Planning 10 – 3 Wise Nugs

I was really lucky to get an interview with a corporate lawyer, Mr. Ben Slager. Below are three wise nugs I feel affected me the most. 

  1. Be open-minded about what kind of law you’re planning to choose––whether it’s corporate, law and order, etc., choose one that suits your personality
  2. Your career choice is very fulfilling because you’re going to be continuously learning and growing
  3. It’s never too late to start preparing now

3 Wise Nuggs – Practice Interview

I was lucky enough to get 2 different interviews with kindergarten teachers from my old elementary school, one of them being my kindergarten teacher. From these 2 interview here are 3 wise nuggs that I feel were important parts of our discussion:

  1. Put yourself out there volunteering for the job that you want to do is important to make sure you are truly interested and care for it
  2. Don’t be too fixed on one career or plan, be willing to adapt and through those adaptions you might find something you love doing even more
  3. There is always something more to learn

Intro to In-Depth: Recycled Art

And so In -Depth begins again!

This year I’m pretty excited for what I’m going to do. In fact, it took me a really long time to get this post up because every time I went looking for a picture I got distracted by all of the cool recycled art on the web.

Joe Pogan’s Recycled Art, courtesy of his website gallery (http://joepogan.com/gallery/index.htm)

So, what’s recycled art?

It’s basically taking old stuff, and making art out of it.

This is sometimes known as “Upcycling.”

Upcycle

verb (used with object), upcycled, upcycling.

1. to process (used goods or waste material) so as to produce something that is often better than the original:

ex. “I upcycled a stained tablecloth into curtains.”
- Dictionary.com
I want to do this because,well, who doesn’t want to learn how to make cool stuff? Plus, not only will I be making artwork, I’ll be helping raise awareness about the environment and reducing the waste I produce! I’ve been interested in scrap bits and pieces from a young age, and any of my friends can tell you that I carry around rubber bands, a broken combination lock and taken-apart pens in my pencil case for whenever I get bored. I’m just taken with the idea that scrap junk can become beautiful works of art, which really makes me wonder about how humans place value on objects. If that bird sculpture was given to me as a Christmas present still in the form of a bunch of nails and screws, I wouldn’t consider it as special as the sculpture above. But it’s the same stuff! Isn’t that weird?
The “how” of the project is where it starts to get complicated. I’ll take used materials, and combine them using glue, string or soldering tools (if I get access to them)to make art. I want to make sculpture pieces and one or two pieces of jewellery. There’s tons of awesome stuff being done with really small, simple sculpture.
Matthew Bartik’s flatware Recycled Fork Musicians.
Recycled insect sculpture by Justin Gershenson Gates
 I will obviously collect spare pieces of scrap metal, electronics, cork, old books, cassette and VHS tapes, or scratched/broken CDs and DVDs. I will also ask friends and family to send me all of their used materials, but I’m not sure how much this will bring. Finding a mentor is a big part of meeting these challenges. I’m hoping my mentor will be able to suggest some good places to find materials and, if possible, I will also contact someone who does metalworking to learn about soldering metal sculpture. So my needs are materials, a mentor with experience in sculpture, soldering tools, and an instructor who can teach metal soldering.When I searched for local resources and artists, I had a hard time find recycled art specialists, but I did find a free family drop in class about recycled art at Leigh Square, Port Coquitlam. I’m going to attend the first workshop there on Jan. 15 if all goes well, so I might be able to talk to the supervisor of that class about possible mentors. In the meantime, I’ll continue looking for a mentor.

My timeline goals are to complete a project a month, roughly. I’ll attend the workshop at Leigh Square after school, as it runs every second week starting Jan. 15th until the end of March. Coming up soon is my mentor-finding. I want to have found a mentor by Jan. 18, about a week from now. I’ve found many independent artists who do recycled art, but most of them live quite far away from here – the one Canadian artist I found lived in Ontario! But I still have a lot of searching to do.


 

In-depth posts update every week, so check next week to see if I’ve found a mentor and see some design sketches!

Night of the Notables

It happened. The night that we have been dreading/dreaming of for a month and a half. Night of the Notables. It happened and it was so amazing. In my opinion it went perfectly. Kind of. I finally saw how everything came together and how all of this planning was really worth it. It was very different from what I expected but, I had so much fun!

In the morning, I was so nervous. When I went to school. Everybody was stressing and freaking out. Compared to them, I was as cool as a cumber. For the first two blocks, I just wanted the day to speed up to blocks 3 and 4. I really wanted to start getting ready for eminent! After blocks 1 and 2, I had lunch. Me, Christine, and Mira hung out near the parking lot outside the MPR. We were just talking about random things and it took my mind off of eminent for a while. It was kind of nice to relieve some stress I had. After lunch was blocks 3 and 4: Eminent Prep Blocks. Finally! I was super exited to get to work on my learning center! I started with preparing some of my interactive part of my learning center. I didn’t have much to prep so I helped out others with their projects. I mostly helped Andrea and Nazlie, but I helped some others as well. At the end of block 4, just before the bell rang. We were all in the classroom, and I sat down and went through what I wanted to do in my head. I really calmed myself down and went into Zen mode. This actually really helped me out because for the rest of the night, I was relatively calm. Then, the bell rang. In my mind, it was officially Night of the Notables. Game on!

 

Photo Creds to TALONS Flickr
Photo Creds to TALONS Flickr

Morning and Afternoon were gathered together in the TALONS room, and we discussed our schedule for the night. Everybody was either super nervous, super exited, or both.  I was both. I wasn’t that nervous because I didn’t really have to give a speech, but for my learning center, I had to think on my feet because I didn’t have a poster or anything, just me. I had a few cue cards but they got lost in the mess of the TALONS classroom. When we started to set up our Learning Centers, I got kind of disappointing. My Learning Center did not turn out the way I wanted to. I wanted to look a little more cluttered, but I had more space than I thought I did, so I had to make do. I think my Learning Center turned out pretty well, but I think I could have done better. Unfortunately, with all this stuff going on, I forgot to take a picture so thank goodness for the TALONS camera. Someone (I think Mr. Jackson) took a picture of me in my learning center. THANK YOU!!!!!! Anyways, in my Learning Center I made a typical, poor, Kenyan house. This is what Wangari probably lived in when she was little. In my house, I had clothes on a clothes line, a stool, a fire pit, a bed, and some plates and pots. I also had 4 interactive activities. In the picture you can see that all of my interactive activities are in the front so it makes it more accessible.  The activities were bracelet making, playing with clay, pick up, and Mancala. In bracelet making, I taught people how to make bracelets. This is what poor young girls may do living in Kenya. In the clay station, you could make whatever you want with clay. This is something children would have done to let their imagination run wild. Pick up is a game similar to jacks but you play with rocks or wood. It is really fun and addicting! Mancala is an African game that is easy to play and fun! Click here for instructions!

Anyways, after setup, I was in food committee, so I went to go get dinner ready. Dinner was so good! Everyone enjoyed it but we might need more drinks next time. I really got to bond with my friends and eat! After dinner, we put some finishing touches on our learning center. We then headed down to the MPR to start. I was so excited to watch the speeches!  Once we were seated, we started to watch the grade 10’s. OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS SO AMAZING!!!!!!!!! I have no idea how we are going to top that next year. I just can’t even explain my feelings for those speeches. So good. Anyways, after that we ran to get to our learning centers.

Photo Credits to TALONS Flickr
Photo Credits to TALONS Flickr

I was so ready for this moment, I had be preparing for this for so long. I think I killed it. I was super involved and I didn’t forget any facts. I got my point across in style and I had a lot of fun! The little kids went crazy over the interactive things and the adults asked tons of questions and they all got answered. I was really comfortable with what I was doing too. On top of all that my outfit was on point. Just saying’. I also got a chance to look at other peoples learning centers and they were so cool! I am just amazed by what people can do! I am so blown away with everyone else’s project. During this time, people from the ESL class were talking to me and took some notes. They told me that they were going to share it to the class. This made me feel kind of special. It was cool that these people really wanted to learn about my person and that they took the time to take notes and play my games. The one woman actually beat my high score in pick up. She got 9 which is crazy hard so I gave her one of the bracelets I made. It was pretty fun to watch her beat my record. My grandparents were there and it was pretty fun to talk to them about what I have learned. They were very into it and they said they had a lot of fun! My parents also had a good time. My dad thought it was kind of weird how the grade 10’s didn’t break character at all. He said he was talking to someone and referred to them by their real name (I forgot who it was), and they just brushed it off and said “Who is _____?” I told my dad that they aren’t supposed to break character and then he said “Ohhhhhhhhh”. It was pretty funny.

After the crowd started to die down and Ms. Mulder said to start cleaning up, a wave of relief swept over me. It’s over. It felt so short but it was finally over. “You still have to blog,” said the tiny voice in my head but I just told it to shut up right now. Night of the Notables was almost over and I was actually… sad. I wanted to do it again and I couldn’t wait until next year! I started to pack up and I left with a smile on my face. I did it and I did it well. I couldn’t have done it without my peers and teachers. I will remember this night for years and I will look back on it and say “Look at that. I did that.” The only bad thing about this is. I got to top this next year! Until next time…

 

 

EDCI 335: Final Design Project

EDCI335 Final Design from Bryan Jackson on Vimeo.

You can read the full PDF of the paper here

Background Drawing identified-gifted learners from the Coquitlam School District, Gleneagle Secondary School’s TALONS (The Academy of Learning for Gifted Notable Students) Program offers Ministry-identified gifted learners interdisciplinary core curriculum (Social Studies, English, Math, and Science for grades 9 and 10, all at an honours level), as well as experiential opportunities to complete Planning 10, Leadership 11 and PE 11. TALONS learning is largely organized around inquiry-based projects that make use of outdoor education and community service elements to imbue learning objectives with a greater tangible relevance to students and their local, as well as global, communities. In addition to covering provincial Ministry of Education curricula in the above courses, the program is grounded in George Betts’ Autonomous Learner Model (Betts & Neihart, 1986), with an emphasis on metacognition and acquainting each member of the cohort with skills and habits uniquely tailored to their own social and emotional roles in cultivating interdependence and community.

This design project was conceived to align both the explicit and implicit foci of British Columbia’s Social Studies 9 curriculum (Social Studies 8 to 10 Integrated Resource Package 1997) with a larger narrative expressed in the personal and collective learning in the TALONS classroom. By bringing the “Hidden Curriculum” into the open in this manner, the learning design intends to conceive of means of engaging the course material which are congruent with its ends. 

Remixes, CRAAP Tests and Collaborative Unit Planning

Twitter as Citizenship Learning

For my EDCI: 335 class, Learning Design, I’ve thus far been addressing our discussion tasks and various thought exercises to my work with #IntroGuitar – especially as the class has been revised and relaunched for this new semester. But it feels as though there is also a lot going on in the TALONS Socials classes that has presented an avenue to manifest a lot of the theory underlying my term project in last semester’s EDCI 338, as well as aspects of our learning in EDCI 335.

As we have embarked on Socials 9 this year (our two-year class alternates between years of Socials 9 and 10), I have approached the spring semester in TALONS attempting to practice collaborative assignment and unit planning, offering opportunities in individual inquiry, media literacy created as an implicit expression of citizenship learning. With #IntroGuitar effectively “launched” for the time being, my planning focus has shifted to the beginning of socials 9, and the dawn of the modern era.

Remixing the Great Book of Knowledge

Over the past few weeks, we started with the source material of Kirby Ferguson‘s “Everything is a Remix” and CBC Ideas‘ The Great Book of Knowledge and set about discussing “the greatest knowledge revolution in human history ([which] began in our lifetime).” Pertinent as a connection to Gutenburg’s role in fostering the social conditions that brought about the Enlightenment period as well as to our present informational context, The Great Book of Knowledge presents the advent of Wikipedia as a manifestation of an emergent, socially created Truth. It seemed an apt place to begin talking about the advent of the bourgeois public sphere, and the creation of modern democracy.

From the hour long episode, each of the TALONS classes was left to organize and delineate the various themes and key ideas presented in the show. During each of these class discussions, I pledged not to talk unless necessary to clarify a technical aspect of information or procedure. In the vacuum created by eliminating the teacher’s voice, various individuals rose to the occasion to help bring about and represent the group’s thinking.

Momentum built slowly in either class’ discussion, with notes emerging on the board, and votes being taken to determine the show’s key themes and concepts.

Once the episode had been divided into as many segments as there were groups in the class, each ‘quad’ (group of four TALONS) was tasked with the creation of an audio remix that expressed the theme or thesis of their selected section. Each class brainstormed and supplied their own criteria for the assignment, and set about experimenting with the classroom technology – iPads, personal computers, Snowball Microphones.

Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 8.04.35 PM

As a finale, the finished remixes were presented on K12 web radio station 105 the Hive live as a debut broadcast from the TALONS classroom. Class members took on the duties of slotting the remixes into an order reflecting their content, preparing copy and questions to read as MC/hosts, learning to navigate the broadcasting software and attending to the group’s various social media. With a few hiccups (network connectivity, a tripped extension cord), both morning and afternoon classes made auspicious debuts in presenting the live broadcasts, and archived their work on the class blog.

We even received a note from the producer of The Great Book of Knowledge, the CBC’s Philip Coulter:

Hey talented TALONS people!

I heard some of the remixes you posted on Soundcloud of The Great Book of Knowledge. They were terrific! Really imaginative work- you had a great feel for the ideas behind the programme and for how to take those ideas to another level, which is what remix is all about, and you obviously get it.

You’re lucky to be in such a great programme, and from a little cruising around your site its obvious that you’re doing really interesting work. Keep it up with creating things that no-one ever thought of before- thats called Art, and that brings us a better world!

Philip Coulter

Producer, The Great Book of Knowledge “Ideas” CBC Radio

CRAAP Testing the English Civil War

This week we have moved into a different sort of crowd-sourced media literacy, emulating Jim Groom and Paul Bond‘s Internet Course at the University of Mary Washington, and CRAAP Testing resources on the English Civil War.

Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 5.01.52 PM

After applying the CRAAP Test to a reading that I supplied, we collected various resources and materials using a Google Form that was published in a wiki page dedicated to the activity. Next, each of the sources was evaluated and highlighted to indicate Good to Go (green), If you have time (yellow) or No Go (red).

In examining the resources Purpose(s), I provided the classes with the government’s prescribed learning outcomes for Socials 9, and asked which resources best fit the following tasks:

Students will: 

  • analyze factors that contribute to revolution and conflict
  • analyze the contributions of the English, French and American Revolutions in the development of democratic concepts
  • evaluate the changing nature of law and its relation to social conditions of the times

Collaborative Unit Planning 

Building on the questions raised by elements of the CRAAP Testing exercise, as well as the minimally guided dissection of The Great Book of Knowledge episode, collaborative unit planning has become a forum for developing the Ministry of Education’s “Applications of Social Studies,” wherein 

It is expected that students will: 

  • identify and clarify a problem, an issue or an inquiry
  • select and summarize information from primary and secondary print and non-print sources, including electronic courses
  • defend a position on a controversial issue after considering a variety of perspectives
  • co-operatively plan, implement, and assess a course of action that addresses the problem, issue or inquiry initially identified

Each of the morning and afternoon TALONS have pursued slightly different courses of action this week, as they have made their way through discussions about projects and readings, generating criteria and a two-week schedule (that will take us to Spring Break). In addition to addressing many aspects of the TALONS leadership curriculum in the spring semester – In-Depth Studies, Adventure Trips, and the culmination of an yearlong (and for the grade tens, a two-yearlong) exercise in community building – this approach is an extension of the reading and thinking I did last semester on developing an emergent curriculum.

Gert Biesta and Deborah Osberg describe a curriculum of emergence as one where:

“…knowledge is neither a representation of something more ‘real’ than itself, nor an ‘object’ that can be transferred from one place to the next. Knowledge is understood, rather, to ‘emerge’ as we, as human beings, participate in the world. Knowledge, in other words, does not exist except in participatory actions.”

Having had the opportunity to experiment with the concept last semester in Philosophy 12, I am getting more and more comfortable with the idea that

“…to encourage the emergence of meaning in the classroom, then the meanings that emerge in classrooms cannot and should not be pre-determined before the ‘event’ of their emergence.”