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Graduation

This technology class definitely helped me to see new tools and techniques that I can use in the classroom with students.  Although I consider myself to be a digital native, I learned how to use software that I’d never really tried before and which does not come easily to me.  However, I won’t allow that to deter me from sharing projects with my students.  I really enjoyed blogging and doing so has helped to encourage me to start my own personal blog sometime in the near future.

As I finish graduate school this week, I am reminded of everything that’s gotten me to the place where I am now.  When I graduated from high school in 2000, the song Graduation by Vitamin C was released.  I felt it only fitting to post this video as now, 11 years later, I am closing the final schooling chapter of my life (at least I hope so!).  I have met amazing people at the Marymount Reston cohort, people who understood what I was going through and commiserated on many, many things with me as we went through this program together.  I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to meet so many great people and to know that we all care for children in the same way.  It’s been a great 2 years and I’m excited to see what comes next as I embark upon my teaching career!

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Digital Storytelling Project

I created the following digital storytelling project about myself using Prezi, then added music in Windows Movie Maker.  Prezi is an amazing technology tool that can be used by people of any age.  I had a lot of fun creating my digital storytelling project and would recommend that everyone check out Prezi for their next big project!

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Virtual Learning

This video demonstrates the importance of using technology within our classrooms in order to help engage students in their learning experience.  Although it doesn’t specifically address virtual learning, it does highlight everything that we’ve been talking about in our technology class as to why using technology in the classroom is more important than ever.

I loved being able to go to class virtually the other night.  Instead of having to rush from work straight to Reston, I was able to come home, relax for a little bit, get my computer ready, and log on for our virtual class session.  I have taken many online classes over the past 2 years, mainly at NOVA, in order to fulfill an additional 24 credits worth of classes in order to obtain my teaching license.  Although they were virtual, they were nothing like the class we did the other night.  What I liked about class Friday night was how interactive it was.  Of course, we were all already familiar with each other, whereas with my NOVA classes, we were all strangers online, taking a course that we had to fulfill.

Although it was great to do the class virtually, I’m not sure that I’d want to do it all the time, especially when learning about emerging technologies to use in the classroom.  Overall though, it was a great experience, and I’m glad that we have the capability in our world to be able to all come together virtually for a few class sessions!

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Prezi

Prezi is a fantastic tool that allows you to create amazing presentations in a short amount of time.  Here is the Prezi podcast that my classmates and I created to demonstrate how Prezi works and why it’s worth checking out for your next presentation in lieu of a PowerPoint.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Living with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

I live with a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which affects 1 in 10 women.  The video above beautifully summarizes what it’s like to live with this condition.  In addition to the symptoms listed in the video, women with PCOS can also suffer from insulin resistance (pre-diabetes), have hormones that are severely disrupted and completely out of whack, suffer from acne, hair loss, fatigue, and irregular menstrual cycles.  In a nutshell, my mom told me that the way that I describe to her how I feel is what it feels like to be pregnant, except that I feel that way pretty much 24/7.  Some days are better than others.

The only reason I found out that I had PCOS was thanks to a newspaper article published in the Washington Post many years ago, when I was in my early 20s, that my mom happened to read.  I was struggling to find out what was “wrong” with me, to figure out why my body was not cooperating with me, why I could never feel normal.  After a series of tests at the doctor’s office, they confirmed that I had PCOS.  It is not an easy condition to diagnose, because the range of symptoms varies so widely between one woman to another.  Finally, I thought I’d find the relief I was seeking.  *Wrong.*  Doctors immediately brushed me off, put me on medicine, and sent me on my way, telling me to eat less and to exercise more.  I felt like screaming at them.  I had already been doing everything in my power to gain control of my body.  So I did the only thing I knew how to do.  I turned to the internet for answers.

I’ve spent countless hours on the internet researching PCOS, meeting other women that have it, reading about their triumphs and failures, trying to figure out how I can best control it.  It is a condition that I struggle with on a daily basis, but it was nice to be able to go online and see that I was not alone in my struggles, that I wasn’t crazy, that other women were experiencing the exact same things that I was experiencing.

After many years of what feels like being a failure in controlling my symptoms, I have turned to taking natural supplements designed specifically for PCOS to help me.  If it weren’t for the internet, I never would have discovered these supplements at pcos.insulitelabs.com

I am now working with a nutritionist to help get my body back into natural balance and harmony. Finally, I have met someone who understands what my body is going through and have discovered that I am malnourished, despite my attempts to eat as natural a diet as possible, and that I more than likely have a dairy allergy, amongst other things.  Thanks to the internet, I know that I am not alone, and have even considered starting my own blog to help other women treat their PCOS and to help raise awareness about a condition that many women may not even realize that they have.

I am thankful to have been blessed with the opportunity to have found out that I have this condition, while so many other women suffer without knowing what they have, even being mis-diagnosed by doctors, who then send them on their way without even so much as a proper diagnosis.  As a result, I am very mistrustful of doctors, and approach my condition in a much more holistic, natural way.  I am thankful that there are ways to treat my symptoms naturally and I hope to help women know that PCOS CAN be controlled, if you work with your body instead of against it.  I don’t see the way that I have to eat as being restrictive.  Instead, I am seeing it as a blessing, because by eating whole, natural foods, I am healing myself, inside and out.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Deer Population Control

This video on deer population control was created by my cohort peers at Marymount University for our digital podcast project.

Personally, I think that humans have invaded the home of the deer, and they are not at fault for causing accidents and such things.  Who are we to take over their land in favor of more shopping malls & office buildings?  Don’t we have enough of those already?  We are taking away their natural habitat.  I think people don’t know how to appreciate nature enough and should realize that the Earth is the deer’s home, just as much as it is ours.

 
 

Storytelling Experience: The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

One of my most recent experiences involving storytelling was during my student teaching experience in 2nd grade.  I was teaching the kids about the Lakota & in order to tie in a project that I wanted them to work on in order to create their own buffalo hide story using Native American symbols, I decided to read them The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush.

I read this story in a non-traditional way though.  Yes, the kids were sitting on the carpet, listening to me read, but I was not holding a book in my hand.  The entire book was scanned in & uploaded onto PowerPoint slides.  Then I opened up my laptop & projected the story onto the screen (unfortunately, this classroom did not have a SmartBoard). 

This allowed all the kids to be able to see the book up-close & in color, helping to make the story that much more memorable.  They pointed out details & things in the story that they otherwise may not have all seen had I been sitting in front of them, reading from the book in the small carpet area in the back of the classroom.  It was definitely a new way to try to read a book to a large groups of kids.  When I was spending my last week doing my student teaching & observing teachers in their classrooms, there was a 4th grade teacher who had done the same thing with her students.  It’s definitely a reading strategy that I’d incorporate again into another lesson!

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Uncategorized