For my final reflection of learning for EDTC300, I decided to collaborate with a few of my friends, Tracey Beaven and Shelly Ekren. For the three of us this journey has been similar and just as rewarding.
We created a book with Book Creator to summarize some of our key takeaways. We had some hiccups, we learned together, we supported each other, and I am very proud at how far the three of us have come. Feel free to view it here.
Well, the fire has been lit! At the start of this class I focused so much on trying to convince everyone that I was learning something, but it was only when we were told to talk about the tools we were using and how they impacted our learning, that I realized the huge significance of this assignment. This was never about me learning a skill.
What I have experienced over these last few weeks is that as much as I’d like to believe that we learn better in a certain style, the truth is, these have little impact on our ability to learn. In an age where everything is available at the click of a button, there are many ways to learn. My biggest take-away from this assignment is that the key to learning, is to interact with the information.
In my learning project for EDTC300, we were encouraged to use multiple sources to help us with learning a new skill. In the past I was using books and articles alone, now I was gathering relevant videos, podcasts, movies, apps, and blogs.
Through this experience I have discovered that finding meaning in our learning is the key. We all learned various facts and figures in school, but how many of those do we actually remember? Only the information that was meaningful to us, that we’ve been able to connect to our own life and experiences. What I learned through this class was that once I used other sources to find information, and tried to understand what relevance it had in practice, and how I could use it to my advantage, I was able to grasp the concepts much more quickly.
From my own experience, and what I have seen in the classroom, is that we learn best when we perform the tasks we’re trying to learn. We were told to document our learning through our blog. (You are welcome to follow the progression of my learning project there). This created a big shift in my learning. Once I switched focus from learning the theory of my skill, and invested my time in diving in and actually mastering it, with the aid of tools and technology, did my learning progress. I was writing a blog and using various different technology tools. I was finding out for myself what worked and what doesn’t. The more I did it, the more I learned. The great thing was that I wasn’t just learning the art of wine pairing, I was learning to navigate through technology. Getting this hands on experience and really looking at what tools I liked and didn’t, was very beneficial.
I think the best gift I received from this class was the connections and collaboration. Being able to ask my fellow classmates for advice or recommendations made the process easier. Not only did I have the support of my classmates, but through Katia’s guidance, I had created a very resourceful PLN (professional learning network) on the Twitter platform. Through this platform I have gained many mentors who are surprisingly willing to share. Mentorship is perhaps the quickest way to take our skills to the next level.
During this class we were told to think critically about the information we find. I carried this skill over to my learning project by using reputable sources for information. I read reviews on apps and tried a variety before settling on one. I also applied this to the skill I was learning. Comparing my work, with that of experts in the field, helped me notice areas that needed improvement.
Another realization during this assignment was that I was learning more about technology because I was sharing the information with others, almost “teaching” them about it, as I was learning and finding. We did this weekly on our blog posts. When I thought about why this worked so well, I realized that when we learn with the intention to teach, we break the material down into simple, understandable chunks for ourselves. It also forces us to examine the topic more critically and thoroughly, helping us to understand it better. During this assignment I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and practice things I wasn’t good at. The feedback and recommendations I received helped create opportunities to discuss and try new things.
You may think I got lazy and didn’t make the final meal like I planned. I did, but while preparing my photos and videos, I changed my mind for my final post. I decided to document my learning process instead. In hindsight, I can see that this assignment went far beyond learning the skill of wine pairing.
Giving, connects us to others, creating stronger communities and helping to build a happier society for everyone. As educators we want all students to succeed. It means supporting our students. In my final blog post for EDTC300 I reflect on just that.
I hope I utilized every possibility I could to support my fellow classmates. I decided to use a new tool I found, Powtoon, to highlight my contributions:
This weeks wine pairing started with a traditional South African meal called “Potjiekos” (poiki:kos). What is this you may ask? It is similar to a stew, but the difference between a potjie and a stew is that a potjie is never stirred during the cooking process and is always cooked slowly over hot coals in a cast iron pot. This meal takes a few hours to cook, so we made it at the lake…
To document the cooking of this meal I took videos and photos using my iPhone. I wanted to try another new app so I downloaded InShot. The InShot app is a video editing and a creating tool that is easy and convenient to use. It lets you crop, trim, speed up, or add filters to your videos.
The basic features the app has, are similar to iMovie that I used earlier. They are the trimmer, cutter, merger, and splitter (image on left). It lets you split your videos into shorter clips, or combine these clips into a single project. These clips can be rotated, flipped, or put into a collage. The InShot app provides a video cropper wherein you can crop the video’s ratio according to the size that will fit your social media account post (image on right).
I really liked the ease of the add texts or images function where I could choose my desired font style and color. If you want to make your video look more playful, there are GIFs, emojis, and many stickers to choose from.
To add text you simply click the T+ button and to edit the text you click the small pencil icon that says EDIT (see image on left).
To add options of a sticker or a photo to overlay the video simply press the sticker button and then the options on the right will appear.
There is a music library with songs, musical backgrounds, and noises. The inShot app also has the function where you can record directly from your device. I really liked the ability to adjust the sound volume. I could play music in the background and still clearly hear my voice on the recording.
Adding sound options were easy to use (see image on left). My options were Tracks, Sound Effects or Recording My Own Sound/Voice.
I found a great video tutorial on how to use many more features in the InShot app. You can find it here.
The final step to this weeks learning project was naturally to find the perfect wine to pair with this delicious meal. I wanted to find a wine that most people would enjoy as we were at the lake and some friends would be joining us. Although wine pairing is a science, you also want to make sure your company is happy and that you are catering to their tastes.
I first had to research what wines paired well with a creamy chicken dish. Whenever you pair a wine with meat, you can’t just pair it with the meat you have to think about the cooking method and also the sauce/spices. I read multiple websites and blogs, but to my horror they all recommended a chardonnay! This is my least favourite wine, especially when oak barreled. This was going to be a true test.
I used my two wine apps Vivino and Delectable and decided to read some reviews on chardonnays before going to the liquor store. I wanted to increase the challenge and find a Canadian wine as my food was a South African dish and my guests were all Canadian. Both apps made it easy to search by wine/grape type and by country. I could further narrow my search by taste and style. One of the best features was that I could narrow my search further by food pairings. Once I chose my criteria, the apps gave me a nice summary of 17 wines. I could read the reviews at home and narrow my search further based on the experiences of others.
I decided to ignore any choice that was barelled in oak, as after all, I had to enjoy the experience too. I chose a bottle of Unoaked Chardonnay, 2017 from the wine estate Twin Sisters. It rated in the top 5% of all wines in the world and ranked #3 in Canadian Chardonnays.
Did I enjoy it? To be honest, while paired with the food I could drink a small amount of the wine, but on it’s own, I did not enjoy the taste. My company however, loved it!