Technology Inquiry Project, Post #3: Tree Mapping

For this blogpost I decided to explore one of the references that Bethany had listed in her previous post. More specifically, an academic article titled, “Local Tree Mapping: A Collaborative, Place-Based Activity Integrating Science, Technology, Math, and Geography” by Erica Blatt. I was instantly hooked. This insightful article provides detailed instruction and an abundance of resources concerning how to conduct tree mapping as a class.

What makes tree-mapping so awesome?

  • It’s inquiry-based; thereby fits perfectly into the new BC curriculum.
  • It can be adjusted for students grades five through twelve.
  • It promotes place-based education and real-world experiences.
  • Students work together to accomplish a common goal.
  • Technology is integrated into nature to enhance student learning.

In short, what are students getting out of this activity?
*Grade-level dependent*

  • Experience collecting data on tree type, height, diameter, age, and the longitude and latitude.
  • A means for identifying various local tree species.
  • Ability to analyze and present real-world data that can be utilized by the local community.
  • Basic skills in geographical information systems (ie. GPS) and Microsoft Excel.
  • Understanding and appreciation for the role of trees within the Earth’s ecosystems.
  • Inquiry skills in science, mathematics, and geography, as well as problem solving, critical thinking and collaborative skills.

This article is proof that when technology and the great outdoors are combined, some really interesting doors suddenly open. Tree mapping is only one of many wonderful possibilities. I look forward to discovering more ways to apply technology outside to create meaningful learning opportunities for students.

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EDCI 306A: Mid-term Evidence of Growth

Over the course of the semester I’ve been following my musical growth plan. According to my plan, I was supposed to reach and complete page #33 (introduction of the Grand Staff) of Alfred’s Lesson Book – Level 1A. I’ve accomplished that goal, which means I’m on track to finish my musical growth plan on time!
Learning the keyboard has been very challenging for me considering I’ve never played an instrument outside of my elementary classrooms. However, so long as I take my time and follow each step laid out by the book, it all makes sense eventually. I really like how the book has eased me into reading music off the Grand Staff. I started off by numbering my fingers and then playing the black keys accordingly. Next, I learned the Middle C and could then play the rest of the white keys. Now, I write the white key names (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) in the staff to help me remember while I play the short musical pieces.
Included in the rest of this blogpost is sheet music and video footage of my progress leading up to and completing page #33. Enjoy!

Page #24: Sailing
Page #24: Sailing
Page 25: Skating
Page 25: Skating
Page 26: Wishing Well
Page 26: Wishing Well
Page 29: Rain, Rain!
Page 29: Rain, Rain!
Page 31: A Happy Song
Page 31: A Happy Song
Page 33: C Position on the Grand Staff
Page 33: C Position on the Grand Staff

I hope you enjoyed viewing and listening to my progress. These videos were an excellent way for me to reflect on my learning journey. Until next time!

Reflective Blog Post: PSII

On Tuesday, my class visited the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry downtown Victoria. As I progress in the BEd program and learn how and why our current schooling system is failing students across BC, I become more interested in alternative options. I have been excited about checking out PSII ever since Founder and Principal, Jeff Hopkins visited on orientation day in September 2018. I was in awe of his passion for education. After attaining the rank of Superintendent (Gulf Islands), he gave everything up to follow his passion by working full-time on PSII.

Jeff gave us a brief overview of the school before setting us loose to roam as we pleased. Everything about this school just made sense. It was obvious that PSII really took current research into consideration when developing the curriculum and learning environment design. Research shows that students don’t get enough sleep, so the school doesn’t open until 9:30am. Research shows that students require flexible workspaces for optimal learning, so the school is divided into micro-environments (collaborative, silent, etc.).

Now right about now you might be thinking that this place sounds too good to be true, but the proof is in the pudding. I couldn’t believe how impressive these students are. One student was discovering how to refurbish broken solar panels. Another was an aspiring Art Curator. How does this student even know what an Art Curator is you ask? Well, they organized a line-out-the-door art exhibit as an inquiry project. I’m talking everything from website creation to hiring a band. These students graduate high school with real accomplishments, and more importantly, a solid idea of what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

Jeff told us that it actually costs less to operate a school like PSII than a traditional school in BC!!! I sure hope BC’s Ministry of Education (and schools worldwide for that matter) start taking notes and follow suit. Thanks for the wicked opportunity Jeff! Keep up the good work!

Indian Act, 1876 ; RESERVES, PROTECTION OF RESERVES & SPECIAL RESERVES.

I’ve just finished reading the content associated with three more headings in the Indian Act, 1876. Overall, it outlines the rules and regulations regarding reserve lands and resources. I believe there is a huge lack of understanding concerning how and why reserves are organized today. I often hear and read of people slandering reserves and the Indigenous peoples who live on them without making any reference to the many injustices they face. Canadian schools should emphasize this knowledge and awareness to stop the spreading of insensitive misinformation. I encourage readers to not only continue reading my blog post, but also put it into perspective by reading more informative articles such as this one.

Back to the Indian Act, here are two sections which I found most thought-provoking:

What Indians only deemed holders of lots.
6. In a reserve, or portion of a reserve, subdivided by survey into lots, no Indian shall be deemed to be lawfully in possession of one or more of such lots, or part of a lot, unless he or she has been or shall be located for the same by the band, with the approval of the Superintendent-General :

Property of deceased In- dian, how to descend.
9. Upon the death of any Indian holding under location or other duly recognized title any lot or parcel of land, the right and interest therein of such deceased Indian shall, together with his goods and chattels, devolve one-third upon his widow, and the remainder upon his children equally ; and such children shall have a like estate in such land as their father ; but should such Indian die without issue but leaving a widow, such lot or parcel of land and his goods and chattels shall be vested in her, and if he leaves no widow, then in the Indian nearest akin to the deceased, but if he have no heir nearer than a cousin, then the same shall be vested in the Crown for the benefit of the band : But whatever may be the final disposition of the land, the claimant or claimants shall not be held to be legally in possession until they obtain a location ticket from the Superintendent-General in the manner prescribed in the case of new locations.

Section 6 points out that no Indian legally possesses reserve land. That is still true today, which is likely unknown by or confusing for Candian private property owners. I also wanted to include section 9 because it demonstrates to what extent Indian land and goods was governed by the Crown.

Again, I strongly recommend for you all to read this article for more insighful information on Indian Reserves. Until next time.


Technology Inquiry Project, Post #1: Bridging the Gap

Bethany and I have started to generate some ideas for our Tech Inquiry Project! We decided to explore what roles (if any) networking technologies can play in outdoor education. At first glance, networking technology and outdoor education seem like binary opposites. I remember watching TV while my mom lectured me about how kids nowadays spend way too much darn time looking at screens, before forcing me to go play outside. More recently, I’ve noticed that even the thought of incorporating networking technology into everyday classroom practices often triggers a moral dilemma for some of my peers in the BEd program. On the other hand, I’ve never heard anybody complain about children spending too much time outside. So the question remains: Is networking technology the arch nemesis of outdoor education, kidnapping children from authentic, real world experiences and interactions? Bethany and I want to bridge this gap by discovering purposeful ways for students to enjoy both simultaneously. Follow us on our journey as we dig up research and even put activities like Geocaching and QuestaGame to the test. Until next week!

Video Editing, Screen Capturing & Audio Editing

Today I had the opportunity to familiarize myself with some really cool online tools! First, I learned how to trim & split, add transitions, create titles and credits, and adjust audio using iMovie. Next, I learned how to record, import audio, trim & split, and add sound effects using GarageBand. Finally, I learned how to screen capture using Screencastify. All of these tools were straightforward and fun to use!

I think they would be helpful for both students and teachers in and out of the classroom. This article describes 6 ways to enhance students learning using iMovie. Likewise, this article emphasizes why GarageBand shouldn’t be limited to music teachers and shares some other classroom uses, such as reading. Last but not least, this article explains some interactive screencasting activities to be completed using Screencastify. You can find a brief video of my Screencastify experience below (I didn’t add any sound because the computer lab was loud with excitement)!