EDCI 338 Niche Blog

The niche that I have decided to focus on is the importance of health and fitness and how it can help people around the world with things like self discipline respect and overall mental health and well being. Even though many people don’t think of themselves as fitness freaks, if we get people involved through a number of different measures I believe we can really make a difference in peoples lives and help them make serious changes for the future.

EDCI 335 Final Blog Post #5

The past 6 weeks have been a whirlwind of new ideas, thought processes and discovery. From learning words I had never learned before, to talking to people I had never talked to before, the past month and a half has given me a totally different perspective and respect to people who speak two different languages. When I first started I was struggling to keep myself motivated due to the boring and mundane ways I was trying to train my brain. I just couldn’t keep up watching boring online training videos. To begin with the online videos failed to spark my interest, and they also lacked real clarity and practical application. This caused me to lack a sense of motivation in what I was trying to learn. Over the course of the first two weeks I barely learned a thing in Portuguese other than hello and how are you. That it is when I did the readings about switching methods from online, to more one on one in person interactions and how those are better. I began talking to my Brazilian friends and found that my vocabulary improved dramatically in just one week. Then it improved even more when I went out of my comfort zone to speak Portuguese with people I had never talked to before. Over the last 3 weeks I have improved drastically and realistically feel much more confident in my ability to travel in a foreign country. When I am travelling I hope to become completely fluent and make friends for the rest of my life. All thanks to this class for motivating me to actual start before it was to late.

Interactive Learning Resource: Peer Review

Group 9: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mjBHFou9fmJABR95VZvDWVaFQKcOxwCUew-RpXhUqm4/edit

This learning resource that you guys have presented is very thorough and does a great job of explaining a very complex topic basic java programming. As someone who has never taken any sort of computer programming course it was fascinating to learn about all the different things that go into making and setting up java and how to properly identify syntax. The learning resource is very interactive throughout the entire paper and does a good job of explaining these technologies to someone who has very little to no understanding. If I where to make one suggestion it would be that for myself and many other people the topic is a little dry so possibly adding more colourful pictures or videos could help to spice it up a bit. Even though you did a great job of having different coloured text which was an excellent way to make me understand the different topics and ideas without my brain losing interest. Overall it was a great job and with a couple more videos it is on course to help many other students get a much better understanding of java programming.

Blog Post Week 4.

The unit this week on learning technology has been the most relatable in my quest to learn and improve my skills and development of Brazilian Portuguese. When I first tried to learn Portuguese at the beginning of this class in the middle of May I thought the best option I had was to watch videos online and try to develop a high level of vocabulary so I would be able to speak to people without issue. After the first week however, I realized that these online videos where not working and failed to really engage me. That is when I got Rosetta stone. I felt that getting Rosetta stone would enable me to be more engaged and help me improve my skills while being rewarded at the same time. Instead, what happened was a lot of frustration and general unease with how slowly I was learning and the lack of actual real guidance that was taking place. In order to make changes to my progress I decided to stop using the online world to help me learn a new language and instead concentrate on the real world and real people who I felt can actually help me make changes and improve my conversation skills. As I discussed last week, conversating with my friends from Brazil improved my Portuguese substantially but I felt that it was not just enough to talk to people I was comfortable with. Even though talking with my Brazilian friends was helpful for improving my skills it still really failed to take me out of my comfort zone. When one of them suggested that, I talk to their friends and people I have never met before I realized I had to jump at the opportunity. I met up with a couple of their friends at the house, and I began to speak almost instantly. At first got a couple of laughs, but pretty quickly I began to say more and more, and they spoke back to me, catching me off guard. After a few basic phrases, I felt in my element and was able to actually engage more in conversation. Whenever they said something, I didn’t understand I was quick to ask for confirmation, to make sure I was always adapting to what they were saying. Altogether, this week matched perfectly with the Unit. Showing me the importance of actual dialogue and conversation. Instead of using the internet as the main source of education, using it rather as a supplementary form of education. I have chosen to concentrate more on in person and real life education, and will continue to use it for the rest of my learning and blogs.

Blog Post 3 Progress by Andrew Muirhead

This week allowed me to take my knowledge and comprehension of Portuguese to the next level. As I mentioned in week 2 my focus was on switching from dull youtube learning classes to a far more integrated approach by using Rosetta Stone. This allowed me to make changes to the ways I was trying to learn in the past and take my learning from a so called reactive style of learning to a much more proactive style.

Now While these changes in learning style helped me make advances it wasn’t until I really tried to practice them out with a friend that I began to see improvements. After a couple of practice sessions with my friends from Brazil I realized that this was the best way and chance I had to really make changes and see progress in my levels of comprehension. It was also the quickest way I was going to get ahead considering I am planning to move in less than 4 months. I realize I have got to learn as quickly as possible and with cram as much information in. As the readings this week discussed even if I follow along with all the online lessons from Rosetta Stone I the learner still need to engage with the learning myself and practice in real life or else I will not reap any of the benefits. This is why in my third week I practiced multiple sessions of dialouge with my Brazillian friends, really allowing me to engage and go outside my comfort zone. For next week I am hoping to talk to their friends and people I dont know to really push my limits and go even further outside my comfort zone.

Week 2. Why is Learning Difficult?

This past week has given me the motivation to really sit down and get serious about learning a second language. Even though it is something I have always wanted to do I have found myself constantly procrastinating and putting it off for another day. However, this course has made me reevaluate how little time I have left before I am moving to a totally different country, with a totally different language. Even though I now have motivation and desire to really accomplish my goal, I found myself struggling with a number of things.

This week I tried learning Portuguese through youtube videos, however after a couple of videos i quickly realized that it was not engaging enough. Many of the videos I watched failed to really give me an opportunity to engage and practice on my own. These videos also did a poor job of explaining the difference between different phrases and failed to explain how they differed from traditional english. In a lot of ways I recognized this issue as continuing my confirmation bias, on certain phrases and expressions that we have in English but don’t exist in Portuguese. Not only was I struggling with my confirmation bias, but I also I had a problem changing my constructed views of how words are pronounced. For example in Brazillian Portuguese is a syllable timed language which when I first heard it caused me great confusion. For 5 days i have struggled to pick it up and change my rigid and inflexible ideas of how to speak certain phrases. Just like the reading for this week discuss’s trying to learn online from a lecture style teaching method has not worked well at all for me. It has caused to faze out and loose interest after about 15-20 minutes. This is why for next week I have decided to purchase beginner Rosetta Stone Portuguese. This online program will give me a great opportunity to actively practice my Brazilian Portuguese in an effective and time consuming way.

Week 1. What Is Learning?

Once I have completed this course, I will finally be done my degree. It has been a long 4 years, but I can happily say I have learned so many skills and met so many friends. However, being born and raised in Victoria for the past 22 years I crave something else. That is why I decided to get a Teaching English as a Second Language certificate, so I could travel the world and make money doing it. After spending months deliberating on the best option, I decided that the city I would like to go to is Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Although Brazil seems like an amazing place full of amazing people, it will be a challenge for me to fit in if I don’t speak the language at all. That is why over the next 4 weeks I am hoping to get a basic understanding of Portuguese, to give me an ability to communicate with some of the locals, at least at the most basic level.

Learning a new language can be extremely challenging for anyone, but given such a short time the task becomes even harder. The most important step for me is to set realistic goals about how much I can actually absorb and understand. Trying to figure out the best way to learn a new language can be challenging, however by looking at the different ways teaching takes over in a digital age can give me a good starting point. First off understanding how a hierarchy of learning works is my best chance to get the success I want when it comes to learning a new language. The best way to remember something is to practice it. My first step to remember words in Portuguese will be to take online language classes, giving me the best chance to get as much practice as possible in the most practical way. Moving on to Bloom’s second step in the taxonomy of cognitive domain latter. This is understanding, well it may be hard for me to understand right away I am hoping I will slowly but surely and with enough practice know what words mean and the context behind them. The applying step is one that will be a real challenge. I have plenty of friends from Brazil, so I will Facetime them and try to practice what I have learned with them, hopefully getting feedback on what I said and did wrong and how to improve it in the future. The final 3 steps may take longer and with time and after I have moved hopefully I can begin to analyse, evaulte and even create the new language I have learned.

Hi There! Introduction about myself by Andrew Muirhead

Hello everyone,

My name is Andrew Muirhead I am currently in my fourth and hopefully final year at UVIC. I was born and raised in Victoria and just like I am sure the rest of you will agree, being able to call this city home is an amazing feeling. I am currently working full time at the ogden point cruise ship terminal and hope to finish my degree with this course, in the summer. Even though I love Victoria I hope to move to a different city when I have graduated. 

By taking this course, I hope to gain a better understanding of how to design and make improvements especially with the rise of technological innovations of the 21st century.

One Memorable Learning Experience.

In my last semester at UVIC I took a course to teach english as a second language. It gave me a profound respect and gratitude for the english language and how in demand and important it is for the world today. It also made me incredibly grateful to be born into a country where english is the first language. The course gave me more insight into how important it is to practice patterns of speech and proper sentence structure. 

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton