Today I will be sharing my experiences while visiting Alberta this September. My PLP class was lucky enough to be able to travel there and visit a number of places that I never thought I would be able to go. We also had some unexpected experiences that were unique and awesome in their own way. Lastly before I start I want to mention that the reason we went to Alberta was to answer the driving question, “ How does place impact education?” ( I specifically looked at education but others did different things as well).
First stop on our trip that provided information for my question was the Northern Lights Wolf Centre where we were able to see the wolves and learn a bit about them as well. After our small tour around the wolf areas, my group(Liam,Holly ,Rhiann) got the opportunity to interview one of workers and asked her a bit about how location impacted the education that they could give others. Just a heads up I am not very good at talking with strangers and especially interviewing them, so this was a learning opportunity for me and a chance to become better at communicating in this way. I have to say this is a very necessary skill that wasn’t as had as I thought. After our interview I felt a lot better, although I know this is an area of development for me.
During our interview we learned that the Northern Lights Wolf Centre works with local schools that are within a few hours drive from this location, and brings the Alfa female with them. They are able to show local students how important the wolves are and how each individual can have a huge impact on their natural habitat, and ultimately how we can help. This helped answer my driving question of how does place impact education.
Moving on to the next important spot for my group which was Lake Miniwanka in Banff National Park. During this tour we learned all about the lake and most importantly what was around the lake. Like most natural lakes, this one is surrounded by huge mountains and forests. We learned that the two different sides of this lake have very different ecosystems, because one side is slowly dying due to over population of large trees, while the other side is thriving because of a forest fire that spread the trees more thinly apart. We actually learned more about the environment around the lake rather than the lake itself. This was a great example of place because without this unique environment the lake might be in a different condition than it is right now.
During our interview with Sean, one of the staff who narrated our boat tour, he told us that it is super important that the public knows what is around them and how they might endanger it. He spoke a lot on the subject of not feeding wild life and not taking the “wildness” out of them which to me makes sense. I spend a fair amount of time in the local wilderness and have always practiced the idea of only leaving footprints and only taking memories home with me.
Lastly, moving on to the last highlight, the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. This place was incredible, there were so many different types of art and sculptures, and creations that were bizarre but interesting. My class went to do a workshop on Canadian history and how it impacts us in different ways, and this seemed like the exact thing I needed to wrap up my video so I was very excited to start. We learned all about different people whose lives changed when they arrived here in Canada long ago and how living here has impacted them in there own way; in their choices, their identity and their impact on their family and community. Getting to experience this all first hand (actually being able to touch Canadian artifacts) was very cool!
Later we interviewed Cory who had lead us through our first activity. We asked him what is the most important thing someone should take away from this experience. He said that “….not specifically one things but more the experience of being here.”. He also mentioned that if more people took the time to reflect how Canadian culture has impacted them and made them who they are today, then they would realize how place has shaped their identity. The last thing he mentioned was how important coming to the museum and taking everything in is. Just to be able to experience history first hand affects everyone who visits.
Now that my group had all of the information that we needed
, we had to individually start making our videos answering the question, How does place impact education? using the information we had gathered from these interviews. This part was difficult because we had to try and fit everything in only four minutes of video ( intro and conclusion not included ) which was not a lot of time considering that we had just spent a week in Alberta learning and understanding how education is impacted by place. Every part of our video had to have given some sort of answer to our question or else it would be wasting time, so everyone did their best to fit as much or our answers and interview into four minutes.
My first draft was not the best, it did not really support my thesis and it didn’t make the most sense, so here is the first draft.
After getting some good feedback from my teacher I decided to change some things and add some that should have been in the first video, and also made sure all my points showed my understanding of my topic. The second draft is far more organized and clear. So here is.
This project really made each and everyone of us work to the best of our abilities to come up with an answer to this question and in the process I think we all learned a bit more about Canadian history, technical skills, and a real appreciation place and how it impacts us all.
Just to wrap up this post I want to say how cool Alberta was. It was a totally new environment and had so many different and interesting things that would be hard to find near home.
That’s all for now.