I know that the name of my Independent Learning Project is Happiness but this week I decided to focus on some other emotions. I got caught up in doing some viewing on TED.com and then ended up doing quite a bit of reading. I know that I have talked about choosing to be happy, synthesizing happiness, and finding your own happiness but it is a fact that life is not always sun shine and rainbows. I think there is a difference between being happy in a moment and being happy in life. People can choose to be happy in a moment but you can not always choose to be happy with your life. Part of creating a happy life is by learning to roll with the punches and find the benefit in a situation. You can observe this in the Ted talk below.
One of the biggest mountains that stands in front of some people is having the ability to process their emotions effectively. I know that it was a big problem for me. I was always okay with angry, and happy but was very uncomfortable with expressing fear and sadness. I still know that I have issues with expressing these two emotions but I try my best to let them out and process them in a healthy way. I spent a lot of time being angry before and I don’t want that anymore. It didn’t even have to be anger because I was angry. I could be anger because I felt sad, or angry because I felt scared.
The point behind this blog is to tell you that choosing to be happy should be a choice to make a happy life and not just choosing happiness in a moment. Choosing happiness in a moment is okay as long as you go back and process the emotions correctly. Choosing to ignore emotions just lets them sit and accumulate. Its like pumping water into a balloon. At some point it is going to explode and go everywhere. I read a pretty interesting article about how to process emotions. It was very basic and so I thought that I would share it because it could be understood by anybody. It is called Processing Emotions. It is a nice article and it gives a simple process for dealing with emotions. I would call it a method for problem solving. The basics to problem solving are to realize the issue, think about why it is an issue, think about how to solve the issue, and take action.
I hadn’t really ever thought about the differences between being an activist online and being one in the street. Each has it’s pros and cons. Being an activist in the street involves more putting yourself out there. You are physically in the situation and the effects could be physical as well as verbal. You are putting face to the name. The down side to it is that the activist is confined to the area that they physically in unless they gain media attention to spread their message. The positive side to being an online activist is that there is a much larger network of people to reach out too. The people that are the focus group don’t have to be in the immediate area. The con of this is that you are not putting your face and presence into your activism. This is something that I have always thought should happen. Standing up to somebody and telling them who you are and what you believe. Being online can be a savior because of the option of anonymity. If the things you are fighting for could get you killed then it might be better to do it online. This does present a golden opportunity for the youth of the world. Youth used to be restricted on the parts of activism that they could participate in just because of their physical boundaries but with online activism they can start at a young age. It could get the youth of the world into the fight and keep them informed on what is happening. Congratulations to the youth who are doing what they can to help the world be a better place. Teen Activism Finalist “It Gets Better” seeks to help people suffering from mental disorders to life happy and healthy lives. The girl that created it was sixteen. That is pretty incredible that somebody who is sixteen is willing to take on a huge task such as helping others with their mental disorders. I cant say that I have ever been a digital activist in this way. I am generally more of an advocate. When I see somebody that is bullying somebody else I tend to start picking at the bully. I have always been against bullies and I know that this doesn’t make me any better than the bully but it is my way to help somebody. Draw attention away from them and take the bully on. I can say that I have done this several times on Facebook when I had it and even in online courses through Chadron State.
So when we first started this class I thought it was going to be about how to make people use proper grammar when sending text messages or emails. As it turned out, this is not the case and it is still very hard to understand the messages that I get from my mother. I have learned quite a bit during this experience. I think I would say that my digital citizenship is good but I would not say that I am very present in the online world. I used to have Facebook and I ended up deleting it because there was just to much whining and unimportant information. I do miss a lot of information because I don’t have it since a lot of the people I know only share pictures of nieces, nephews, and other important stuff on Facebook. Twitter is a new experience and I can’t say that it is like Facebook. I like that I can follow who I want and they do not necessarily need to be my friend. I do like some of the online learning that we have done. I actively use Son of Citation all the time with my other classes. The online resources that we have learned in this class are useful and time saving. I would say that the biggest thing that I have taken away from this course is the importance of being competent in digital literacy. I had pretty much all but given up on keeping up with online advancements and now I realize how important it can be to keep up with the changes and advancements. If the people that I am working with are using these tools then it will be important for me to be able to communicate with them through those channels. The most important thing that I have learned is the importance of keeping up for the sake of my professional career. It has been an interesting experience and I think that the 30 day create will be something different than I have ever accomplished.
It has been a short time coming that our online identities will be just as important as our physical ones. Just like in real life, everything you do causes an effect or ripple. That ripple will go on and people will judge you based on those actions. With the internet being as big a part of our lives as it is everything that we do on social media is recorded and stays there for the world to see. Somebody told me about this ten years ago when I signed up for my first Facebook account and I didn’t believe them. I thought there was no way that people could learn that much about me from what I posted. I never was a person that posted a lot of things anyway. Luckily for me it never really came back to bite me because I deleted my accounts a long time ago. I am sure the information from my old Facebook account can be found somewhere but it didn’t pop up when I googled myself. In fact, nothing popped up, and that is the way I like it. I even typed it in with my middle name and nothing came up. It has become very important to keep what you put on the internet important because you never know what people are going to look for or how they are going to use your information. If somebody online can build a big enough profile on you then they can possibly steal your identity. An even bigger deal is that jobs are now searching for your profiles and information online. They can see what kind of person you are by what you post. So you better keep it professional, create really strong privacy settings, or there is a possibility they don’t hire you based off of what they find. I went to a job interview last year where they went as far as to ask me for all of my sign in information for all of my social media accounts. There intent was to go through all of my information. Luckily for me I didn’t have any accounts at that time and the only one I have now is the Twitter that we created for this class. I watch the TED talk on our digital Tattoo and the link is below.
Another problem that is on the rise is cyber bullying. I have never had a lot of issues with this and have not really known anybody, at least that I know of, that has dealt with this. I have witnessed people making mean comments and such on things that I have read such as articles. I has seemed to me that people are really tough and creative with words when they think that they have the internet in between them and the people they are after. The only thing that I can suggest is to handle the problem like you could a regular bully. Ignore them. This is the internet there is no option besides ignoring them. You can’t punch them in the face online. If you react to what they are saying then it only gives them what they want. If you ignore them, they will get bored and move on. Usually the people who are trying to tear people down the most are doing it because they feel crappy inside. Don’t let them bring you down to their level. This is a link to an article I read on cyber bullying.
For my research on happiness i went through and watched a couple videos and read a couple articles but one TED talk stood out from the rest. But there was a catch, the video was actually about spaghetti sauce as an analogy for happiness. The name of the video was “Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce.”
The video talks about how the spaghetti sauce companies from the 70’s were under the assumption that there was a universal truth for what is the best spaghetti sauce. The same went for a lot of products but in this video he was talking about spaghetti sauce and a short stint on coffee which we will get too. Through research it was found that there is no one universal answer about what is the perfect spaghetti sauce. Instead it was found that variety is the spice of life. The typical spaghetti sauce at the time was very well blended and did not have any chunks. The variety was considered in amount of sugar or garlic. Through research it was found that one third of the country preferred extra chunky spaghetti sauce. One third of the nation was not being represented in the spaghetti sauce industry. There was no variety. Variety is the spice of life. All of us have different things that we prefer over others and it is not the same for everybody. People need options. With coffee, if it is asked what kind of coffee people like, people say a dark, rich, and hardy roast. In reality only twenty-five to twenty-seven percent prefer this while most prefer milky, weak coffee. When people are asked what they like they want, most will answer with the same thing. But when presented with options there is a variety of answers while most correlate into the about three types. I think the main thing that I took from this video is that what makes everybody else happy isn’t necessarily going to make you happy. Find what makes you happy and run with it. If you have a spare seventeen and a half minutes you should watch the video. It is very interesting.
Its FREE! It is pretty cool that the course is free and it is so flexible. DS 106 is a course that runs a few times a year, it is fifteen weeks, and is sponsored through the University of Mary, Washington. I would say the coolest thing about it is the flexibility that it provides to participants. You can join the course whenever you would like and you can quit whenever you need too. The only requirements for the course are a strong internet connection and a will to learn. The DS in DS106 stands for Digital Storytelling. Digital Storytelling is a relatively new process that allows everyday people to utilize technology to tell a story. The stories include the use of photographs, videos, voice overs, music, and text to tell stories about everyday life. The beneficial part is that through this process the system is teaching you to use several technologies to tell the story. Also, the use of various technologies will take people out of their comfort zones and get them to possibly try new things. These new things can either go well or go poorly but at least you tried. The only bad part that I see about this is that it says it requires a lot of time. Not a big deal if you have a lot of free time. A lot of the testimonies about the class say that most of the projects require several hours a week to complete. If you are a working adult with a family then you might not have this amount of free time to dedicate every day. I think it would be incredibly beneficial to do but it would be something that I started after I completed my degree. There is another part of DS106 that is really cool. It is called the Daily Create. This is a 30 day challenge that can be started whenever. The point of the Daily Create is to take people outside of their comfort zone but it requires less time. Most of the projects require less than 15 minutes a day. Most of us should be able to find 15 minutes a day to do something creative. If you go to their website you can look at the projects that are used everyday for the Daily Create. The projects are simple but I can see how you could get very creative with them. Overall it seems like a great idea for learning and its amazing that it is free.
I chose to learn about project based learning because it sounded a lot like how I like to learn. I like to learn by doing and you could even say that I learn best when it is trial by fire. Give me a mission and let me run. I think that for people and especially myself that when we learn by doing a project that we are in control of and responsible for then the knowledge from it becomes more ingrained in us. When we are learning about something from a text book and then answering a question on a test it is generally looking at information at face value. When we learn by doing project it begins with something at face value but then you have to dig down to find other information. When you are planning the project it takes finding all the in’s and out’s of the information and provides opportunity to think outside the box. I imagine that a classroom would be a very active place with this kind of learning happening. Kind of like walking around a zoo. The teacher walks around checking out all the exhibits and acts as a facilitator for the class. The teacher would stop every now and then and provide guidance, feedback, or warnings about possible outcomes. I envision the room is spread out. No desks that are lined up in single file order. Table spread throughout the room with groups of students gathered around them working on their projects. I watched a YouTube video on Project Based Learning. It was interesting and very informational. The video talks about Manor New Technology High School in Manor Texas. It is a school that is entirely based off of project learning.
http://bit.ly/2db7Nte Is a YouTube video on Manor New Technology High School.
I also read a couple posts from Project Based Learning Blog. Its a site dedicated to information on Project Based Learning. https://www.bie.org/blog
Here are some accounts on twitter that that speak primarily on Project Based Learning.
Project based learning would have a lot of advantages in school. It’s only disadvantage that I could see is that it would take a lot more work to create meaningful content to keep the students engaged. That is not to say that it wouldn’t be worth it but it would take work to transition from a normal system of education. Not an excuse to not do it.