To tweet or not to tweet – that is the question.

As you might already know, I’m new to the twittersphere. Surprisingly though, I did actually have a twitter account before this a long time ago that I clearly did not use correctly! (especially the hashtags). BUT I think I got it this second time around. Although, I used to not really care for twitter.. at all. I’m kind of warming up to it now! I think it’s pretty great how much of a support system/community is on twitter. I would definitely try and incorporate it within my own classroom as a professional development tool because of the amount of potential employers and businesses that are on twitter! It gives off a networking type of vibe. Especially for individuals who might be needing that networking opportunity to create/set up different opportunities for themselves. I think it’s a great tool to share your interests and join a helpful virtual community that will aid in your own learning journey.

But please.. tweet responsibly.

#saskedchat

My first ever chat I did on twitter was great! I really enjoyed it. I found so many interesting resources, helpful advice and got to virtually meet and interact with other teachers/scholars out there! Even though it was a little hard to keep up with on tweet deck because there were so many people participating the moderator put all the tweets together and onto an archive. So, if we ever wanted to go back and check out the resources and comments in the tweets we can. Altogether, the experience was pretty cool and interesting. I had no idea that there was something like that to participate in on twitter. I also didn’t know there was such a thing like tweet deck. Anyway, I’m super excited to keep exploring twitter and learning how to use it effectively for myself and my future students!

Little steps with small set backs!

Where words fail. Music speaks.

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

So, my first weeks learning project festivities started off slow and had some minor set backs. I started off by borrowing my mom’s fiddle. Like her dad, she also wanted to learn how to play fiddle! She received a fiddle from her aunt a couple years back after she expressed her desire in wanting to learn. Fortunately, she was kind enough to lend it to me and tell me a few things about the fiddle that a beginner would not know – like what on earth is rosin? Well, rosin is resin from trees that is heated until it becomes fairly solid. It looks like an orange-ish clear-ish glass. Its used to be applied onto the violins bow, so that the hair on the bow has an adequate amount of friction that will grip the violin strings – making them sound.

What next?

So now, I needed to learn the fundamentals. I started with the app that Laura was so kind to share with me – Trala. Trala seemed really easy to use. It sets out lessons that you need to go through for beginners and then as you finish the lessons and courses within each chapter, you graduate to the next chapter. So, easy enough. I started out with chapter 1 in its first course, I completed 5 lessons. In each chapter there is about 10 courses that have about 5-15 lessons in them. So, it’s quite the app considering how much information is in it. I just finished the first course in the first chapter and all the lessons were about how to hold your bow and fiddle!

Chapter 1: Course 1 – the lessons in the first course in chapter 1 went as follows:

  • Bow prep
  • Violin hold
  • Bow hold
  • Bow placement
  • Bow strokes

Some things I noticed while completing these lessons..

  • My strokes did not sound like they should after completing the lessons. I noticed this but was certain that I was doing all the steps correctly in each lesson. So, I turned to google. I googled “fiddle not sounding like it should.” I found a video that titled “no sound from my violin?” I watched it and realized this was exactly how my fiddle sounded! Alison Sparrow (The Online Piano & Violin Tutor) – stated it was likely because I wasn’t putting enough resin on it – who would have thought! Google is just… great. After learning this, I noticed that Alison actually links another video that she made on “HOW TO: Rosin the Violin Bow & How Often.”
  • I currently have gel nails on and I found it extremely awkward with holding the bow. So, I thought to myself.. if this feels awkward.. I can probably image how it would feel when I begin using my fingers for notes on the fiddle. So, I came to a conclusion – the nails got to go.
  • I also noticed how the app would use the word violin and not fiddle. So I questioned.. what’s the difference? And the answer was short – nothing really. So, for the sake of what I grew up knowing I’m going to continue to refer to it as a fiddle, except when I’m noting the chapters, course and lessons from the app (and other forms of online resources).
  • One thing that I found a tad annoying with the app was that it didn’t automatically go to the next step. So I would have to let go of the bow hold or the fiddle to press the next button in order to see what the next step was. I’m probably being a little too picky though because I’m not sure how I would like it if the lessons skipped too quickly for me to learn the proper holds! Especially when I start with learning the notes. Ah, you win some, you lose some!

nimosom playing the fiddle and nohkom playing the guitar. Photo supplied by my mother.

HOW TO: Rosin the Violin Bow & How Often

Video I found on how to rosin your bow!

Feedly Favorites!

So, for this week’s #edtech adventures we are to get an RSS reader and search for a few educational blogs and sources! First things first – I made an account. I chose to go with Feedly because it seemed to be fairly easy to use. I started off by searching some key words in the search bar that interested me like – education, technology, inclusive education and Indigenous. Once some searches came up I looked at things like how many followers the site had, how many articles that the site produced a week, and some of the articles that were made and shared on the site. After skimming through the sites I went back to Feedly and started searching through my feeds. I looked through the “trending in” feed and skimmed through the “trending in tech” feed. I looked through some of the “you might also like” feeds. By searching through some of the features on Feedly I found more sites to follow!

Two sites that I would like to mention are;

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning feeds focus primarily on sharing online resources that could be used for educational purposes. I found it very useful because by reading these articles I was able to familiarize myself with some neat #edtech resources I didn’t know about! Another site I found that was very useful was Cult of Pedagogy. Now, I liked the resources and findings in the Educational Technology feed BUT… Cult. Of. Pedagogy. Wow. I love this site. It has a blog, podcasts, videos and loads of information that are categorized and organized in a way that makes navigating the site extremely easy! It has information on instruction, classroom management technology, learning, leadership, stories.. you name it. I would also highly recommend podcasts! I like reading but if you do a lot of driving like myself they come in handy. Podcasts is my favorite thing lately.

Learning Project: The greatest fiddle player I knew.

Photo by Jana T. on Pexels.com
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
“Two Fiddles” by Manchester Library is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo of me and nimosom the year I was born. Photo supplied by me.
Photo of my nohkom, aunt, mom, nimosom, brother, and me. The day my mom graduated from law school. Photo supplied by me.

Hi everyone! So, when I discovered that we will be doing a project on learning something online I initially thought of a few ideas. Right off the get go, I wanted to learn something that connected with my culture and Cree identity. So, my initial thoughts went straight to learning Cree, beading or sewing – something that would contribute to making a traditional fancy shawl outfit for me daughter (something I’ve attempted a few times in the past). But these ideas weren’t something I was super excited by. I already knew how to speak some Cree and basically have the foundation of the language down. I’ve also beaded before. So, trying to think of something I really wanted to do was difficult for me to be motived by – for myself to have that aha moment! But as I continued to think about what I wanted to do and the endless possibilities of what I could do my thoughts always ended up back to my family – my loved ones in the spiritual world. I realized then, that I wanted to do something that nimosōm (my grandpa) used to do – play fiddle.

Why did I decide to learn to play the fiddle?

I have always wanted to learn how to be able to play an instrument because I never attempted to play a musical instrument in my life (besides hot cross buns on the flute in middle school). I recalled moments with nimosōm and I always remembered how much he loved to play the fiddle. He was a very quiet man but his presence was known and felt where ever he was. I remember waking up in morning spent at my grandparents’ house and nimosōm would be sitting at the table listening to his cassette player and everyone knew it was fiddle music. Growing up, I would hear stories about how talented he was at playing the fiddle but I was never able to hear him play. He stopped playing before I could remember but I always longed to hear his music. I know he will be with me while on this learning journey!

My plan in baby steps…

So, my plan in learning to play the fiddle will begin with learning notes. I would probably need to also learn how to tune it.. I’m assuming. So, I’ve found a few websites on how to learn to play the fiddle for beginners and a few tips on how to tune a fiddle. Luckily for me, there is a lot of websites out there that are for fiddle learners! Some sites I came across are; Fiddle Class, Peghead Nation, and a site that lists 14 websites to learn fiddle lessons online.

Introducing… Alex!

A photo of my family supplied by me.

Hi! My name is Alex Ledoux. I’m originally from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. I spent most of my childhood on reserve and in Saskatoon while occasionally spending holidays down south with my other family either in Peepeekisis or Regina. A couple years after I graduated high school I decided to move to Regina to be closer to my loved ones that I didn’t see a lot growing up. After my big move, I would eventually meet my fiancé and my step son. My fiancé and I welcomed our daughter – Quinnlee, in the summer of 2016.

My little family recently moved back to my home reserve of Muskeg Lake so that we could be closer to my parents and siblings. Since moving home I hope to find a job and give back to my community. As a young adult, I have had many opportunities to work with youth which ignited my aspirations in becoming a teacher. In my spare time you will find me either, reading, in class or outdoors!

My experience with educational technology is very low! I grew up without computers and in a time where technology was not as prominent as it is now. For instance, in high school I didn’t use technology a lot for my studies. It wasn’t until I decided to go to university four years ago that I began to become familiar with kahoot, mentimeter, wordpress and all those other extremely fun educational sites but that’s about where my experience comes to a stop. So honestly, I think I tend to struggle with navigating technology, social media and blogging but that is exactly why I signed up for EDTC 300 – to become very tech savvy.. hopefully.

Blogging! Well, I never really had a lot of opinions or thoughts about blogging but I did think they were super cool and interesting when I would come across blogs online. I had always loved how people were able to create these online posts of their thoughts and experiences to share with others. Personally, I think using technology in any kind of form to express yourself is cool. It is especially interesting how you can share helpful resources and relate to one another on a personal level through social media. So I have always wanted to learn how to blog and navigate technology in a way that benefits myself, others, and my future students! Well that and TikTok but I think that ship has sailed – I think my four year old daughter will jump on that train before I can grasp the art of making videos. However, I do have an Instagram, Facebook and thanks to this class a Twitter account!