth Waugh, Photo by Spartakiss VIA https://ifunny.co/picture/no-i-don-t-watch-tiktoks-i-watch-instagram-reels-5kGUmF1PA
Honestly, I was very content with my decision to not be on TikTok. However, I certainly was aware of the fact that there were references made by my coworkers and friends about TikTok trends that I was not familiar with. That being said, I never felt like this hindered my ability to socialize or do my job.
TikTok Take Two
My new EC&I 831 challenge for this week was to redownload TikTok and see what it is all about. I tried to come at this second attempt with TikTok with an open mind and a new lens. Instead of looking at TikTok as a toxic space, I wanted to see how the app could benefit me both personally and professionally. Here are some of the things I noticed about the app:
Some of my major personal interests are pottery and Taylor Swift, which both bring me so much joy! After looking up both of these topics on TikTok, watching a few videos, and following some related accounts, it did not take long for my algorithm to adjust and for related videos to pop up on my stream. That being said, there were still plenty of random videos that would pop up on my feed that would try to reel me into a new algorithm. These were often highly watched or liked videos that were trending at the time.
I always wondered how people (of all ages!) were pumping out what seemed like endless videos on the TikTok app. Once I tried it myself, I realized how user-friendly the app is in this regard. The tools that can be used to edit, add sound, or add text or other features is very straightforward and easy to use. I did not even need to google or search how to create a video and was able to wing it and successfully make two TikTok videos for my learning project.
Wow, I am blown away by how many resources and ideas there are on TikTok for educators! It is certainly a way for educators to expand their PLN. Some simple searches that I tried were:
Teacher Resources: this brought up anything from strategies used in the classroom, classroom organization ideas, useful websites, and free or accessible worksheets
Special Education Activities: this search provided specific routines and activities for students with diverse needs, such as sensory or mobility needs. It also showed some activities specific to some diagnoses, such as autism. I initially tried to search ‘inclusive education activities‘, as I prefer the language, however, fewer relevant videos came up.
School Art Projects Kids: a variety of different art projects were easily accessible! It also displayed different modes of art such as painting, clay work, drawing, etc. I also tried searching some specific art forms with different searches and plenty of options popped up. Therefore, if you know you want to do a specific art form with your class (ie. watercolor painting) you can narrow down your search easily!
In addition to accessing a variety of professional resources, TikTok could be a great differentiated way for students to show their learning. With the video editing portion of the app being so user-friendly, students would easily be able to create a video to demonstrate a skill or knowledge they have acquired. They can even do all of this without posting their video to TikTok and instead simply downloading the video to a device that can then be shared with a teacher.
Some major concerns that I personally have about TikTok still are that it is so easy to go down a rabbit hole of videos that can impact a person’s social connections, sleep patterns, and access to sensitive or inappropriate content. To learn more about TikTok and some of the considerations of parents and educators that need to be taken, I accessed Common Sense Media and TikTok’s digital well-being for some assistance! Here are some of the tools that TikTok has that help manage these concerns:
Family Pairing: Under settings and privacy you can use the family pairing feature. It allows parents or caregivers to sync with their child’s account to set and monitor their use of TikTok. With this feature, you can control the privacy of the child’s account (ie. private or public), access safety settings, restrict private messaging, and monitor screen time. As I don’t have anyone to practice this with, I would love to hear if anyone has experience using this setting and how it worked!
Screen Time: Within the settings, you can control how much daily screen time you have on the app. In this feature, you can also set break reminders if you are using the app for long periods of uninterrupted time or you can set sleep reminders for different times of the day. This can be useful, however, they can be easily ignored or worked around. Therefore you need to have some self-discipline to actually stop your own use.
Restricted Mode: This is a feature under settings that will restrict sensitive content. This seems to be based on what other people have reported. Therefore, you may still come across inappropriate content that has yet to be reported.
My Future with TikTok
Although I have certainly learned that there can be value in the use of TikTok, it is still not something I plan to access regularly. This is largely due to wanting to limit my own screen time, which I will try to do with the screen time setting on the app. I do think that it is a resource that I will come back to for professional purposes, such as getting ideas for my classroom, assignments, or projects.
Week 1 of running in the books, and I have officially started week 2! I would think that the runs would be getting easier, however they are getting longer, making them more challenging. This week will be difficult as I am running for 5 mins by the end of this week. EEKKKK! I’m powering through the workouts and I have been thinking about taking my runs outside in hopes the fresh air will help energize me more.
I found I have been lacking energy and I wanted to research some meals that would help fuel my runs. I was reading an article on what is best to eat before and after running. I realize that I am eating too much processed food at lunch and that by the time I get home from work, I feel extremely sluggish.
Water is another important piece of this puzzle. I don’t normally drink a lot of water, and I have always struggled to get my recommended daily intake of water. I am working on drinking more water throughout the day and rehydrating after my runs!
So, I am choosing to explore Reddit. A number of people I know talk about Reddit, and I’ve been on it before but I don’t understand how it works, or who it is for; nor do I understand how to navigate the platform. My initial sense is that people seem to talk about it like … Continue reading "Reddit… I read it"
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