Week 8 Fake News and the Importance of Digital Literacy.

Take time to watch this video, and then read the rest of my post.

In an Edcan article the writer says, the “post-truth” era where people are increasingly influenced by their emotions and beliefs over factual information, fact and fiction can be difficult to distinguish, and fake news can spread rapidly through mainstream media sources and social networks.

We as a society live in a world were we are surrounded by media every day. In the past, news papers, the radio, and television were the only way to get the news. Now we have twitter, instagram, facebook, podcasts, and many more avenues for information to be shared, in an era were we are consuming content at a record amount (especially during quarantine, and social isolation).

Is the information we see or hear always correct? Not always. Political agendas and other forms of deception can influence the news. This is where we get the term fake news. Meaning the news is incorrect or altered in away to guide you towards a false direction. Famously, the POTUS Donald Trump made the term popular. It has been a trending hashtag “#fakenews”, and often can be seem after many tweets.

Why do people fall for fake news? One main reason is the fact that we as an audience have fallen for fake news before and have seen it used in away that makes us question the most common news networks that are delivering it. We no longer trust the mainstream media like we once did. We also have lower attention spans, causing us to trust information because we do not want to research it for ourselves. Sometimes we want to believe something even if it is fake. There are many more reasons that fake news exists and impacts the way we as a society learns.

So how can we as teachers, knowing what we know, reach our students in our classrooms? When students are writing essays, or researching for a presentation, how can we trust the information they are gathering is factual and correct?

Honestly, it is a lot to think about, and a lot of work to implement. We will need help from parents, but what we can do is start. Start teaching students about digital literacy early and often. As I work towards becoming a high school history teacher, I will be implementing a unit on how to avoid falling for fake news. For example in the Saskatchewan Curriculum for History 10, one outcome is being able to Identify Core Content. This is a great time for me to implement a presentation on proper resource checking.

I think as teachers we should rely on resources passed on from professionals who care so deeply about raising digitally literate students. Below are a few resources that I found interesting and useful. Take a look, and talk to you next week. Enjoy and thanks for reading.

  1. “Using Digital Tools”
  2. Verification Handbook
  3. Beyond Fake News Presentation
  4. Evaluating Sources in a “Post Truth World”
  5. Ten Types of Misleading News

Week 7 Slow and Steady

Practicing You are my sunshine has been difficult in so many ways. I am 35 and I know what I am good at, and I know what I am bad at. Often I do not get too frustrated with things that I do. I avoid what I am bad at and focus on what I am good at.

Playing guitar has been a challenge. There are so many moving parts like finger placement, keeping a rhythm, strumming, and the fact that I cannot sing. Looking back on this project I think I should have learned how to do my daughters hair, it would have been practical and I probably would have seen more success.

But I did not do that. Below is an unfiltered video (emoji with palm hitting my face) of me practicing you are my sunshine. I have made some progress even though it is minimal in strumming. But adding timing when you should sing, and focusing on strumming patterns is crazy difficult. I appreciate musicians so much more as I go through this project. I appreciate my wife as well because she can actually play the guitar, which means she better than me in another thing (emoji with my hands raised). Enjoy the video, next week will be another practice session. We will see how it goes. Thanks for reading this and tune in next week.

Cybersleuthing.

When it comes to Cybersleuthing I am probably not the best at it, I really do not care enough to search through peoples social media accounts and see what they are all about. Now if i was hiring someone, or my daughter was going on a date with someone, then yes I would for sure do a deep dive into someones social media accounts.

That being said, I did do a quick look through of Byron Alexander. I went through his Facebook, twitter, and Instagram. His instagram is a private account, which is a good sign, right now I am waiting for him to approve my request. As for his Facebook page, there is nothing that jumps out to me. He has very few photos up, and the ones he has are with his kids playing hockey, or at a Riders game with his friends. Nothing stands out as alarming. I know Byron decently well, and his social media accounts line up with the person I believe i know.

He has two twitter accounts, his personal, and professional. Looking through his personal, you can clearly tell he is a leafs fan, Raptors fan, and a Jays fan. He has his personal and professional social media accounts. To me they both act as professional accounts. He is clearly aware that his posts are a representation of himself, to me he presents a mature, trustworthy (minus the leafs fan part), person who loves his family.

To me this is the best outcome I could have for cybersleuthing. I found nothing.

Reflecting on Digital Identity:

Digital Identity is becoming a very important aspect to the working field. Employers are now checking your social media accounts to get a better understanding of the person they are interviewing. To me this is smart by the employer, and as future employees we have to be equally as smart in understanding the importance of displaying a healthy professional digital identity. To think that you can have a professional account, and personal account, and assume they would not find your personal account seems silly to me. Likely if anyone else can access it so can they. We must be more conscious and careful on what we share, knowing full well people are watching.

I had an experience early in my life when i was candidating for a Pastoral Position. I had to be interview in front of a board made up of Elders and Deacons. One gentleman googled me, and checked youtube and found a video of me dancing to a rap song “Party Like A Rockstar” (it was a while ago). He asked me if i condoned what the song was about (I was dancing with a bunch of students in away to build relationships). It was then I realized that I will be in a position that is watched by everyone, much like a teacher. This experience allowed me to be more aware and conscious of what I am sharing for people to see.

Social Media is difficult because it is a great place for people to come together to re-connect, or feel apart of a shared community. It can also be a place where people feel safe enough and secure enough to make fun of someone, say things they would never say to someone face to face. We live in a shame and blame era in Social Media.

One clear example is

Is in the Ted Talk “One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life”. I watched the speaker share the example of a women who tweeted (in my opinion a very inappropriate tweet) while flying to Africa.She said, “Going to Africa, I hope I don’t get aids, just kidding I’m White”. This in the past was maybe a message you shared to your friends in a text. Instead she shared it on twitter to her 170 followers. One follower retweeted it and from their it exploded and like wildfire the Twitterverse read it and responded with pitchfork-like-words with the desire to ruin her life and career.

The speaker went on to say that many twitter users desire to destroy people, and not feel bad about it. Now I do not know the heart of someone, or if what they are saying is a joke, or a statement, I grew up with the teaching that out from the heart the mouth speaks. So if you are bitter, or angry, or racist in your heart, that will over flow into your speech in some way.

People became like “shaming interns”for google, and the free pass nature of saying horrible things as long as twitter was all working together was fine. This is an issue because no one should be allowed to be intentionally cruel or say things like someone deserves to be raped and get aids. That person should also be held accountable. There is a difference between accountability and crucifixion, and this lady felt the full brunt of twitter “shamers”.

Twitter can be useful. Movements like “Me Too” had a very strong platform, and voice through social media. Twitter can also be a place were people have lost a lot of empathy and enjoy tearing people apart. I am a twitter user, and I hope twitter reverts back to a place were people go to feel safe, and able to have a voice. Where there is more of a feeling of community, where people come on and share the same interests with others. If there is not a change, then the ones who loved using twitter to have a voice, may go back to being voiceless. I also think voices (tweets) should be used for good and not for the purpose of tearing down but instead for building up.

 

Social Media can be a place where many people present an image of someone who has it all together. Pictures edited to show their best side. An example of this is in the ESPN acalled Split Image. I really enjoy Kate Fagan and her work at ESPN, I love the way she debates sports and shares opinions. In this article she shares a sad story on how if you were to follow Madison Holleran’s Instagram account, you would never guess she was depressed or struggling. Kate Fagan said, “Everyone presents an edited version of life on social media. People share moments that reflect an ideal life, an ideal self”. To the unknown eye Madison would have appeared to be the epitome of what every young girl is supposed to hope to become. If you only looked at Madison through the lens of Instagram you would never have thought she was struggling with depression, and anxiety, and that she wanted to commit suicide.  Even those who knew Madison were shocked when she sadly commited suicide. The point though is that Instagram is a platform set up, for people you know through the internet to follow you. It is a place were you can display the best version of yourself.

Instagram, Twitter, and social media in general can impact our digital identity. Social Media has caused people to be fired, it has ruined the lives of many. It is a powerful tool that can be used for good, or for bad. It is a place where some come to find a voice, and some come to hide and lie. For many it is a tool used to escape, or keep in touch, or find a familiar community. There are those who abuse it, and use it to tear people down.

As a user of these platforms, I need to be aware of the power Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram ad Facebook have on me and acknowledge the power I have as an influencer. I need to be thoughtful in what I follow, what I share, and my goal should always be to make a positive impact in the world.

Practicing G and Cadd9 Week 6

Hello again, sorry this post is a bit late, our schedule has been crazy this past week. Fun fact: two days ago my wife and I made a major leap and got a puppy. His name is Laker (after my Favourite Basketball team). Me naming him was part of the deal.

This video taken by the lovely Ryla, and it is me trying to practice strumming the down, down, down, up, down up pattern. It has taken awhile to even get to the point I am at right now, which is not very far.

It feels awkward trying to strum and even more awkward trying to hit the proper strings. I have not been able to transition smoothly either. More practice is needed. It is hard to keep motivated with little progresses, but I have to trust the process. Below is my video, I hope you enjoy it. My next post will be more of the same, but i’ll be adding vocals (which is insane).

 

Week 6 Converstations about Digital Citizenship

This week Byron and I did a mock conversation between a concerned Dad and his son’s assignment.

Here are the links we used:

https://www.virtuallibrary.info/digital-citizenship.htm

How to Make a YouTube Video (Beginner’s Guide)

 

 

Posted above is our conversation. We think this is a very practical and likely conversation teachers will be having with their students if technology is being implemented in the classroom, like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook and Digital Citizenship.

Thanks for reading and talk to you next week.

Week 5- Joint Blog/Learning Project post

It is hard sitting here and writing this post. I just finished reading break and reality is that I still wish I am on said break. I am tired due to work, school, traveling, it’s draining, my break did not feel like a break. That being said, I did have some fun with this project. Ryla was a bit sad that she could not do the filming for this project, but She bounced back when I told her she could play Mario Kart while I worked on this blog post. So please do not feel sorry for her….even though she would want you to. She is fine.

For my shared learning blog post, I decided to try using the time lapse option when taking video on my iPhone. On the newer iPhones this is something that always pops up when I want to take a video of something. I have seen a few time lapse videos on Instagram and always wanted to try it. I also wanted to do everything for this project on my phone, since most of my time on my iPhone is texting, Instagram, Twitter, checking sports scores or playing Mario Kart, I figured maybe it would be a good idea to push my phone a little more and see what I can do on it. I decided to do all the editing of my video on iMovie. Just using my fingers i was able to easily edit my video. I spent 20 minutes working on my transitions from Cadd9 to G on Ali’s Guitar, and with the time lapse option you are able to watch me transition, and see the progress I’ve made in just 15 seconds.

I loved how easy it is to find and use Time Lapse on my iPhone. Just like taking a normal video, all you need to do is press the red button and let the phone do the rest. The only issue is that this feature is only available for iPhones, and you may need to make sure you have available storage on the phone to allow the space needed to record a longer video.

As you can see in this photo, the red button is very easy to see, and press. The rest of the work is done by the phone as it records everything you do until you decided to stop it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iMovie Review

This is not my first time using iMovie. It is my first time using it on my phone though, because in the past with my older iPhone versions the app took up too much space, and it would not run smoothly, it would take a while to load anything. Below is my step by step process on how I uploaded and edited my video.

Above you can see the first step is to open the app on your phone (highlighted in yellow). Next you need to create a new project by clicking the plus sign. I decided to click movie trailer. Then add your video clip. This was very smooth and easy to do. I could have left it as is, but i wanted to add music to my video, because the sounds coming from my guitar were not always smooth or easy on the ears.

Again pretty simple, in the top right corner I clicked the plus button, clicked video, music, and then pick the song that I am allowed to use. If you look closely in the third picture you can see the song Paradise, and on the left you see nothing. The songs below though you see a cloud, and a cloud with a line through it. The line means that song cannot be used in a video. The other one means you need to download your song on to your phone.

My last phase was adding finishing touches to the video.  Again really easy. Just needed to look to the right  (bottom, or top depending on how you hold your phone) and click on the wheel looking icon. from there i clicked fade to black, and changed my video colour to black and white. Lastly I just had to click on the blue sound bar at the end of the song and drag my finger to the left, this allowed for the song also to fade away so the sound does not end so abruptly when the video ends.

All in all iMovie is awesome, easy and fun to use. So easy you can do it all on your phone and have it uploaded to YouTube in a matter of 15 minutes.

As for my learning project, it is slow moving, because learning chords, and transitions is hard. I am not a musician so progress is slow and very little. I will continue to practice, and next week I along with Ryla’s help will post a new video on my progress. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your week. Peace. 

Week 4 C Chord

When you watch this video you will realize the D Chord caused me the most struggles so far. Ryla was a lot of fun and supportive which helped. I also relied on my wife’s knowledge to get to the point where I wasn’t muting the sound. It was a journey but by the end I was able to successfully play it.

 

This week I have decided to learn the C Chord, or specifically the Cadd9 Chord. The nice thing about this chord is that it is very similar to the G Chord. When playing the song “You are My Sunshine” you transfer from G to C very fast, so this chord makes that transition way easier.

Once again I rely on Justin to help with teaching me the C chord.

The first finger sits on the first fret and the fourth string. The second finger sits on the second fret  5th string. The third and fourth finger are also on the second fret. The third finger sits on the second string while the fourth finger sits on the first string.  What I really enjoy about the Cadd9 Chord is that it moves my fingers down one string each for fingers one and two. The rest stays the same. So my transitions will be easier when practicing “You are My Sunshine.

Next week I will post my video on practicing the Cadd Chord/ C Chord. After that. I will be transitioning into practicing strumming and changing back and forth between different notes. Thanks for reading and watching the videos. The journey continues, and I hope you continue to follow along. Enjoy the rest of your day. Peace Out!