Repetition is the Key to Success

I have really come to love the app SimplyPiano. However, as I mentioned last week, I want to try something a little different. Prior to this class I had watched and went through the below video. It was very helpful for a beginner like me.

I discovered as I watched the videos two things. One being that I love that there is a human on the other side of the video talking to me which makes it feel more fun. Two I don’t love practicing.

Learning something via an app or other online methods can feel pretty lonely. I didn’t realize that until I started watching the videos this week. Having this kind teacher, Lisa, talking and interacting with me (as much as one can) through her Youtube video made my learning feel a little less lonely. The way that Lisa interacts with the viewer is a very fun and engaging way. I enjoyed the change up.

I also watched 7 Days to Learning Piano produced by the same people at Pianote. This video took me on a little different path than I had originally planned for this week (which was to learn some musical scales). Through this video, I got to practice moving up and down the keys and learning some simple chords. This was a fun departure from reading musical notes practice that the app provides. However, what I truly discovered about myself was that I don’t love doing repetition when there is no immediate reward. In the video, Lisa, who leads the lesson, goes through how to do the skill and then encourages the watcher to go and practice it for a portion of time each day. I found it hard to sit there and practice the skill on my own. Through the app, there is lots of repetition but that repetition is rewarded by unlocking the next lesson or a new song. It was a challenge this week to practice without those prompts or incentives.

So, all that to say, I enjoyed the change in learning mode but I did not learn to play chords well. However, I do now have the knowledge to play them and I will keep practicing them. Maybe I need to create an incentive for myself. I know when I took EMUS 202, the professor had mentioned one student who used a money jar. Every time that student practiced the guitar, they would put a dollar in it and then at the end of the semester when the class was over they used that money to buy something for themselves.

Do you have any fun incentives that you use when need to practice a skill or accomplish a task? Or maybe for those of you who are parents, do you use any incentives to help your kids practice certain skills?

It’s Not Love… yet

Twitter. An endless source of information and a way to connect with people all around the world. At least, that’s how I see it. I have had a Twitter account for years, but never really loved the format. I personally prefer Instagram for its medium of photos as a way to share experiences. As I reflect on that, I find it ironic since I prefer to communicate through written words. However, this class has pushed me back in to the Twitter-sphere. Here is a list of the reasons I enjoy Twitter and some reasons I don’t really enjoy Twitter.

Things I enjoy about Twitter

  1. Short and concise – Twitter limits the words allowed which keeps thoughts short and concise. It makes one think about what they want to say and makes one say it clearly.
  2. Networking – I can follow people who have similar interests or passions as me and see the work they are doing. It also allows me to gain new information/resources from different people.
  3. Information – I do love the amount of information that I can find on Twitter. I am the person that likes to watch the news and Twitter is handy for giving me headlines and what’s trending so at least I can keep up at a surface level. It also allows me to investigate more into the things that interest me.

Things I do not enjoy about Twitter

  1. Too much information – Some people are great at tweeting, and they tweet or re-tweet often. For myself, I find that I do not make it on to Twitter very often so all of the new tweets on my feed as I scroll through can be very overwhelming.
  2. Too much text – I know that Twitter is a mostly text based social media platform, but with the amount of reading I have for university and other work, it can be exhausting to be on Twitter and have to read more. Like I said before, I love photos.
  3. Communication – Twitter is a very social online space from what I’ve seen. As an introvert who loves words, this constant communication can still get to be too much. So even though this is also a benefit to Twitter, for me it also makes it a little less enjoyable.

One thing I did really love about Twitter was the #saskedchat. #saskedchat is a weekly chat on Twitter where anyone can join and respond to questions based on a pre-selected education theme. Last week, my EDTC300 class participated in one and it was very fun. I loved being able to interact with others on Twitter and read their responses as well. I didn’t realize that having live discussions like #saskedchat was something that Twitter could be used for. A very interesting way to network and gain information.

Overall, my experience with Twitter is pretty limited. Maybe I will truly come to love Twitter as time goes on. Right now, I’m at a place where I can understand the benefits and can enjoy it but also am not super attached to it. For you reading this, do you love Twitter? If so, why? For those of you who don’t, is there a different social media platform you love to use?

Timing and Trials

Setting goals and having accountability for those goals is key for me. I’ve asked the lady whose house I’m staying in, to keep me accountable and make sure that I practice the piano. So far, so good. 

This week I have been using an app called Simply Piano. The app allows you to go through most of the basics course and complete daily 5 minute workouts. I decided to try out the 7 day trial to get more of a feel for the app and whether it is something I would like to use. It’s made learning the piano into more of a game as I try and progress through the different lessons and get three stars on the songs they offer. I have enjoyed it and seeing as playing the piano is more of a long term desire I may invest the money and pay for the year. 

I do see it’s limitations in completing my goal. One of my goals is learning the timing of the notes. The app has introduced some of the different notes and they even let you listen to how it should be played. And yet, even as I play them, I can hear that it’s not quite right and the app tells me my timing is only 70% accurate on most songs. That will be my next project for the upcoming week: find a resource that can help me with the timing. I’m also going to try and practice the scales more from Piano Lessons Online.

I’m open to getting resources from any of you have learned piano. Leave them in the comments.

“Feed”ing My Curiosity

Creating Feeds on Feedly

Using technology for learning is a must in the evolving nature of education. Feedly is just another source in my technology toolkit. Currently, I have three feeds. One for Ed Tech, the second is just for education in general, and the third is just a place to put various feeds I’m interested in but not sure what to categorize them as. The education and ed tech feeds are probably the most relevant to my life right now. My life feels like it completely immersed in all things education sometimes. It is nice to have a place to go to read some new articles that can help me grow into a better educator.

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Childhood Dream and a Lifelong Learner

A lifelong dream of mine has always been to learn an instrument. In EMUS 202, part of that dream came true and I learned to play guitar. I am not very proficient at it and lack of regular practice leaves my soft fingers feeling sore every time I think to pick up my guitar and improve my skills. Piano on the other hand, is a less portable instrument but easier on the fingers. For my EDTC 300 Learning Project I am going to learn to play the piano. Over the last couple of years I have been dabbling with the piano. I have googled how to read sheet music and learned enough to be able to play some of my favourite Christmas carols and hymns.

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The Never Ending Journey of Learning

Hello Fellow Learners,

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

This blog post marks the beginning of a new learning journey for me. I am in my fourth of Middle Years Education, in my last semester. As one of my final classes, I decided to take EDTC 300. The world of technology is ever-changing. I think of my own experiences in school. When I was in elementary school, to use a computer we had to go to the computer lab and use desktop computers. Teachers may have had computers in their rooms but I don’t remember them ever using them. I think maybe when I was in grade 5, the school finally got Smart Boards in some of the classrooms but teachers did not like using them because the alignment with the projector was always off. In high school, my school got a set of small laptops for us to use. These laptops were used mainly for research purposes and typing out the occasional assignment. My technology experiences as an elementary and secondary student were pretty limited. In University, different technology and ways of learning through technology have been used more so. I hope to learn as much as I can about using technology to be a life long learner as well as to encourage my future students in their learning.

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