It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

I loved this book Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard! This book portrays a society called Norta that is divided between the Silvers and the Reds. The Silvers are the richer, lavish people in this society who also run the governmental system and things like that and the Reds are the lower class individuals who live in slums almost. The Reds have Red blood and the Silvers have silver blood. The silver blood enables them to have supernatural abilities where they can control things with their minds and superhuman attributes like super strength and so on. This book pretty much takes on the persona of societal roles that we see in our day to day lives like class division and just amplifies them to a very high degree.

Spoilers Ahead! This book is told by the protagonist Mare who is a red blood. Mare figures out that she has the ability to control lightning which is a pretty rare thing because she is a Red citizen and that really doesn’t happen to people of that kind. This book discusses how the King of the royal family takes Mar under his wing and hides her in the Silver society because of her powers. During Mare’s time at the royal palace, Mare realizes how complicated and different life is for Silvers especially the royal family. While she is at the castle, Mare is approached by a secret group called the Scarlet Guard who propositions her to join the rebellion. This book starts to resemble the Hunger Games at this point but has a lot of more supernatural aspects to it also. The ending of this story is pretty much summarized with the word “betrayal” but I will let you find out who does it! Thanks for reading.  

Source:

Epic Reads. (2015, February 6). RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard | Official Book Trailer [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UbsNfwkZwk

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Indepndant Learning Project: I Cut My Hair!

I have been enjoying my independent learning project so much these last couple of weeks! I have been researching multiple things in relation to my study of cosmetology and different beauty esthetics. I have been wanting to cut my friend’s hair for some time now but haven’t built up the courage for it yet. Instead, I have decided to research how to cut my own hair before I cut somebody else’s! I feel like once I have trimmed my own hair, and made it look good, then I can do it to my friend with much more confidence! I remember in high school I cut my hair pretty short by myself, not really sure why I let myself do this, but my mom had told me that I didn’t do a very good job, so she fixed it all for me thankfully. I started doing some research on self-trimming articles and things like that but I ultimately decided just to turn to YouTube and see which kind of videos are made on the subject.

While researching, I found several different techniques that helped you create even cutting, but each one was a little different. The first video that I looked at you had to split your in the middle, and then pull the hair into a ponytail at the bottom of your head, in the middle. And then it said to put another ponytail a couple of inches down the pony so that the hair is less likely to move within the rubber bands. You then bring the ponytail to the side of your head and snip off an inch or so, to make it even. After the woman released her hair from the rubberbands, there was a slight rounding to the hair at the back of her head, because of the natural different lengths of hairs on your head, being placed differently. The hair is even when brought to the front, but has that curve when you bring it to the back, looking natural on both sides. The next was to part your hair all the way down the middle and split the hair down the front. Then you put the two sides in a ponytail below the chin, and snip away the ends of this ponytail. This technique does give an option to cut it exactly straight but with the natural curve, to me, it looks better with the natural curve.

The second technique is the one that I choose. And I had great luck with it! This will probably be a method that I will use as long as I have long hair! I just pulled my hair below my chin with a rubber band and snipped an inch or so. I always have my mom trim up my ends but now I can do it all by myself! Check out my results below. Let me know what you think! 

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Source:

Patry Jordan English. (2016, January 19). HOW TO CUT YOUR OWN HAIR STRAIGHT [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgYVImOwYiI

Social Media & The Classroom

I love the idea of using social media in the classroom to help students find new connections in what they are interested in. Students can also use digital resources to promote themselves in their educational experiences. It is said that “1/4 of college admissions officers consider digital footprint, and also 1/3 of employers reject candidates based on something found in profiles.” (Nielsen) This can be scary realizations but if students learn to manipulate social media to benefit themselves and their digital footprints, it can benefit their lives in the long run. Students can use their social media accounts to gain credibility if they so choose to. Creating a positive reputation online can also help promote a positive reputation in the real world; college administrators, future employers. It is also important for students to use social media in their education so they can create their own personal learning networks, expanding their connections online to gain insightful information.

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Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

This week, I chose to research how students can use Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Twitter is really helpful for students because they can follow experts in specific fields of study like math, science, or reading. They can use their newsfeed as a chance to find new educational information that can benefit them in the classroom; same goes with a lot of other forms of social media like Pinterest and Instagram. Instagram and Pinterest can be really helpful for students as well because they are both really visual apps. I think that a lot of students are more visually motivated and if they see things with their eyes like videos and artwork and other things that they may be able to connect with it better and relate to it more. I know myself as a learner, I love seeing visual artwork that pertains to education like a poetic picture or a picture that leads me to see through the eyes of somebody else; like a different culture or civilization. Pinterest is always motivating me to be creative because everyone who posts to Pinterest values their creative detail and innovation. In all, social media can be a huge help for student learning!

Source:

Nielsen, L. (2015, March 20). 7 Ways Social Media Has a Role in Education. Retrieved from https://www.techlearning.com/tl-advisor-blog/9084

Digital Activism

Digital activism is a more recent global movement that includes the use of social media and other technological resources to participate in different forms of activism that advocate for change. Activism can be defined as “the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.” (Wiki) This is something that has always been engrained in civilizations mind as there is always going to be oppositions to opinions and people want their voices to be heard about these concepts. Digital access and the vast amount of people who partake in it enables people to speak about what they are passionate about and enforce change in a wide range of different ways. Social media is a huge aspect in digital activism as activist can promote their movements and gain a followers status that helps promote their ideas. Social media gives a platform for people who want their voices to be heard and this can help them connect with more people to help expand the movement and make it stronger.

Digital activism is also so popular because of how easy and accessible it is to partake in it. Most social media websites are free to use and this enables people to be more open to sharing their ideas on a mass scale. This takes away fees that can occur like postage and envelopes, and most of all valuable time. The resources that we have online can also create for more targeted audiences as activists can post their beliefs and movement ideas to a centralized place like a blog or particular social media page. 

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Photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

While researching digital activism, I read an article that was named, “Digital Activism Comes Of Age: Technology Is Creating New Space For Marginalized Voices.” This article really opened my eyes to how digital activism can impact marginalized groups and people whose voices are often overlooked in such a critical society. This article discussed how workers in India were being exposed to mercury in what was previously a thermometer, Hindustan Unilever. This factory caused over 500 workers to be poisoned from the mercury and the company was refusing to pay compensation to the workers. A group of activists named Jhatkaa took matters into their own hands and posted a music video on YouTube about the issue. The video quickly caught attention from a wide range of viewers and spread like a wildfire through the internet. Unilever finally gave into the pressure of the activists and agreed to pay compensation for the 591 victims of the incident. This example really goes to show how powerful speaking out for a cause can be and how the internet and its different tools can help advocate for the change as well.

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Book Review: Allegiant

I have finally ended the Divergent series! This was quite a good book series. It had a lot of emotional aspects to it and also, of course, a bunch of action. This book is a little bit different than the previous books because the point of view shifts a couple of times. Instead of the story being primarily told in Tris’ point of view, there are also portions of this book that are told by Four or Tobias. I enjoy reading books that are written in this technique because it gives another layer of depth and implication in the book. Especially with this series, I was expecting it to continue the strict point of view but I am glad that it varied, caught me by surprise and pulled me into the book a little bit further.

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Photo: Amazon Books

We get the title of “Allegiant” from the first portion of the book when Tris meets a group that is hoping to flee the city. This group is called Allegiant. Spoilers ahead! Tris and Tobias work together to break Caleb, Tris’ brother, out of jail so he can flee the city with them. There is a layer of conflict in this book that we don’t see as much in the previous two books. The conflict of the characters genetics and which ones are actually Divergent or the ones that are “genetically damaged” as the book calls them. These two groups are separated into different sites which causes a little bit of distance amongst the characters. Tris is genetically superior which also causes separation between Tris and Four’s personal relationship.

The themes in this book stretch from loss and sacrifice to love and family and I think the wide range of themes really made the end of this series really strong and dignified. There are obvious topics of loss seen in this series throughout but of course, there seems to be the most lost in this ending book Allegiant. More spoilers! Tris decides to sacrifice herself to save her brother which is really an ending that makes sense in the long run but also caught me off guard. Tris is portrayed throughout as being the strong, dignified protagonist who could withstand anything but in the end, chooses her family over herself which is very selfless and makes us relate her to her Abnegation side. In all, great series! Glad I got to read it during my time this semester.  

Penny Kittle’s Book Love

This week for my Adolescent Literature class we read a couple of chapters from Penny Kittle’s “Book Love.” These chapters talked about the influence that positive book talk can have on students and how giving them the time and resources to discuss these books helps with classroom motivation and processing. Kittle gives “book talk essentials” that are really helpful when trying to approach book talk discussion in the class! Simple things that need to be addressed while interacting with book talk that may be overlooked without drawing attention to it first hand. One suggestion was to “keep records” which can be really helpful when trying to coordinate which process works the best for future years. Teaching will be trial and error and making sure to document what worked and what needs to be improved is a beneficial step in progressing the classroom. The last piece of advice in this section was to “remember how important you are.” This concept can relate to a lot of things that we do in the classroom and remembering that we are influential aspects to these students and displaying a passionate demeanor, especially with reading, can help encourage students to be passionate learners like most teachers are.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Kittle gives great advice when thinking about different ways to approach classroom reading conferences. A good example of a question to ask during conferences would be “What’s on your to-read-next list? Which authors are your favorites?” (pp. 80) These questions help guide student progress and also helps develops student opinions that are valuable to discuss especially when students are able to choose books that they want to read. Involving different reading strategies within reading conferences can also help with more personalized learning patterns as we can teach different students different habits that they may be struggling with. Helping to accommodate learning within the classroom routines of reading conferences. Learning about all of the helpful tips that Kittle gives really gets me excited to be in my own classroom and use all of these tips!

Source:

Kittle, P. (2013). Book love: Developing depth, stamina, and passion in adolescent readers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Digital Citizenship

Being knowledge of the different contextual spheres of digital citizenship helps us be better equipped to navigate the vast web and to do so in an ethical manner. “We must ‘develop an ethical core that can guide us in areas of experience that are in many ways unfamiliar.’” (Jason Ohler, 2010) “…students must be ‘active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants in our globally networked society.”’ (U.S. Department of Education, 2010) Howard Cardner states that we must consider five main issues while participating in online habits and these are, “Identity, privacy, ownership, trustworthiness, and participation.” (CyberWise, 2011) These issues should guide how we should approach online experiences and gives good standards of what really needs to be considered before we interact with the internet.

Identity on the internet is a powerful thing as it is something that can label us forever. We must protect our identity and hold it to the highest standards; intently reviewing what we are thinking about publishing online and then aligning it with positive, ethical reasonings that are well rounded and supported with evidence. Privacy is important online because it is so easy for someone to take your information as their own. We should always draw a line between what information is too personal to put online and crossing that can result in unforeseen circumstances that can be easily diverted with simple decisions not to share more information than we need to.

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Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

Ownership is something that occurs in digital citizenship pretty much if we like it or not. We can deny what we put online but this can simply be traced back to us even with the use of fake names or identifies. Owning what we put out in the virtual world reflects back on our integrity and ethical standards as we should stand up for our contributions and if we choose not to, then we probably shouldn’t have published it in the first place. Trustworthiness can affect how reliable we are as sources on the web and making sure that we publish information that can be trusted and is cross-referenced can make us more dependable digital citizens. The last issue we should consider while working online is participation. Being able to have such access to the web is a privilege I feel as a country that we have and take for granted a lot. Participating in the global sphere of the internet in ethical and smart ways allows us to influence others with our opinions and thoughts and that is a powerful tool we should always treat with respect.

Source:

CyberWise. (2011, June 26). What is Digital Citizenship? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=oCkTmZ0bF5Q