🕳Maker 9; An Endless Rabbit Hole You’ll Never Come Back From🕳

   Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to another episode of metal breakdowns with tonight’s host, yours truly, me. Okay to be fair, I’m tired. I’ve had a lot on my plate lately, so please, no criticism on this posts opening. Please. Now in case you were wondering, which you probably weren’t, I have managed to keep my head above water for the past couple weeks. How? I have absolutely no idea what to tell you. In the past three months we have had by far the busiest term of school I’ve ever experienced. And yes I know, “it only gets harder,” “you’re only in grade 9.” Blah blah blah. Yes I’m in grade 9 but that doesn’t in an way dilute the amount of effort I have to put in on a regular basis. So why am I rambling on and on about the amount of stress that is slowly drowning not only me, but almost every other PLP 9 student? Because of one of the core contributors to said stress! Maker! Now despite the high expectations and pressure we’re put under, I love maker. It’s always so fun and leaves so much wiggle room for creative opportunity. That what I though last year. This year, term 1 to be specific has given us an entirely blank canvas when it comes to creative and skillful development. This has been amazing and had contributed to my growth in this subject so much. To really break it down for you, we’ve been assigned a full out reflection on the term and our performance and growth in the curricular competencies we’ve been working with lately. I’m now going to demonstrate the innate art of full sending it into reflection mode. Enjoy, and don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt because you’re in for a bumpy ride!

qimono / Pixabay

 First up we’re going through the process of explaining the curricular competencies. Taking a first look at what you see below way back in September was a tad intimidating. Considering I was fresh off of summer break, still sporting a tan you can see how now that it’s the beginning of winter and nonetheless almost the new year I’m definitely more confident in my ability to comprehend the meanings of each of the competencies. Each and every one of the videos that I’ll be sharing with you today are ones that I can recognize the peaks and valleys of my performance with the competencies and my growth going forward. Take a look at the photo below and read the “simple,” description for each of the competencies and see how you feel. Now try making a grand total of 10 videos that are supposed to meet and eventually exceed the expectations that follow. Fun isn’t it!

The Beginning:

   I kid you not. PLP teachers have a gift when it comes to launching a project. From last years REM related project to that of this terms most recent Star Wars project. With maker this year we had the experience of creating a video on the spot. Zero preparation. Very little time. A task created solely to show us our improvement later on. Sounds very familiar. We were tasked with creating a four shot film. That basically meant only using four different shots and angles to create a mini movie. This was…well. A disaster. Video making was alway simply compiling a series of clips in iMovie and pressing play. It would always do it for me and that was the extent of my knowledge. I feel as though this was one of the best examples for the beginning stages of being an empowered learner. I leveraged technology in order to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in my learning goals. How so? Looking back upon our video now has given my insight on how the goals I set have come along and what I have done over time to get to where I am now with my skill set and knowledge of video making.


   In both my Alberta posts from earlier this year I ramble on and on about the up and downs of any and all aspects of the trip. In my PGP reflection on the trip I looked back upon my attitude and work ethic whilst in my This Land is Us post I cover everything related to our project on which we worked throughout the entirety of the trip. In Alberta we created a total of three videos each very different. Before embarking on the trip we started mapping out ideas and planning for our ghost town silent films. Working with groups of 5/6 was a beneficial component in the making of this video. While we had what seemed like little time to prepare, I have now learned that a week is plenty. Managing time and working with different technologies to plan and execute our video was definitely something we didn’t do a great job with this time around. In saying that I will credit myself in meetings if not exceeding the competency, computational thinking because of how quickly I had to find and facilitate a solution to our planning and filming fiasco. Getting from the point of confusion and simply “looking around,” for an hour instead of getting down to the nitty gritty and working with what we had was one hell of a transition for me that day. And I’m glad to say that I am still very proud of the work we did.

   Our next video in Alberta was sprung upon us out of nowhere. On our day trip to Drumheller’s  Royal Tyrell Museum we had to create a one minute video in one hour. Seems like a simple task right? Nope. We needed to really gab a hold of our knowledge constructor competency for this one. Our task was to find one artifact that fascinates us and talk about why. I think that the real challenge was finding something to be my topic. I swear ask Anthony who was my partner for this project, I changed artifacts maybe 3 or 4 times before finally deciding on one. Once again, I believe that the competency knowledge constructor is really emphasized in this video and the process that went with solely because of how we needed to apply the information we had already gathered to our video.

   The final video done in Alberta was a the big one. In my This Land is Us post I talk about the process for the video and the entire project as a whole so check it out. While doing this video I feel that I found solutions to the many obstacles I faced. Whether I displayed empowered learning or innovative designing didn’t really matter because I feel that as we went through the many different stages in making this video, I showed all of them. At different points in the pre and post production I was faced with obstacles relating to my preparation or my use of technology and resources. During the production on our trip, I had to manage multiple other components all the while having fun which proved my ability to be an empowered learner. I talk a lot about this in my recent PGP post regarding Alberta as a whole. 

Humanities & Maker:

   When we started our Revolutions Through The Ages project we knew that research would be a massive contributor to both our collective and individual success. In making four videos each on a different revolution all the while highlighting cause and consequence I believe that I strongly represented a creative communicator. In my portfolio post regarding the project I talk a lot about the competencies that we worked on. Aside from the project as a whole, I believe that in each of the videos I had to change from time to time. For example, the French Revolution video we made involved acting and the idea of creating a mini movie. In doing so I believe that I used a variety of technologies to solve problems in ways that that utilize tools and resources provided. We not only had to research deeper into the topic to accurately represent historical figures such as Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte. I can confidently say that with each of these videos I demonstrated my abilities as an empowered learner and creative communicator with room to grow but still enough to meet expectations.

   Run was our big video project in maker this past term. We worked for weeks in each of the production stages all in order to create a carbon copy of the short film, “Run.” In my post on this specific project I talk about the process itself and the final product so go and check it out. For now I want to simply go over how I met and fluctuated a lot with the competencies for this project. Using different technologies to enhance our videos was a huge part of the production from the beginning to the very end. I felt that as an individual I worked well with finding new solutions when problems arose. In the production stage particularly, I believe that I contributed to the video’s success in figuring out the logistical side of things considering the set, time, and directing. Despite this I do clearly recognize that in the earlier stages of the pre-production I was a little bit below my personal standards. I do believe that the competency best represented through my process as a learner for this project is the innovative designer.


   The final video that I tackled this term was that of the Take Your Kid to Work Day event. In my post on the day and my experience as a whole I talk about my answers to the driving questions and I dive deep into my understanding of the working world, now what I’ve experienced parts of it first hand. With this video I believe that I was a total knowledge constructor. I know that by now I’m getting carried away with these competencies but I’m very excited at this point. This video was a huge challenge for me as I went to a hospital, specifically a cardio ICU where confidentiality is taken extremely seriously, leaving me with very little to work with. I somehow found a way to find solution to these issues and ended up with a stellar video that I’m very proud of. I really represented a knowledge constructor here because of how I leveraged the technology and resources I had to communicate and send a clear message to my audiences.

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

   This is it. I have learned an insane amount of things from this course in the past few months, most, if not all of which will go on to help me later on. I fell that I confidently represented my learning and reflection of my growth in this post so its best to wrap it up! 

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk ✌️

🗝Ra Ra Revolution🗝

Hello world and welcome back to my blog for yet another post. This time is different I assure you. You see this post is all about our most recent humanities project, Revolutions Through the Ages. I like to identify as a history and literature nerd so please excuse the amount of utter excitement that I am presenting as I write this. Ok now for the nitty gritty! This time around our driving question asked us, “how do ideas drive change?” This certainly was a new concept for us as we hadn’t really studied the idea of what drives change in a while. That didn’t stop us from diving in head first. For each of our projects we focus ourselves around both the driving question and the curricular competencies. So I’m trying out a new way of formatting these posts to allow you to get a better look at my understanding and growth.


Cause & Consequence:

   Starting off strong let’s cover what this really means. Understanding the who what when where and why of a historical event is a big deal especially when your overall task is to create a video in which you would offer said information in immense detail. Admittedly when we started off our video wasn’t the strongest and we didn’t really have a clear way of showing our understanding of the causes and consequences that came from the French Revolution. I felt as though I understood the reasoning for the French Revolution and what it caused in the end and further thereafter but struggled with the presentation of it. Defining the cause came easy because when you understand where the idea for a revolution came from its easy to show it, especially with the format of video we chose the first time around. As we got to our third video I began to easily see the recognition of the consequences that came after the revolution in question. The third being the Russian revolution there was a lot of resemblance between the three we had studied. I wonder why! Oh wait, we learned this. Crane Brinton’s theory of the structure of revolutions allowed for me to recognize the connection between all of the revolutions we studied. And I got a better understanding of how I could represent cause and consequence in my final video. When we talked about the incubation stage in each of our videos I feel that I got better and better at recognizing the defining factors leading up to the ultimate crisis stage. Overall I feel that I can now identify the cause and consequence and present it in a way that is easy for an audience to comprehend. 


    This largely comes into play when we talk about my final video. We decided to go a little off the map and take a risk in choosing our own, particularly recent revolution. This required a ton of research and in doing so I had to carefully sift through articles, websites, and videos that were not necessarily offering false information, instead it was biased. In choosing to study The Troubles in Ireland, a recent rebellion that only took place roughly 30 years ago there’s still has a lot of unsettled tension causing many sources to be particularly biased in the information they give. I think that aside from the general research itself the evidence of our understanding for each revolution was evident in each of our videos getting better and better as we improved our skills. 

Create and Extend Shared Understanding:

   With my group mates, Holly, Grace, and Finn, I felt like we could use one another for our skills in each video while simultaneously pushing each other to our limits with all kinds of challenges. Having half the group being moderately to extremely extroverted and the other half being very introverted was no problem and worked to our benefit. On any day, we’d come together and discuss our findings in research, innovation, and revision. In doing so we found ways to bounce off one another with new ideas evidently changing the dynamic of our group to benefit us in the long run. With each of our videos we tried to mix things up a little. Myself and Holly would typically be highlighted in the video while Finn and Grace worked behind the scenes on post production work. Sharing our ideas allowed us to extend and gain insight on ourselves and how we work in a group. I definitely see an improvement in my group work this time around which is fantastic and I’m glad to see that in myself.

Text Comprehension & Appreciation:

   Finally, we talk about the novel. Jennifer Donnelly’s, “Revolution,” is a fiction novel based on the events of the French Revolution. The story takes place in present day following the teenager life of Andi Alpers as she struggles to find her way through depression and addiction following the death of her younger brother. This part of the project was rather enjoyable as the book was actually quite captivating. Or at least that’s what I thought until some major plot twists took place. Sorry, no spoilers. Anyway, alongside the physical reading aspect we had to write a creative reflection at the end of the novel study. I say write because I chose to write my own short story from the viewpoint of Truman Alpers, the deceased brother of the main character. everyone had the option to choose whatever they please to represent their text comprehension and their overall appreciation of the books contribution to our studies. I think that I did an outstanding job with this. I’m not trying to brag or sound snobby I just was really proud of the work I did. I think that my creative reflection was strong and very personal. Nonetheless I can confidently say that I improved with this competency mostly because whenever we get assigned a book for class I typically find it to be an easy read or one that is not captivating to my personal style. 



Our Videos:

   Ok I promise its almost over! In talking about the curricular competencies and reflecting on how I feel I performed and improved with some, if not all of these, I realized I neglected to show my groups masterpieces to begin with. Getting right into it, we studied the French, American, and Russian revolutions in class and made videos for each, describing the cause and consequence using evidence from our notes, sited sources, and background knowledge. Starting out, making these video was a very difficult task. To write, film, and edit a video is one thing. Doing it in under a week is another. We somehow got through the three weeks almost smoothly if it weren’t for some small bumps in the road. I really enjoyed the history part of this project as it was honestly very interesting to get a deeper understanding of how a revolution really works. And lets be real here. Two months ago if you’d asked me the cause of the American revolution was I would probably have answered with a sarcastic comment regarding George Washington and his slaves. By the end of each week I’d learned something new and been able to represent it in a stellar video. My personal favourite to create was the American revolution rap video. Yes you read that right. Rap video. I think that we did a very good job with this video and it was definitely the most enjoyable. And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Our final video! For our fourth and final video we chose to study The Troubles. This was a revolution that took pace in Northern Ireland around 30 years ago making it very recent compared to the others. In creating this final video we had to conduct all of our won research and innovate our ideas in order to succeed. I believe that we did so and I was really proud of the video in the end. Aside from my horrible voice because yes, we of course decided it was a great idea to make another rap video! Anyway ladies and gents, that’s it for today because my brain hurts from thinking to much!


Thanks for coming to my TED Talk ✌️