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“Ellaina Brown: the blonde Canadian girl from that province with the “chew” in it (don’t even attempt the pronunciation)”. That was the description given to me by my classmates in England this past year. For six months, I was at Capernwray Bible School located in the Lake District of England, where I might have learned more about myself than the enticing culture around me. After a year of University, I realized that I didn’t know who I was entirely. This trip would help teach me about me, through meeting all kinds of people inside a small community of 180 students, with many opportunities surrounding me. Sports claimed the back seat, but music, art, and working with youth I found to be the parts of my life that really built who I was, and had to hold on to.
I would like to say that adventurous excursions, away from all that is familiar, encapsulates my personality, but I have never been known to live on the edge, or play with fire. I’ve lived in this same city my entire life, went to the same school from pre’s to graduation, and I am still in the house I was brought home to from the hospital. So I suppose England was a bit of a risk.
There, I discovered that my family; Father, Mother, Brother (and cat, I suppose), are a really important part of my life. And although adventure is wonderful, and I love a bit of independence, I will always be a prairie-girl. I love my big skies, and small cities, where it isn’t preposterous to smile and strike up conversation with almost anyone.
As far as technology is concerned, the computer and me are fairly good acquaintances. Maybe even buddies. Although, I just received my first Ipod EVER this week (a shuffle), and you won’t find me on Skype or MSN, so I have fallen a bit behind these past few years. Hours have whizzed by with a screen in front of me, but not because of twitter, or from watching TV series, or cruising YouTube, but through the art of editing movies. “Import, Cut, paste, music, effects, transitions”… for me, it’s thrilling, and my only real expertise concerning computers. I’ve dabbled in Photoshop as well, but I believe a personal trainer is needed to really get a handle on that program. But as I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t always this way.
Truthfully, I’ve loved technology since I received my first e-card on our family’s windows 98. In those days, I had the latest music downloading program, I googled websites that told me how to use html code to create my own websites, and yes, I even had a Whyville account. But when I participated in a social networking fast in 2005 (around a month-long), I lost my desire to be on the cutting edge of tech-knowledge. I believe I’ve saved much of what could have been wasted time, but I have been missing out on the benefits of technology. People have been busy creating and developing great tools and programs that I obviously need to get on top of. I know this class will help get me back on my feet in terms of the issues, the trends, the how-to’s , and what-to-do’s of computer’s and the like. And with a professor who knows what it’s like to be thrown into the role of “techy guy”, I think us “n00b’s” are really going to get some good help.
As for technology in the classroom, the idea is so new to me I’m ready to get submerged! Coming from a small school, technology really didn’t have a presence. It’s place was in the home. I’m so ready to learn how to better amalgamate this into teaching and learning, and especially into art. For students who went to a school like I did, where Film class was not even an option, I would like to see the art of film integrated into the visual arts program (becoming an Art teacher is my destination). Social networking seems to me like it would be a distraction. And YouTube is an alright tool for the teacher to possibly show a video, but as far as being on the banned list of websites, I agree.
Although the class is intimidating, I can’t deny my anticipation. I am very much looking forward to spending time rediscovering my love for the art of technology; its daunting power and inspiring edge. I expect to be challenged, and to develop strong opinions and convictions for how it is effecting youth, and how I, as a part of a group of future educators, can channel it’s force to profit us, rather than separate us from the younger generation. I need to get down and dirty in this stuff! I want to be a tech-savvy art teacher. Step one, ECMP 355. Here we go!
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