Here is my Digital Story of being a learner! I didn’t realize how much of a lisp I can get… but I hope you all enjoy, and cheers!

Photo Credits from my video all taken from Flickr: astrid westvang , Michael Cheng, Michael Cheng, Robert Taddeo, my own, Travis Olbrich, My own, Sandra, TomaZ Strolfe, Sean MacEntee



La Fin

My ILP was a bit of a bumpy ride for me. Though it is something I enjoy it certainly wasn’t easy. It has been quite the last two months working with things out of my comfort zone! I came out better on the other side than when I started so I call that a success!

From doing my Independent Learning Project I learned a few things. The first is how I learn. I am a visual learner. Going and looking for blogs, or tweets with writing tips was a huge help and asset to me during the time of my ILP. Getting advice on editing, and just little things like “How to write a memorable last line” or “Are death scenes worth it?” type of questions were little diamonds in the rough to hold onto as I continue down my journey of learning and writing!

The second is how much I enjoy writing. I have always been a writer, and a story teller. It wasn’t hard to pick my topic for my ILP. Working on it alone helped me know it is a true passion I have. Which is good as I have a writing Independent Study this summer, and two creative writing classes in the Fall. If I didn’t like writing I would be miserable!

The third is I make a horrible learner on my own when it is for a grade. I love learning on my own, and do my work for class. Mixing them together…not so much. It was hard to set aside time each week to ensure I was getting the right amount done so it wasn’t as unrestricted as what I am used to. Not an excuse, just an observation! It was good to learn that about myself!

My ILP was challenging some weeks like when I was working on editing my pieces, or just the weeks when I couldn’t find the motivation or the words to say to make the story work. Then other weeks it would just flow, and I would find that peace that comes with accomplishment!

The best part of the project was to be able to work on something for myself. All school is for me I know, but to choose my own thing to set to work on, and then be “forced” to do it for the grade was cool even if I struggled some weeks! Though it was like when teachers let you pick your own topics for an essay and since it can be something you’re passionate about you won’t struggle with the content. That I think was nice!

I am not on the track to being a teacher, but if I was I would probably use ILP’s. They are a strong way to have a teacher guiding you with how you learn not what you learn. I think that can be very beneficial for students in the long run as they grow older, and have to learn to do more and more on their own anyways.

This was a great assignment, and would love for more classes to incorporate something like this!



Writing my ILP.png

I’m going to start off this blog post by explaining the above graphic, and then move into its creation. When thinking of my ILP, and what I could share in a graphic format I thought simple is better. I didn’t want to fit too much into a small graphic, but wanted to get across a point about what my ILP is to me. I also thought keeping it shorter made it a little more poetic, and poised!

I put up the picture of the books to signify all of the stories and ideas I started during my ILP. I then chose the notebook lined background because that is where all of the good ideas start from. I then put “Writing my ILP” because that is what my title of my ILP has been since the beginning. Then the “Practice Makes Perfect” is about how many times I wrote something, and had to edit the crap out of it. Though in my opinion it is near impossible to practice writing enough to be perfect at it in any circumstance. This is my quick explanation of the graphic for my ILP.

This week for class we were looking at different tools that can be used that aren’t the normal ones introduced in classes. I chose to use Canva as my resource for the graphic this week. It looked simple to use, but had multiple options for putting it to use. I also created a book cover/poster thing on it. It does a walk through right when you get on to ensure you understand how to use it, and with a little extra looking around and playing with it I figured out a majority of its tools.

They start you out with simple layouts that allow you to switch out for your own information, but have a template for you to follow for the look you’re going for! For this graphic, I searched their pictures, and found the books which I really liked for the theme and color scheme. I then looked at the font options, and chose the two different ones that looked good. I then went to background options until I found the notebook paper! It really was as simple as that!

My biggest challenge for creating the graphic was getting the sizing of the text to look okay. I had originally chose a different font for the bottom text, but it wouldn’t line up properly no matter what I did so I ended up just choosing a different one. Besides that I found my way around with ease!

Canva would be a great asset to any classroom. As I have said, it is simple to use. Especially, for anyone who has a normal amount of digital literacy. If you had students who were good with tech doing this in a classroom it would be super easy and beneficial! Teachers could use it to make handouts, and other important sheets more interesting. Students could use it for presentations, or maybe teachers could make it a fun homework assignment for the students! I would recommend it to my teacher friends for sure!

These graphics allow more color, and easy navigating that Word cannot offer to some. They can be manipulated to fit different classes as well. They will maybe be more eye catching for students. There is definitely value in utilizing these in teaching!


Tell me a story…

Podcasts and Digital Storytelling are both interesting in their own right. I personally prefer Digital Storytelling because it is like a colorful informative movie done in many different mediums. Even the ones that may have mono-toned voices I was able to pay more attention to than to the podcast that ranked at the top last year, Serial. This unit was eye opening for me. I knew I didn’t like podcasts, and never really think about them because of that. It was interesting to see how many ways that podcasts and digital storytelling can be useful in and out of the classroom!

The differences in voices throughout both the podcasts, and ds I think would keep most students interested than if it was just a single voice. Podcasts are able to paint pictures with their voice inflections which isn’t an easy task. Its as if you’re watching tv, but the screen won’t turn on. This can be a big asset to students who learn in a more audible way than those who learn visually. Digital stories are also an asset because it is in the language of students and their technology. They can utilize their own personal knowledge to tell a story without having to write it down. This could make a huge difference to students. Here is a link to a great article that gives great ideas for utilizing DS in the classroom- Teacher’s Guide to Digital Storytelling,

Using podcasts and digital storytelling in the classroom for tools can be an asset to both the students and teachers. If I were to be a teacher I think I would utilize them more in a creating option than listening. Letting the students have these as options for homework can help them learn beyond what they may in a book.

The few disadvantages I can see lie in the fact there are a bunch of people who don’t learn the same way. Making sure to offer different types of learning is something that will help a classroom. It also can be a disadvantage depending how much extra time a teacher has to take in order to get their lesson plan done.

My biggest take away from this whole unit is that podcasts are not all completely boring mono-toned scientists talking about their findings. Though I still do not feel a connection to them, and know for a fact I will probably not touch one again, I do see their use for others, and think it can be a huge asset when done the correct way.



The black strikes the heart like an assassin of the night. The mind numbly follows, submerged into an icy black lake. The attack swift; an ambush. The hollowness inside unable to fight back. The body completely useless as the inklike ice continues twining its way around the soul. Until there is nothing left. The resemblance of a human now a husk, a shell. The cure offered is only temporary. The light back long enough to remind what has been lost beckoning the black to pierce the heart yet again. Sometimes the cycle of it is too much to bear. The black beyond calling to its mate now nestled in the diminishing soul. 

This week for my ILP I decided to do a little poetry. I find poetry interesting. Rules to follow and yet, nothing is off limits. Though I enjoy rhyming, and parallel verses I very much enjoy writing in free verse. It also may be a little cliche, but it allows you to write freely without having to think too much about it. Because it is telling a story of its own without needing an actual beginning middle, and end. Poems are also often times left to the reader for interpretation. This can either be riveting for a reader, or it can drive them nuts depending on personality.

Each day I chose to write something a little different. I tried working with alliteration a little bit in this poem. Though I never had a sentence full of it I tried to incorporate “b” a lot as it is a harsh sounding vowel that helps set the tone brought on by the poem. I chose free verse for this poem for that reason as well. It sets the tone, and I wanted it to flow through on it’s own. Not allowing the reader any real breaks that would have been brought on by lines instead of sentences.

It is a little nerve wracking every time I put out something I wrote for the scrutiny of others. I am normally able to take criticism okay, but as we have been talking about in Dig. Literacy people are a little more free with their thoughts through the keyboard than they would be in person. I would love to hear opinions though in order to grow as a writer you have to be willing to hear what people have to say instead of sitting and wondering. I would like to say I am curious to see what people think of the poem, whether it is what you think it is about or any comments!


The Good, The Bad, and The Unintentional

We are a generation lucky to be born into a world with information at our finger tips. I find myself often thinking of how we have research papers so easy compared to when people actually had to read full books for information. We have GPS that literally tells us where to go instead of having to plan a route, and follow a map. We have all of these amazing things, but sometimes it seems they take over. It is so easy to get lost in them, and not think about those around us.

According to a post called Bored…And Brilliant?  they show that, “Many of us reflexively grab our phones at the first hint of boredom throughout the day. And indeed a recent study by the research group Flurry found that mobile consumers now spend an average of 2 hours and 57 minutes each day on mobile devices.” They also mention an app called Moment, it is supposed to track your phone usage in order to make you more aware of what you are doing when you may  not notice it.

I downloaded an app similar to it called QualityTime, it tracks what apps you use when you open your phone, and for how long. They then are able to show how long you spent on a certain app throughout the day. It is currently 9:49 pm, according to the QualityTime app I have spent 3 hours and 33 minutes on my phone. Yikes! Though I am proud to say that over an hour of it was spent on reading a book I bought on my phone.

I think this is where it gets tough for people. Yes, I am still on my phone a lot when I could be doing other things, but it would be the same had I been holding an actual book in my hands. This is the beauty of the app, you can see if you are at least spending your time on things that will build you up, or if you are truly wasting your time. I am not usually good about being mindful on my phone or computer or TV. I really hadn’t thought much of it until this unit, and hope to change some of my habits.

When we are permanently tied to our devices we lose out on pretty much everything. We may be in the know, and up to date on certain things. But, we are completely missing everything around us. As we saw in the TED talk (shown below) there really is a balance that needs to be found. The internet can offer connections to people we may not be able to see any other way, but we also need to be available to those around us. As he gets to the end he mentions his sister telling him his wall is going back up once he is back on the internet. You can tell this meant something to him as I think it should to all of us.

Be an Activist

Digital activism was a new term for me! I have participated in, and shared digital activism plenty of times since I began my digital citizenship. I just didn’t have a name for it. There are many things that go into the idea of digital activism: petitions, funding, blogs, tweeting to spread knowledge of a subject.

Activism online can be a huge relief to someone because anyone can join in no matter their circumstance, and you can see how you are really helping! “With an estimated two in five young adults engaging with social issues online, we’ve entered into the age of digital activism, where grassroots movements are created through tweets, reblogs, likes, and status updates.” TeenVogue even did a story on it where I pulled this quote.

I have shared/commented on plenty of articles about domestic violence, sexual assault, consent, human trafficking from my job’s Facebook page. These are topics that need talked about, shared, and information spread all around. Anytime I can help push the agenda towards a DV free world I am going to do it!

I have signed a couple of petitions, one being Bring Back Brendan Fraser. They are super close to their goal! “In early 2013, Fraser petitioned the courts for a reduction of his alimony, asserting he was unable to meet the annual obligation of $900,000.” Taken from the change.org page. It may seem silly, but they only need a little over 5,000 signatures to reach 50,000. That just proves one signature and a share can reach thousands of people. This petition started in Australia! If you wanted to take some time to sign and get them closer to their goal it would be awesome, and maybe a good first step towards digital activism!

As for all of the teenagers out there who are selflessly utilizing the social media at their fingertips to help out others who are dealing with issues amaze me. As a teenager it was hard to see past my own problems to even think about helping others. They actually give away awards each year to kids who are doing something with digital activism. Teen Activist Finalists all are doing something bigger.

A lot of them are dealing with bullying, suicide, and other issues teens face. I think having another teen there for them during this time is great! Another great side to it being online is they get to stay anonymous if they want to! Sometimes knowing the person doesn’t know it is you may make it easier to talk, and that can really help someone out, but doesn’t give them the okay to bully anyone themselves!

What I leave you with today: Go be an activist either in person or online. These issues are your issues. There are 13 year olds doing more with digital activism than a lot of people who are older and capable. It doesn’t take long, and you can find many different causes to become a part of! Enjoy searching, and feeling like you’re making a difference, because you are!