In Depth Post #4

I can honestly say that these two  weeks have been beyond busy for me, and I’m very stressed with everything going on right now, but sometime along these two stressful weeks, I’ve been able to work on in-depth. Although I may have not done as much these two weeks as I have done before, I’ve honestly tried my best to work along with my theory exam preparations and school work, and I think I’ve been able to maintain my work load to a decent amount as well as meeting up with Lucien.

These two weeks have taught me one very important thing: I have to make sure to save every chance I have because computer and IPad apps almost always seem to crash and I lose all my work. I’ve had some troubles saving some of my work when my computer or iPad turn slow and I would get frustrated and stop working altogether for the day, only to work again the next day. I guess this has been a good strategy for me because when I try to work out of frustration, I never end with good results and just taking a break for the day really helped me develop better ideas, and calm down from frustration.

It hasn’t been really hard meeting up with my mentor because I’m friends with his daughter but what I find is the most difficult is that he lives in surrey and that means crossing the toll bridge every time and a long drive. Lucien and I have gotten along really well and he mainly helps with my photography and camera functions. We sometimes get into problems about my camera not working well, but besides minor things, Lucien and I have been very successful.

What I feel is working well for me right now is my ideas. I’ve been getting some great ideas of what to edit and every week, I end up thinking of something new. My ideas have been leaning towards surreal type of images rather than photo shopping someone’s face or  body. I’ve also felt that the apps I’ve been using are very successful in my images especially light leaks ad filters. However, I have been having some troubles with the weather because I’ve been wanting to take pictures when the weather was nice, but all it’s been doing lately is rain. I can’t really control the weather so I’m hoping that during spring break in Mexico, I’ll be able to take some good photo’s. I’ve also been wanting to buy a tripod to help take steadier photo’s that are easier to edit on the layering and to be able to do that, ill have to ask my parents if they are willing. I’m hoping that I’m able to over come the obstacles and I would love it if people gave me some ideas on what I should edit next!


Here is some of my work:


quite difficult to do but fantastic results
quite difficult to do but fantastic results
the original photo does not have any filter or light leaks
the original photo does not have any filter or light leaks
thought it would be funny to compare my change with a collage
thought it would be funny to compare my change with a collage
easy picture done with layering
easy picture done with layering



In-Depth Post #4

The flag of China

Oh my! It seems like only a couple of days ago when I last blogged about my in-depth! Time sure does fly when you are busy! Nevertheless, here I am again to blog about my progress and address the questions that Ms. Mulder stated in her blog.

In my last post, I talked about how I was familiarizing myself with “pinyin”, which is the pronunciation of the English alphabet in Mandarin. In addition, I was learning how to read small words (using the english letters and tones) and use my pinyin book to copy them to help me memorize them. After lots of practice, I am happy to announce that I have completely memorized pinyin! I tried my best to squeeze in a little “pinyin time” everyday for me to practice the pronunciation until it was memorized and flawless. Since my close friends, Lori and Crystal, speak fluent Mandarin, I recited my pinyin in front of them and asked for their insight on my pronunciation. Crystal and Lori approved which is a good sign! On another note, the Mandarin homework that was assigned to me by my mentor, Hannah Duan, was successfully completed as well. I will hopefully be meeting my mentor sometime this weekend or near the beginning of next week to move on to the next stage of my learning, and I can’t wait!

Stay tuned for the next post to hear more of my progress. At this time, I will address the questions Ms. Mulder stated in her blog:

  1. The most difficult mentoring challenge so far has definitely been meeting times. I do my best to try and schedule a Mandarin lesson with Hannah as often as I can, preferably once a week, but sometimes, it doesn’t always work out. This is because of my busy school schedule with TALONS events, piano, and musical theatre, and her work schedule. Adventure trip planning is well underway, so I will have to work extra hard to manage my time in order to find a time to meet with Hannah because let’s face it, TALONS is only going to get busier from here.
  2. The relationship we share with one another is definitely something that is working well. We engage in our learning and discussions, and we listen to each other when I have questions or when she has something to emphasize about the language. We communicate well with one another and we have quickly become comfortable with each other. My confidence has grown in every meeting, and I am starting to ask more questions when I need clarification. Hannah has been a fabulous mentor and teacher, and I am excited to continue exploring my in-depth alongside Hannah.
  3. I mentioned this in my last post, and unfortunately I never focused on completing this goal. However, I am ready to give it another go. Something that could be working better is for me to wonder more about the Chinese culture and the relationship it has to the language. This can be achieved by asking even more questions about the language and how it works. Language is a big component in culture, so for me to be more culturally aware of the Chinese society would help make my learning more interesting and enjoyable.

That is all for now. Thanks for reading and I hope to blog again in another two weeks!

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.”

In-depth Post Week #8: To Everything There is a Season- Predictable Phases

Zachary points out that “mentoring relationships progress through four predictable phases: preparing, negotiating, enabling, and coming to closure” (p. 49).  Each of these phases may vary in length depending on the people involved and type of project.  Opportunities to reflect, such as blog posts, enhance the learning throughout these phases and allow for tweaking interactions throughout the entire duration of the project.  Zachary notes that ” Reflection, in combination with the key elements of readiness, opportunity, and support, forms the scaffolding (or structure) for facilitating the learning that takes place throughout each phase” (p. 50).


– clarifying expectations

– setting goals

– making sure the mentor is ready


– defining content and relationship

– sharing understanding about assumptions, expectations, goals, and needs

– addressing confidentiality, boundaries, and limits

– sharing details about how and when to meet, responsibilities, criteria for success


– implementing the project

– maintaining trust, communicating and learning

Coming to closure:

– evaluating learning

– applying learning to other situations

– acknowledging mentor

– celebrating learning


At this point in the project, you should be in the enabling phases of the mentoring relationship.   Zachary (2000) concludes, “Facilitating effective learning relationships requires a mentor’s commitment to time and investment of time during the entire mentoring cycle.  Reflecting on one’s own learning and tending to the key elements of readiness, opportunity, and support to make sure that they are in place helps mentors promote the learning of their mentees” (p. 64),

Reflection Questions for post #4 :

1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far?  Why?

2. What is working well? Why?

3. What could be working better?  How can you make sure this happens?





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Falling, Stumbling, Tripping (InDepth Post #3)

It is post number three and I still am having a few bumps with my project (including getting this post up because it just decided not to publish).

Nonetheless I am working with these issues and moving towards the completion of my In Depth project.

I’m going to be very linear here and state the three questions I will cover and then answer them before moving on to my progress report.


3. What learning challenges emerged?

a. What did you do to hold yourselves accountable for the learning?

During this whole process I’ve had some issues with the little things. A filtering feature here, a suggestion that popped up there, a glitch in the system. I’ve done my best to read through all of the “How to For Dummies” and Q&A topics about these problems and the programs in general. My mentor has continued to point out a few ways to work through these problems occasionally when it gets to be a real problem, but usually it is me who has to learn and take responsibility for my mistakes. My mentor really just acts as a safety net and a guide at times, leaving me to take those baby steps to learn what I need to know.


4. What logical challenges affected your communication?

a. What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

One big issue with the communication between my mentor and I is the distance. My mentor lives in Kamloops and I, of course, live here in Coquitlam. This means it is difficult for us to meet face to face but we do still communicate through handy dandy Facebook. Of course, in a message there can sometimes be perceived tones or meanings that aren’t actually there so we both have to be careful to make it clear what we are asking or stating when we message each other. I will be seeing my mentor in person quite shortly though, hopefully it will go smoothly with no serious bumps.


5. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?

First of all if we were meeting in person every time that would be a huge improvement from our current situation. Secondly if I could find ways to go a little more in depth with the questions I ask, that may improve my overall experience with my mentor and the project in general. If I could really nit-pick the whole process and all of the information that I am gathering through the research for my final presentation of my project, to really get every scrap of knowledge I can claw from my mentor’s mind, that would allow me to have a broader picture of the whole process and where you can really go with programs and projects like mine.


Now on to the oh so very interesting progress report!


As you may have guessed based on the title (or not, because some people would just skip the title all together,) it’s been a little bumpy at the beginning of In Depth, but now that I’m really getting the hang of the programs I’m using and how to lay out the data I’m falling headfirst into a pool of knowledge and skill I didn’t know I had. My mentor has kinda let me go off on my own lately to find my own way to learn the techniques and quirks with doing what I’m doing, to really explore the topic I chose and take flight all by myself. Lucky for me I will actually be having a meeting with my mentor in person soon!

“And falling’s just another way to fly.”
― Emilie Autumn

In-Depth Post Number Three

Alright before we begin I’d like to thank Shaw internet for the stellar internet I have been getting this weekend and today, and for getting my blog post out like three days late. So here we go.

We have been working some more on reading and beginning to appreciate poetry. Format and form are being taken note of and we are discussing the virtues of different types of poetry. Hopefully soon we can continue to some actual writing, but immersion is good for setting me up for success in my writing.

4. Our mentor relationship, being long-distance, has inevitably gotten a little rocky. Whether through the fault of the aforementioned Shaw internet, or the always reliable Yahoo email, or some issue on my mentors end, I haven’t gotten through to Bay for a while. It’s a logistical problem that I did expect but didn’t really plan or prevent for it.

2b. Our interactions started fairly formally, with introductions and such, all nicely spelled and formatted. We’ve started to become more colloquial in communication however and I think that’s a good thing. With formalities out of the way, we can more easily get on to what’s really important, and that’s the poetry.

5. My three strategies for improving mentor interactions are both logistical and educational. A different method of communication may be beneficial, such as Skype to better communicate with my mentor. A second strategy would be on my part, to ask more questions and take some ownership in interactions with my mentor to enrich my experience. A third would be to take some initiative outside of my mentor’s advice and read and discuss poetry as often as I can.

I realize I’ve not made much headway, but I’m doing everything I can to make week 8 a more fruitful fortnight.



My Mentor V2 (#3)

Jacob Gebrewold is an excellent human being. I can feel it. Emma and I recently had our second meeting with him at the Starbucks adjacent to Chapters, and I was struck by his charisma, as well as the effort and planning that he is putting into our relationship. What I first thought was going to be just another writing session has turned out to be seminars on life, networking, and relationships; and that is not even getting into the poetry side of things!

On an unrelated note: clear communication is a beautiful thing, so all questions from here out will be clearly marked.

1) What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

The two mentoring sessions Jacob has facilitated thus far have been incredibly successful, because of his structured lesson plan that he brings to the table every single time- he knows what he’s doing. He assigns us homework (reading leadership literature & organizing poetry slams at Gleneagle & Workshopping w/ Emma), and we are slowly working our way through our curriculum- yes he has a curriculum- and everything is just dandy.

Side note:

Jacob is very, very good at what he does. I didn’t really realize at first how lucky Emma and I to have this opportunity… Jacob is the Founder and Captain of the Port Moody Secondary Poetry Team; which won Hullabaloo in it’s first ever year, mind you. He won the Vancouver Youth Grand Slam, and to top it off he has gone on international tours as an activist poet.


On to question #2.

2) Were you candid and open in your communication with each other? Explain.

We were incredibly open and candid with each other from the very start. For example, the first exercise he had us do was write down a pros/cons list of who we are as people. This was difficult and draining, but it made us comfortable with each other pretty darned fast.

3) What did you do to hold yourselves accountable for the learning?

For the first time ever, I am using a planner. This is not completely due to Jacob, TALONS has helped considerably, but I think there is a correlation, at least.

In-Depth #3: The Relationship of a Mentor and an Apprentice

Well darn, a week before the new month. And it seems as if I haven’t aged a day.

My mentorship has been going very well as the month slowly comes to an end. I’ve unfortunately have met him only once since my last blog post, but I have had a very informative lesson. The last lesson I had, I was taught how to change the spark plugs of the engine. Although this may seem easy to some people, I found this like challenging as there were many things to follow as the lesson progressed. The main thing to keep in mind when changing the spark plugs-and anything in general when working with engines-is that keep track of where everything goes and attaches to. Each spark plug has a specific connector which distributes the sparks to each spark plug, where the engine receives it and starts. This piece of the engine is essential to starting the vehicle. It takes specific spark plug ratchets to remove and replace the plugs, and removing the actual spark plug connectors took a bit of broad force. He also took a few minutes to show what is the actual components of the inside of a car. Overall, although I found myself scrambling to find which connector connects to which spark plug, it was a good day.

It was a very good mentoring session, but I found the easy transition from one part of his lesson to another and the examples he used to relate to the engine to be something well that happened during the mentoring. The fact that he uses examples to find connections with what he’s talking about made it particularly easier to follow and comprehend. If he didn’t compare everyday things with vehicles, such as gears on a bike with gears on a car, it would be much harder to follow.

However, the lesson wasn’t the easiest thing I have ever experienced because I’m still at that stage where it’s a tad awkward between my mentor and myself. We felt that we were effectively communicating with each other as we both got answers we wanted and asked questions for reassurance or for curiosity.  Although my knowledge of engines are limited, I tried to be as honest as I can with what I knew and was open to anything he taught me, even though it might have been against what I already knew before. I feel that we were really paying attention to each other as the session progressed because it got a bit easier to talk to him, even though we haven’t known each other for too long. I can safely say that we both paid attention to each other, because I did what ever he asked me to do while he kept my strengths and weaknesses in learning in mind, as he knew I would learn better more from hands-on demonstrations than on paper.

A learning challenge I found while learning how to change spark plug and even when I first got introduced to the engine was that I had difficulties remembering all the parts and possibly steps of an engine. Engine work takes a lot of memorizing which I am not fully use to at the moment, so for the time being, I must constantly review and test myself to make sure I can remember the parts and their specific tasks of an engine. I possibly might purchase a few books or check a few websites on the parts of an engine just to constantly have the parts circling in my head.

Thank you very much for following along, and I am quite excited to see what I will learn yet. I want to learn how to build my own engine, but I probably won’t get to that point for a long time.


A spark plug


The spark plugs in an engine

In-Depth post 3

Over the past few weeks I have been spending a lot of time developing my skills in choreography. My mentor Sarah has a lot of experience in this field as she choreographs multiple pieces every year! While my weekly class with Sarah is a big help to developing my skills I must also hold myself accountable for my learning. In order to do this I have been attending extra learning opportunities such as conventions and competitions where I have been getting a lot of exposure to other points of view and spending a lot of time dancing and learning to improv. Every week we spend about 15 minutes in Sarah’s class working on improv which is a building block to choreography. Sarah’s time has been hugely helpful and I am really improving! The three strategies that could improve the quality of our mentoring interactions are discussing more of my questions, showing her some of my own choreography and discussing some of the pieces I have seen that stood out to me and why they did. I can accomplish these things by having a list of questions or thoughts ready before class so that I can discuss them with Sarah, recording some of my work so I can email it to her and get her thoughts on it and by keeping a list of the pieces I see that stand out to me when I am at competitions or performances. These steps will improve the quality of our mentoring interactions and cause me to learn and develop my skills even more quickly! I have been having a great time working on my In-Depth project so far and I am so excited to dive even deeper into my topic.

In-Depth #3 -My Mentor

untitledI’ve been going to my wheel-throwing class for 5 weeks so far, each week my mentor has been there teaching me different tips and skills to get better at making pots, bowls, vases and cups. Although I did have to miss this week because of a very important basketball game, which is too bad the two overlap because of how fun each wheel-throwing class has been. Everything is really running smoothly, especially with my mentor, Clive. Clive has been extremely helpful showing me all the ways of wheel-throwing. Without him, I probably would have just wasted a bunch of clay, not making anything. I think it helps that Clive and I have strong communication within our learning relationship. When I don’t understand something, I just get him to help me out, or reshow me how to do a specific skill. He listens to me equally so that I don’t feel ignored, or rushed to hurry up and understand each skill. Although it is a logical challenge that when communicating, I sometimes get frustrated because it takes so much patience to create a neat object, yet Clive can make them so easily without even trying. I just need to remember that I am just starting out and have to keep practising. Having my mentor as my teacher works really well because he is so knowledgeable in his field and has lots of years of experience teaching beginner wheel-throwers. Overall, the last couple weeks have been a great success and I couldn’t think of any better way to learn my wheel-throwing skills.