Daily Creates

Here are some of my Daily Create Challenges! I missed a few this week but though it would be nice to have them all together, as well as on my Twitter account.

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Just Keep Yoga-ing

Go, go, go. It seems that that is all I have been doing this summer. Between three summer classes and two part time jobs, I don’t have much time for anything else. If I’m not at work, I am at the library doing homework and vise versa. I keep telling myself that it is only for one summer so how horrible can it actually be? Well, it has been BEYOND horrible. I’m usually not one to be a ‘Negative Nancy’ but man has this summer been rough!

These past couple of weeks in particular have been testing my patience and determination to keep going. I have been stressed to the max and sometimes don’t know how much more I can handle! For one of my other online classes I am required to do a service learning project. I have decided to raise funds and collect food donations for the local Backpack Program in Alliance. I have been busy planning, organizing, and advertising for my fundraiser and it has taken up ALL of my free time. I’ve only had like 23 anxiety attacks in the last week but other than that it has been totally fine.

Okay, so you’re probably thinking something along the lines of, “why is Tessa using her blog as a place to rant and tell us how horribly stressed she is?” Although it may seem like it, I’m really not trying to be a negative and pessimistic person! The moral of the story is that yoga has helped me through all of it.

14113771269_d214da0a0e_n.jpg Photo CC by Renuka I

I only attended the Wednesday session since there were no classes on Monday, the 4th of July. This yoga session was much needed to say the least. Everything about the session was so peaceful and calming and it was exactly what I needed after a busy week. Instead of focusing on mastering the poses I have learned in the past couple of sessions, I decided to focus on just being there. I was physically there but I wanted my entire being to be there; my body, my mind, my heart. I let go of all of my stress and frustrations and just focused on relaxing. It was so amazing to clear my mind and I could seriously feel all of the tension leave my body. How awesome is that?

So after my class at the gym, I decided my goal for the rest of the week is to try yoga to help my anxiety and stress. Thanks to Professor Ellington, I had the perfect resource for the job. Yoga with Adriene is a YouTube account by a lady who provides FREE yoga videos. She also has a website you can check out here. As I was looking through her YouTube videos, I came across “Yoga For Anxiety and Stress.” I can’t say enough how much I loved this video! It was short and sweet but still gave me the perfect amount of relaxation to help start my day. After completing these videos, I felt like a completely different person. It didn’t completely take away my stress and anxiety, but it gave me a sort of peace and relaxation to deal with the rest of my week. Along with completing these yoga videos, I also practiced positive thinking. I believe that positivity is key and once I removed all of the negative thoughts out of my mind, I was able to focus on positivity and relaxation.

I am sorry you all had to read through my boring and dreadful “rant” but I wanted to show you how amazing and beneficial yoga really can be. It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with stress, anxiety, migraines, etc. You name it and there’s yoga out there for exactly that. If you don’t have access to a yoga class in your area, I highly recommend subscribing to Yoga with Adriene and searching her videos to find a yoga video that suits you. I encourage you all to try yoga and experience the greatness for yourself!

 

 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

From everything we have learned in this class, we have already established that the internet is a very fascinating and useful resource. There are so many things one can do when “surfing the web” but sometimes those things can get us into trouble. Everyone should be careful about what they put on the internet because anyone can access their personal information.

As educators and professionals, we need to educate our students on proper and appropriate digital citizenship. If they are being introduced to numerous social media websites in the classroom, they should be taught how to correctly post and manage those social media accounts.

So what are the downfalls of students, and others, having numerous social media accounts where they share everything about their personal life? Well for one thing, they share everything there is to know about their personal life. The article Exploring a Teen’s Digital Footprint In 6 Clicks or Less  shows a video on how easily it is for future employers, educators and even people to access students personal lives’ online. What was surprising to me was that the guy first went to their Facebook page and then googled their email addresses and usernames. When he did this, he found so much information! I’ve googled myself before but I have never plugged in my username and email address so I’m kind of nervous/excited to see what pops up (this will happen later on in the blog).

6988486459_071dd8ed8c_n Photo CC by PRO Thomas Galvez

But what’s so bad about sharing all of this information on social media? Like I said before, future employers and educators literally have access to all of your personal information at the tip of their fingers. They can see every photo you are tagged in, every place you have checked in at, and so much more. If any of these findings are inappropriate it could lead to serious problems with employment and even problems with being accepted to college.

So are there any positives to social media? The answer is yes! There are so many ways to be positive and kind on social media sites. George Couros talked about this in his video “140 Characters of Kindness.” His dog had just passed away and he received numerous replies on Twitter from people he didn’t even know. He was comforted by strangers who cared about his situation. He experienced the positive side of the internet. While we are teaching our students how to appropriately use social media, we should also be teaching them how to be a kind and make a difference on these sites as well.

Finally, I googled myself. I went to images and typed in ‘Tessa Benson Alliance NE’ and found one of my senior pictures but it was actually linked to BHSU, where I attended my freshman year, and pulled up all the scholarship information that I had received that year. I then went to the main google page and it pulled up all of my athletic awards in softball during my high school years. I also found an article from the local newspaper about my friend’s wedding that I was in last year. I thought this was crazy because it included that I was a bridesmaid and also included everyone else that was involved in the wedding party. This just goes to show that anything can be found on the internet and it really doesn’t take a lot of searching to find this information.

I really enjoyed the lesson this week. By watching all of the videos and reading the articles, it really opened my eyes to how important and crucial it is to teach students about proper digital citizenship.

 

 

Podcasts and Digital Stories

I am just overwhelmed at how much we have learned in this class! It’s crazy how many things there are to learn about technology when it comes to technology in the classroom. I’ve heard of podcasts a few times before reading the article but I have never heard of digital storytelling. I learned so much from reading these two articles and watching some of the example podcasts and digital stories. I listened to a couple episodes of “Serial” and was instantly compelled by the story line. The music and voice is what really drew me in and kept me interested, along with the story line of course. I plan on listening to the rest of the story in the weeks to come!

I think podcasts would be great to use in the classroom. From the article What Teens Are Learning From ‘Serial’ and Other Products, it seems like students are really enjoying this type of classroom work. Students are used to the monotonous schedule of everyday school life and I think by including podcasts into the daily classroom curriculum, it will liven up the environment of the classroom. As a student, I find I become very bored of continuously listening to my teacher’s voice over and over again. I’m sure there are many students just like me out there who are tired of the same thing. By introducing podcasts in the classroom, students can take a break from listening to the teacher and the teacher can take a break from teaching.

88026787_a14853ff1a_m Photo CC by Daniel Filho

I found digital story telling to be very interesting as well. There are so many different uses for it and categories that digital stories can fall into. I watched one on health and another one on the meaning of life. I really enjoyed watching these because they were personable and interesting. One thing I like about the digital story categories is that the videos can be anywhere from motivational to controversial subjects. I watched one video on bullying and how it can be dealt with. I thought this was a great video especially for students to watch. Another thing I like about digital story telling is that students can create them. This would be a great project for students to do in anything classroom.

 

I think both of these resources would be great to use in any classroom. They would be beneficial to both students and teachers in many different ways. I wish I would have had these opportunities when I was in high school because I’m sure it would have made some of my classes much more enjoyable!

 

Getting Back on Track

Have you every tried something for the first time and wondered where it’s been your entire life? That’s exactly how I feel about yoga. I absolutely love it! Even though I have only been to two yoga classes, I still give myself a hard time for not trying it sooner in life. I can’t get enough of it.

I’m the type of person that worries about mastering new skills that I have learned. I always want to be good at it after the first couple of times I have tried it and often become frustrated when I can’t master it. Yoga is different. Even during the first class, I was never worried about perfecting the moves. I wasn’t even the slightest bit worried about performing as good as the other yoga class attendees. Nothing runs through my head and it is like my mind clears as soon as the class starts. It’s such an amazing feeling because I don’t worry about anything and everything is so simple.

15822085434_47072230fe_z Photo by- Zoltán Gál

Unlike last week, there was quite a few people at yoga class this week. Most of them were older women from my community and I knew most of them because I live in a pretty small town! I’ve always been uncomfortable working out in front of people and have always had trouble attending fitness classes like these. But again, yoga is different and I feel at ease when I am there.

The next part of my ILP is making healthy eating choices. This week I have tried really hard to cut out carbs, sugar, and dairy. I have been eating more fruits and vegetables and smaller portions. I find it extremely hard to completely cut something out of my diet so I am slowly trying it one step at a time. I went gluten free and dairy free for a month this past winter and I can’t believe how different and amazing I felt while not eating those foods. I have some what of a dairy and gluten intolerance anyway but nothing serious enough where I can’t eat it. I just don’t feel the greatest after I eat but I still eat it anyway. Smart, I know. I lost ten pounds in one month just by cutting out gluten and dairy and my goal is get back to that type of eating. One downfall that comes with it is that it is so expensive! I’m a poor college student that can barely afford my rent let alone fresh fruits, veggies, and gluten and dairy free foods.

After slowly adjusting myself to yoga and getting back on track to eating healthy, I am excited to see what this upcoming week has in store for me and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

“Branching Out” With PLN’s

23724712586_8543d072b2_n Photo CC- By Paul Davis

We all know that there are many ways to expand your PLN. But according to Howard Rheingold there are eight simple steps to cultivating your PLN. The first step is about being open to new ideas.When searching on the internet, you have to be open to new ideas and be careful to not get stuck in your ways. Being open to new things expands our learning and that is especially important when having your own PLN. The second step talked about what tools to use to cultivate your PLN and what tools work best for certain things.

One of my favorite steps Rheingold talked about was step 4: Always keep tuning your network, dropping people who don’t gain sufficiently high interest; adding new candidates. This is one thing I love about Twitter. If one of your followers is sharing “junk” or sharing too much of something, you can unfollow them. Another thing I like about Twitter is that when a follower retweets someone else’s tweet that you aren’t following, you have access to their tweets and profile (sometimes these profiles are locked/private). I’ve experienced this this past week when following some people I added to my PLN. As I was scrolling through my timeline I noticed retweets from people that I do not follow and some of their stuff was super interesting so I just clicked on their profile and followed them. It was that easy!

Another thing that I liked about this article is that Rheingold focuses on being kind to one another. Even though we can’t see our followers face to face, it is still important to show them gratitude and kindness over the computer screen. People are willing to share their experiences and ideas so we should show them how thankful we are for doing that. Another thing that he brought up was watching our tone while conversing with people. I am a pretty sarcastic person and sometimes I don’t think about what I say when talking with people who don’t understand my sense of humor. When talking with people online, it is hard to show your sarcasm without seeming rude. So I think it is best to keep sarcasm away from social media unless your are really good at sarcastic typing!

I really enjoyed reading this article and learning more about how to cultivate my PLN. I will take these tips and hopefully expand my network and connect with more people!

 

Becoming a “Yogi”

After contemplating for hours last week on what my ILP should be, I decided to try yoga. I’ve tried yoga before by watching dvd’s but I wanted to attend an actual yoga class. My work schedule conflicted with yoga class on Monday night so I was not able to go.

Instead, I busied myself with researching about what yoga is and its history. Wikipedia defines yoga as “a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline which originated in ancient India.” It is uncertain to how old Yoga actually is but there is evidence that it existed as early as 3000 B.C. Yoga’s main goal was to focus on understanding the world but the goal later changed. It is now used for self-enlightenment. Swami Sivananda created five basic yoga principles; proper relation, proper exercise, proper breathing, proper diet, positive thinking and meditation. I think a professional yogi has mastered all of these concepts and I strive to someday be like them!

9117978909_3a5bb648fc_c.jpg Photo CC-By Patrick Savalle

Another thing I was not aware of before learning more about yoga was that there are many different types of yoga. There is yoga for weightloss, stress, flexibility, and the list goes on and on! It’s crazy to me that something that has been around for so long still helps so many people today.

Like I said before, I was not able to make it to the Monday night yoga session but I was able to attend the one on Wednesday night. There was a total of three people there; the instructor, a lady from my church, and myself. It was really nice to have a small group because I get super nervous when there are a lot of people at an event. We started the hour off with some stretching and relaxation. The instructor was very helpful with making sure I was doing the poses right and answered any questions I had. One thing that is very crucial in yoga is making sure you are breathing correctly. I had some trouble with this but I think with more practice I will eventually master it. For the next hour, we worked on balance, flexibility, and strength. For the last ten minutes of the session we stretched and relaxed. We laid completely still for a full five minutes and I almost fell asleep!

I absolutely loved this yoga class. I felt rejuvenated and relaxed all at the same time when it was over. As for the second part of my ILP, I did not get to it this week but stay tuned because I plan on spending more time in the kitchen this upcoming week! I am so excited to attend my yoga class again and share what I have learned!