Major Digital Project Learning Journey & Final Post

Finished the dresser top with Unicorn Spit!

Wow!  What a journey!  I have learned a great deal over the course of the last several weeks, through working to completion of my major digital project and the EC&I 831 synchronous online classes!  Not only have I learned a new skill (painting with Unicorn Spit (U.S.) product) that has been historically used as a form of art therapy in healthcare, but I have also had countless opportunities to explore and learn various methods of sharing my learning through blogging, vlogging, TikTok, and Twitter. 

One of my fellow classmates pointed out that it was not so much work to actually learn a new skill; the truest difficulty lay in countless hours of video and blog editing plus research involved from week to week.  It was fulfilling work – all that I have learned will enable me to find ways to promote open educational practices (OEP) with nursing students through my instructional methods and course design.  I have immensely enjoyed watching my fellow students progress through their various skill developments as well! 

Summary of Major Digital Project Posts

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September 30 Major Project Outline I began my skill development by completing a lot of research, watching YouTube video tutorials, and becoming a member of an online Facebook Unicorn Spit group.

Face-to-face Tree Ring Pour Class

October 15 Major Project Progress I attended a face-to-face class, ‘Tree Ring Pour’, at the Centennial market, to give me hands on training in one method of Unicorn Spit Paint application.  This week I organized my goals for skill development.

Face-to-face on left – recreated with Unicorn Spit on right

October 20 Next Step… Instructional Youtube Video Blog Post This week I applied what I learned from the face-to-face class, to create my own instructional video to show others how to create a ‘tree ring pour’ painting.  Instead of using acrylic paint, I used the Unicorn Spit paint product.  I had watched tutorials using this application method so I wanted to give it a try.  I wasn’t perfectly happy with my final painting, but know what I would do differently next time to be more successful.  Perhaps I’ll give that a try after Christmas!

TikTok video

October 16 TikTok Post – Sharing my Learning from Face-to-Face Class I took advantage of the directive by Dr. Alec Couros, for students to learn a new social media application, when I created a TikTok video to showcase my learning in the face-to-face paint class. 

Applying Unicorn Spit to the ‘Swan’

October 29 Major Project Progress – Swan to Peacock I used Unicorn Spit paint to transform a vintage ceramic ornament into a swan colored art piece (so to speak!).  It was a little tricky as I had to prep the surface first using different methods, but I feel I did what I set out to do and was happy with the finished product!

November 9 Next Phase of my Major Digital Project: Unicorn Spit as a Wood Stain I created and posted a YouTube video on my blog, to share my completion of applying Unicorn Spit as a stain to a wood nightstand.  Thankfully this time I only had to sand the surface a little bit before applying the Unicorn Spit.  I was happy with the results!

Stripping the paint from the dresser top – stinky business!!!

November 23 Confessions of a Busy Couple Weeks This week I posted my small progress on the last step of my major project – explaining how I had to prepare the old dresser I planned to paint.  Stripping the paint was a huge job because there was about 25 years of old paint on it! Then it had to be sanded down. 

Final Step of Learning Project: Application of Unicorn Spit to Dresser as a Paint/Stain

Before and after pics of the final step of my Unicorn Spit painting journey!

Today I am posting my final part of my major digital project!  Please click on the following video showing my progress and completion of applying the Unicorn Spit paint to the top of the dresser.  I also ventured on a small side track and created my own ‘chalk paint’ to give the front and sides of the dresser a grey color matte finish.

Overall, I am really happy with the Unicorn Spit paint product, and thrilled that I was able to complete this learning journey!  Unicorn Spit paint is super easy to use, and if one isn’t happy with how it looks, it can be painted over.  It isn’t permanent unless you apply a protective finish over top.  It smells amazing!  The paint/gel/stain has a light jasmine scent to it, so even to my perfume sensitive nose, it is not an obnoxious smell at all! 

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I really appreciated having the opportunity to be myself while learning this skill and through sharing my learning!

What I really love is the versatility of this product!  It has sooo many applications!  In my learning journey, I used it as a paint on canvas, paint on ceramic, colored stain on wood, and combination paint/stain on wood.  There are so many other uses that I can’t wait to explore on my free time!  I really appreciated having numerous online resources available to guide my use of this product through Unicorn Spit Canada Website, Facebook pages, Twitter sites and countless Youtube tutorials!  

The other learning aspect of this major digital project that stands out for me, was having the opportunity to share my learning and receive feedback and encouragement from my peers throughout my journey.  Now I feel quite comfortable with the ins and outs of posting to Youtube, and creating WordPress blog posts.  I am still familiarizing myself with Twitter, but it is fast becoming addictive!

Thanks for reading my final blog post and sharing in my learning journey! 

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Summary of Learning EC&I 831

Wow! I can’t believe I have finished my final learning summary! I was extremely challenged technologically but I powered through and did my best! I was happy to follow through in what I originally had planned – to do a side-by-side split screen presentation.

My dog, Xena, is mad at me in this pic for ignoring her to shoot this video! You can hear her barking in my blooper reel!

My sixteen year old son, Justin, assisted me in videotaping and also doing some narrating so I could time the different parts separately before piecing them back together on the split screen. Perfecting the timing was definitely difficult, but using the timestamps really helped.

All in all, I’m happy with the end result. I went over by about one minute on the video length (8 min), then added in a blooper reel (what video isn’t complete without one?) that was another 1&1/2 minutes. I used the video editor, Filmora 9.0, which is very user friendly! Hope you enjoy watching!


Sound Effects:

  • Fesliyan Studios Background music
  • Bensound.com/royalty-free-music
  • Soundbible.com

VideoEditor Filmora 9.0

  • Giphy.com

Pavan Arora – ‘Knowledge is Obsolete So Now What

Lawrence Lessig – ‘Laws that Choke Creativity‘ TedTalk

Dr. Verena Roberts – ‘What is OEP?’ Presentation in ECI 831 Class

Exploring with Cody (Canadian Travel Vlog)

Exploring Social Media Activism

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Media activism is a broad category of activism that utilizes media and communication technologies for social and political movements. Social media is a common way to promote media activism due to numerous opportunities for interaction and therefore disseminate information to rally supporters.  Examples of social media platforms include Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

According to the article, ‘Going viral: what social media activists need to know’, written by Ghobadi, S. (2018), social activism refers to a wide variety of activities which are beneficial to society. Goals of social activism may be to give voice, educate and agitate for change.

Can online social activism be meaningful and worthwhile?

Social media activism can absolutely be meaningful and worthwhile. However, in a few readings it was mentioned that information is best received and spread, in direct relation to how closely it reinforces the mainstream mindset, otherwise it may be quickly deleted or jammed.  In the article, ‘The problem with social media protests’, Malchiuk stated that, online movements can burn out faster than campaigns that spend months or even years forging in-person connections (2019). 

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Social media provides the perfect medium for activism actions, enabling groups to reach out to an entire world audience almost simultaneously.   Not only that, but social media can bypass mainstream media TV and Radio channels to reach people directly, using a variety of mediums such as videos or pictures.  Just last week I retweeted a post by the Carmichael Outreach centre in Regina, to promote a request for donations. This is a small way that I can contribute to a worthy cause which will help community members of Regina directly.  Social media activism may be carried out in very small ways, or in large scale ways such as the #metoo campaign.

Online activism enables quick levels of engagement with the general public, as well as a degree of anonymity which may motivate more people to become involved.  However, that very anonymity also carries a lesser weight of importance. For example, if thousands of anonymous ‘signatures’ are collected online to a petition, a politician may not take it as seriously in comparison to a signed petition from someone going door to door gathering signatures in person.  

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Another downside is that counter measures such as surveillance of activists, internet filtering, or imposed decreased internet speeds, may be employed by government officials or large corporations in response to social activism. “Doxxing” is a threat that may occur, which according to Curtis,  happens when negative information is spread online and publicly that can harm a person’s social or work reputation.

Inhibiting strategies are not limited to authoritarian organisations. Senior managers may also monitor email correspondence of staff, set up structures and hierarchies for access to organisational information, and use the information provided by secretive companies to check the status of their employees (for example, blacklisting workers perceived as trouble-makers). – Ghobadi, S., 2018

Is it possible to have productive conversations about social justice online? 

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Slacktivism is defined as when people ‘support a cause by performing simple measures but are not necessarily engaged or devoted to making a change.  Interchangeable terms such as ‘clicktivism’ or ‘arm-chair activism’ are also used. In an article by Levy, M. called, ‘RT If You: The Rise in Fake Activism’, small measures such as RT (re-tweeting) on Twitter, or, ‘Liking’ a post on Facebook, are seen as influential measures for social activism issues (2014).  However, in reality it is unlikely that forwarding a weirdly written statues statement to 10 people will directly influence awareness for breast cancer.

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In contrast, the ‘Movember’ movement in which men let facial hair grow every November to raise awareness for prostate cancer has greatly spread awareness.  The big difference is that to simply RT a post is not an action that inspires meaning as compared to seeing men suddenly grow mustaches.

A tweet can get a million retweets, but the chances remain slim that the tweet actually saved somebody’s life. Instead of retweeting meaningless posts, people should strive to actively make a difference in the lives of others. Make a donation, start a fundraiser, volunteer at a hospital or run a race for a cause you care about: the only criterion is to actually help a person instead of resorting to a convenient, fruitless retweet. – Levy, M. (2014)

What is our responsibility as educators to model active citizenship online?

As educators, we have a huge responsibility and fantastic opportunity to model online citizenship.  Social media offers a worldwide platform to allow students amazing opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist.  Opportunities such as connecting with like-minded individuals, sharing ideas, and learning from experts.

Hildebrandt, K. states in an article titled, ‘What Kind of (Digital Citizen)?’, that education in Saskatchewan should move from a ‘fear and avoidance based model’ to one that promotes actions to become a responsible digital citizen such as adoption of ‘responsible use’ policies using the cybersafety model.  The responsible use policy moves digital education from an emphasis on what students ‘shouldn’t do’, to what they ‘should do’.

According to ‘Tips for modeling responsible tech use and critical thinking’ by Lapus, M. (2018), a great way to educate students about digital citizenship skills is to role model responsible approaches to technology use through both school-based and social media based platforms.  In the nursing profession, confidentiality is an essential part of the nurses’ code of ethics, to breach it means a possible loss of job, heavy legal fines and even public shaming through news media coverage. 

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It is extremely important for nurse educators to ensure that nursing students are well aware of responsible use of online posting on social media. One year a student accidentally posted a positive message on Facebook about the unit we were completing clinical experiences on, and the post was viewed by the unit manager through Facebook channels by the very next day!  The post was quickly deleted, thankfully no patient confidentiality was ever breached, but it was an important real-life lesson for the nursing students, to show how quickly an online post can have professional consequences!  

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As Brooke mentioned,  social media ultimately offers one platform for improving social injustices and inciting social change.  Sometimes little things like hashtags can be just the thing to bring one’s attention to an important issue.  Even when a person chooses not to participate in a social activism issue directly, their eyes can still be opened to that issue by the very presence on social media platforms.

Confessions of a Busy Couple Weeks

I confess for the last week or so I have not kept up with my class goal of blogging at least once per week.  Work and home have just been so busy that I couldn’t keep up!  However, to redeem myself, today I will post a quick update on my major project to give a snapshot of where I’m at with that. 

This past couple weeks my husband, Rod, has decided to clean out and tidy up our garage, and dig out the old dresser in the process from the corner recesses.  I focused on preparing a space in the garage to be able to work on the dresser, as well as prepping the dresser.  To prepare the dresser Rod used a paint stripper solution on the top surface as there was about 20 plus years of paint and repaint on it that needed to come off.  Let me just say I am very grateful that my husband has expertise in furniture finishing because the paint stripper was very, very strong smelling!  The kind of smell that clings to your clothes and nose long after you leave the space! 

Rod finished removing the paint from the dresser top, but also accidentally removed paint from two of the drawer fronts before I stopped him.  I plan to repaint the drawers so there was no need to strip the paint from them.  For the top surface, I will be applying the unicorn spit paint as a combination gel stain/paint.  Then, I will apply polyurethane finish to the entire dresser.  Rod has kindly offered to replace a missing strip of wood trim from the front of the dresser (which would have taken me an extremely long time to do!). 

Girls with power tools!

After the paint had been removed from the top, (and revealed a beautiful mahogany wood surface) I used an orbital sander under Rod’s guidance.  This was a good thing because I’m kind of a clutz at heart, so who knows what might have happened otherwise!  Of course, I cannot seem to find the finished pictures of the sanded dresser on my phone – I will post a before and after pic on the next project blog post.

My plan is to paint the front and side bits of the dresser with a grey chalk paint, which I will mix up myself using a recipe from a YouTube tutorial, called “Make Your Own Chalk Paint (Cheap & Easy Recipe)“, created by MrDIYDork.  I have used this recipe this past summer to refinish some cabinet doors and it worked quite well! 

Thanks for reading – please stay tuned! 

Next Phase of my Major Digital Project: Unicorn Spit as a Wood Stain

Hello everyone! Thanks for checking out my next phase of my major digital project! Please click on the video below to watch me apply Unicorn Spit (US) as a wood stain, to a pine wood nightstand. I apologize in advance for the lengthy, 10 min video!

I pre-sanded the nightstand, then applied a watered-down US mix of Blue thunder and Midnight Blackness to the bare wood drawer front. After the first coat, I decided to make it a bit darker by adding concentrated Midnight blackness, then wiping it off. Finally, I re-stained it with the original color once more and wiped that off again. I applied the US in the same manner to the top of the nightstand. For the front of the nightstand and the inside of the shelf, I only used the stain mixture.

After the US dried completely, approximately 24 hours, I polyurethaned it with oil-based satin finish, for two coats with a light sanding in between. I still plan to paint the back part of the inside shelf a black color, as well as the bottom wooden feet.

Enjoy watching and stay tuned for my next and final video in which I will be applying US as a combination paint & wood stain to re-finish a dresser.

Thanks for watching!

Exploring Open Educational Practice: Week 9 Blog Post

Open educational practices, or OEP, is a creative, innovative way of approaching instructional practice in which students engage in authentic, participatory learning.  According to, ‘7 Things you should know about… Open Education: Practices’, it is the “use/reuse/creation of OER [Open Educational Resources] and collaborative, pedagogical practices employing social and participatory technologies for interaction, peer-learning, knowledge creation and sharing, and empowerment of learners”, (2018).  The goal of OEP is to broaden learning from a focus on access to knowledge, to a focus on access to knowledge creation.

A major benefit of OEP is the engagement of the learner in a learner-centered environment, and provision of authentic learning experiences.  The level of engagement will positively affect the level of learning.  Learning becomes transparent and obvious to both the learner and the teacher.

Spectrum of Open Education Practices (2018)

With increasing access to information through OER, learners have more control over their learning.  Dr. Roberts stated that OEP utilizes previously untapped resources related to informal learning.  With various technologically creative applications such as TikTok or Twitter, students have control over what they learn as well as influencing learning in others, such as through contributions to Wikipedia.  The direct result of OEP is the opportunity to share learning, to network with like-minded individuals worldwide.

According to Wikipedia, there are challenges to OEP such as lack of adequate access to technology and/or internet.  After an ECI831 class ‘breakout room’ discussion last evening, frustrations were identified in the school systems such as limited student access to ‘chromebooks’, limitations on what programs or applications were allowed in the school systems or on devices (Eg. Minecraft on Chromebooks), and super slow internet speeds which meant long waits for programs to even ‘load up’.  There is a definite lack of technological training and support within both the primary and secondary school systems.  Even if a wonderful new program is released, teachers need to receive adequate time for training as well as IT support.

The OEP model may not be suitable for all ages of students.  Another issue that was voiced in our class group discussion, related to the primary school system, was lack of age-appropriate internet resources, especially for the younger students, such as in grade one.  Additionally, teachers are not given adequate prep time to find appropriate resources.

I have experienced this lack of technological resources at Saskpolytech.  I helped to develop an interactive open access nursing computer game, however in order to work on it, I had to bring my personal laptop to the office because no computers at school were advanced enough to run the program!  It was very frustrating! 

Thankfully, a current requirement of the Practical Nursing program is that students must own a, ‘personal electronic device’ such as a laptop, because all of our exams are now written using an online exam software program, Examsoft.  Once we finished work on the computer game, most nursing students could ‘play’ the program using their own devices.

Another challenge to instituting OEP may be the required structured format of learning within many educational institutions. For example, in order to pass a Practical Nursing class (Post-secondary) or departmental exam (high school), specific pre-requisite learning goals must be met, and certain knowledge must be acquired.  Unstructured forms of learning through OEP may not be suitable for every type of course. 

I believe that OEP have a place in the pedagogy of learning, however, it is not something that can be rushed, or forced to occur.  Both learners and teachers have to be open to the experience.  More research has to be done; technological resources and support for teachers to learn how to implement OEP have to be provided by the school systems in order to make OEP a successful reality.  Resources such as the Open Learning Design Intervention (OLDI) framework developed by Dr. Roberts will go a long way to assist teachers in the implementation of OEP.

OEP may be implemented in the future in small degrees, rather than in a whole curriculum. I’m sure teachers already implement many of the attributes of OEP as pictured in the following chart. I think it is more a matter of making student learning transparent and shared, as Dr. Roberts stated, to be defined as OEP.

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Eight attributes of Open Pedagogy, by B. Hegarty (2013)

Major Project Progress: Swan to Peacock

This week I decided to use Unicorn Spit (US) paint to try transforming an old ceramic pinkish colored swan into a peacock! Unfortunately, I didn’t take a ‘before’ pic, but the swan looked something like the picture below:  Boring, right? That’s probably why no one wanted to pay 25 cents at last summer’s garage sale for it!!!

$18.28 at Amazon.ca

The first step to prepare the surface first, by washing it with soap and water.  According to UnicornSpit Australia instructions, to apply US to ceramic or glass I had to first apply a thin coat of Modpodge, using a dollar store foam paint brush.  The modpodge would give the US something to adhere to, as well as make the finished product more durable.  Next, I let that dry for a day. 

Then, for the fun part!  I applied the US paint to the ceramic swan.  I was trying to go for a marbled look, using my favorite colors, which also happen to be ‘peacock’ colors.  I used Dragon’s Belly Green, Blue Thunder, White Ning, Purple Hill Majesty, & Zia Teal.  I wanted to lighten up the colors with the white and teal, because my last project, the ‘tree ring pour’ painting, ended up being so dark.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures during the paint application, but it kinda looked how Mark Montano applied US to ceramic tiles in much the same colors… I watched his, ‘How to: Unicorn Spit Backsplash’ tutorial video for some pointers.  So first, I lightly misted the surface with water, then I squirted small squiggly strips of US paint, mixing up the colors. 

I applied US in the same method that Montano used.

The trick was to keep the surface lightly misted so the paint would move and blend easily. Then, using my fingers, I spread out the paint and partially blended it together, to create the ‘marbled’ look.  The beauty of US is that if you don’t like the look after you finished blending, you can wipe off the surface and start again!

Montano blending the US paint on the ceramic tiles.

Alternatively, if you blend too the US paint much or wipe too much paint away, you can continually apply more paint until you are happy with the look! Once the paint becomes a ‘dull’ matte color, you know it has dried!

My finished product after blending is complete! Now to let it dry!
About $9-10

After the US paint dries thoroughly (I waited about 3 days) a finishing coat can be applied.  This is where the magic happens with US paint, because it brings out the colors and provides a 3D effect!  I chose to apply a couple top coats using a oil based polyurethane spray. 

Here is the finished product!

Top View
Side View

So… My next major project goal is to apply US to a small wooden object.  I can’t wait to find out what US will look like as a wood stain!!!

Age of Creativity or Revival of Prohibition Times?

In thinking about the topic of open education and the culture of sharing we live in today, I watched the TedTalk by Larry Lessig, founder of the Creative Commons, called “Laws that choke creativity”.   It really brought home the foundations of why we have a ‘culture of sharing’. He started his talk by relating a story about a man named, John Phillips Sousa.  Sousa was protesting the 1877 invention of ‘talking machines’ in 1906, and stated, “These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country.  When I was a boy… in front of every house in the summer evenings you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or the old songs.  Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day.”  He was concerned that people would lose the ability to use their vocal chords. 

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Lessig goes on to describe today’s culture as a ‘read-write culture’ because people participate in the creation and re-creation of their culture. Sousa was concerned that future culture would evolve into a ‘read only’ culture.  A culture where creativity is consumed, but the consumer is not the creator. 

Lessig’s 2nd story is about a trespass law that protects the land below and as far as can be seen, above in the sky.  This law changed with the invention of airplanes.  In 1945, it was decided that doctrines protecting the air space had no place in the modern world, otherwise every transcontinental flight would be trespassers.  “Common sense revolts at the idea”.

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With the invention of drones comes the creation of laws to ensure public safety. According to CBC News, Canada recently updated drone regulations which apply to any drone weighing over 250 grams. Any drones more than or equal to 300g have the capability to damage an aircraft. Drone operators must be over 14 years old and are required to hold a ‘drone pilot’s license’.

In the 1920s, broadcasting was a new way to spread cultural content, and the battle began between the businesses that spread that content and controlled the performance rights.  The company, “Broadcast Music Incorporated”, or BMI, was born. BMI changed the face of art, and gave away broadcasting as public domain works for free to subscribers.  The majority of broadcasters switched to BMI because the other leading company, ASCAP raised rates ridiculously high; the competition was enough to break the cartel over music.

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Lessig believes that the present-day internet is resulting in a revival of the “read-write culture” that Sousa romanticized and predicted we would lose.  Digital technology is the present-day opportunity to revive our vocal chords through ‘User Generated Content’.  Social media companies like YouTube and flickr celebrate amateur culture – where people produce for the love of what they are doing, not for the money. 

When Sousa talked about young people getting together to sing songs of the old days, this describes exactly what the kids are doing today, through remixing old songs, or creating unique videos.  Possibilities are endless to foster creativity in kids… it’s how they understand access to our culture.  It is using existing content to ‘say things differently’.  Lessig points out that the technology to do these things has been around for the past 50 years, but it is only now that these creative techniques have been, ‘democratized’ so that anyone with access to a computer can extract original content from the culture around us and use various programs to say things differently. 

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Present-day creative tools which use programs like, ‘TikTok’ have now become tools of speech, and therefore literacy for this generation, or in other words, how our kids speak and think.  Unfortunately, current law has not kept up with the technological changes.  If copyright laws are supposed to restrict making ‘copies’ of content, then every single use of culture produces a copy, therefore making almost every single person, or kid, a ‘trespasser’, about the same way as those first airplanes invaded airspace in the early days.  Common sense has not yet revolted to the laws controlling the creativity.  There is a growing thought among the younger generation which rejects the very notion of copyright laws and instead believes that law is to be ignored, because it is antiquated.

Over 30 million YouTube views of their cover of the song, “Call Your Girlfriend”, helped these sisters land roles on the TV show, “Nashville”.

Lessig believes the solution is to legalize the ability to be young again, such as what BMI did for broadcasting.  Firstly, artists and creators should choose to make their works freely available for non-commercial use.  Secondly, businesses which are building the read-write culture need to embrace creative opportunities, to enable it, so this ecology of free content can grow on neutral grounds.  Lessig implies that the creation of, “creative commons” is one way that works to achieve this goal.

In comparing our generation to our kids generation, Lessig states;

  1. We made mixed tapes, they remix music

2. We watched TV; they make TV

3. It is technology that has made them different

In my youth I remember recording songs from the radio on my ghetto blaster, or taping shows using my VCR.  In our last class we were discussing downloading music from Napsters – I did that as well!  As I think about it, I realize that most likely every single person today could be considered a criminal if following the law to the letter in regards to copyright.    

Lessig goes on to point out that creative instincts which are produced by technology cannot be repressed, but only criminalized.  He states, “We can’t stop our kids from using it (technology), we can only drive our kids underground.  We can’t make our kids passive again, we can only make them, “pirates”.   I think this could also apply to my generation but especially to the next generation.  I don’t think that technology has been criminalized, but rather that the laws have not kept up with the times. 

Who can keep up with all the streaming TV and movie programs out there; figure out which ones are free (Eg. CTV online), which ones are a paid user service (Eg. Amazon Prime), or which ones may be considered illegal (android TV box)?  With so many programs and services popping up all the time, and laws constantly changing, one has a very hard time of keeping up with what is and isn’t legal. 

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Lessig states, “We live in a strange time of prohibition, where in many areas of our life, we live life constantly against the law.  Our kids are living life knowingly against the law which is very corrosive, and corrupting.  In a democracy we ought to do better…”.  Just as in liquor prohibition times, or even most recently, the legalization of marijuana, movements are not repressed, but forced underground if common sense does not prevail.  We need to keep creativity in the open and available for everyone to enjoy. 

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Thank goodness for the, ‘Fair Dealing’ copyright law, allowing the use of resource materials for education purposes.  I can relate to Daniel’s dilemma of having to look to outside sources for class material.  In the Practical Nursing program, we are required to annually create and revise student course manuals for each course.  I sometimes have to find outside sources of information due to textbook revisions or updated nursing skills.  I can add outside content into student course manuals through the creation of an, ‘instruction sheet’ which can include information not found in course textbooks.  I am allowed this through a copyright regulation called ‘fair dealing’.  Anything I use to compliment in class teaching, such as a YouTube video, that is not listed as a resource in the course manual cannot be testable material. 

LBD Dressing Change Program in early stages.

I was a co-creator, alongside two other Practical Nursing faculty, of an open source nursing education program which will be available very soon, called, “LBD Dressing change program” (LBD stands for Learning By Doing).  It has been a very exciting process over the last few years to work with a local media company and to have the opportunity to contribute my experiential knowledge and creativity.  I fully support the idea of creating an accessible program so that it may help promote learning in some way, to future student nurses.   

I created the following picture, by combining pictures from 3 different website sources, to visualize the idea of criminalization of youth creativity.  Would you agree or disagree, that through the process of combining the 3 pictures together, that now this ‘new’ picture should be considered my creation? Or… would I be in violation of copyright laws?


Next Step… Instructional YouTube Video

This week I decided to try something different to show my progress in my major project for class. First I videotaped myself as I attempted to re-create the ‘Tree Ring Paint Pour’ method using Unicorn Spit paint instead of acrylic paint.

The next step was to edit the video, mainly to embellish it a little, and also to shorten it from 28 min! Waaaay too long! My 16 year old son rolled his eyes at me and proceeded to offer me assistance to download and use an awesome video editing app called, ‘Filmora 9‘ by Wondershare. This app is available for free download and super easy to use!

Once I finished editing my video, it was pared down to 5:47 min! Much better!!! Then I opened up ‘Youtube Studio’ and uploaded as an ‘unlisted’ video, to ensure it is only available to view if you have the exact URL. This works perfectly for use in this class, but stay somewhat private.

Main Thoughts: Technical Aspects

Overall the video was pretty easy to record, however I did buy a camera tripod stand from Amazon to make the recording process easier. I used an older digital video camera to record instead of my phone as my storage is getting glitchy on my phone so hard to record videos (time for an upgrade). My dog was a little bit ‘barky’ in the background so I decided to insert printed instructions in the video rather than using the original sound, and I also added music. The filmora app provides free music bytes for this purpose.

I definitely need to work on my ‘film presence’ as I tend to say ‘Um’ and ‘Uh’ a whole lot!!! I used one take to record the video – so maybe next time I could re-record the talking at the end of the video, rehearse what I’m going to say first. There was a bit of a learning curve to upload the finished video to YouTube because initially I couldn’t figure out how to convert the file format from the program app, to a YoutTube acceptable format like MP4 or MOV. After watching a handy YouTube instructional video on Filmora, I discovered that I needed to ‘export’ the video into a chosen file format (MP4). Once I did that, uploading to YouTube was pretty easy, and took about 18 minutes.

Main Thoughts: Progress in Using Unicorn Spit?

I would say that I learned a lot about using Unicorn Spit (US) paint this week. I was happy that mixing the US and acrylic paint was mostly successful! To re-create the class colors, I had to add in an acrylic copper paint. I also used 3 US colors: Blue Thunder, Midnight Blackness, & Dragon’s Belly Green. I wasn’t sure how it would end up! The two paint types mixed well with no major adverse effects, except for a slight ‘halo’ look once the painting dried.

Final Painting once dried – slight ‘halo’ effect perhaps from mixing the two types of paints (acrylic and Unicorn Spit)?

I would have to use at least twice as much paint next time, to create the same ‘tree ring pour’ look. The final shape was definitely not round like the first painting. The Unicorn Spit paint was thicker than the acrylic paint used in the face-to-face class, so I diluted it with a bit of water to get the right consistency. US paint can be diluted up to 70% with water.

In my research, US dries to a dull color. This was evident in my painting once it dried. Apparently US will revert to brilliant colors once a finishing coat is applied, such as a polyurethane. One important tip is that I must use oil-based finish/varnish rather than water-based. US paint will ‘muddy’ if water-based finish is used. The class instructor recommended letting the painting dry at least 2-3 weeks before applying finishing top coat.

Please click on the following video to watch my creation.

Face-to-face class painting on the left, and my re-creation using Unicorn Spit on the right!

Please stay tuned until next week, when I will attempt to paint a ceramic ornament using US!

Educational Tool Review: TikTok

This week we were instructed to find a tool or app that I haven’t used before to utilize as a learning tool, and explore plus review it. I chose to try out the latest, greatest app called, “TikTok”. My 16 year old son uses it and tells me he likes it a lot. I thought, hmmm, wonder if I could use it for educational purposes? I did a search and came up with a web page which explored knowledge creation through content creation, from September, 2019. Their creation, #EduTok, has been consistently trending on TikTok for over three months, garnering over 35.6 billion views for educational videos across categories.

TikTok stated, “… the world’s leading short video platform, recently concluded its first phase of the offline initiative, EduTokXCampus. The campus program was aimed at encouraging knowledge sharing among the student community and motivating them to hone their talent by creating and sharing educational content on TikTok.” 

TikTok App Review

I had to first download this free application on my cellphone to start using it. It was quite straight forward to figure out how to upload a video or pictures from my phone to create a video. I was able to add in a song to the video and special effects or text as well. It was easy to scroll through the different videos created by other users, as well I was able to find educational content videos to watch. It was engaging that videos were short (15 – 30 seconds long).

I decided to upload a short video of me taking my art class for my major digital project and just play around a little to see what I could do. I didn’t like that I could only add either a video or pictures, not both. You are restricted to only one video, and not able to add any different content. I think that any videos on TikTok that seem ‘doctored’ are done separately through other applications, then uploaded to TikTok. I also couldn’t figure out how to narrate a video and have music at the same time. You can’t add more than one song snippet at a time either, so if your song clip finishes before the video is done, there is silence.

I was unable to upload the video in MP4 format, so I added this screenshot of my video – please click on pic to see video.

I struggled a little, but was able to find a video explaining how to upload the finished product to Twitter. At first the only options are to upload to Instagram and Facebook, but I figured it out and tweeted my final product after uploading it to my ‘Facebook story’.

I was also able to find a ‘pro’ version on the app, which had various options of user categories such as sports, art, food, NGO, pets, and many others. I chose education, but after that, it just reverted to the home screen and didn’t give me payment options. I’m not sure if it glitched, but the version I have still looks the same.

I tweeted a poll to ask,”Do you think the Tik Tok app could be used as an instructional tool to promote relevant knowledge sharing in the classroom?”. Six people replied and the polls revealed that 67% thought, ‘Yes’, and 33% thought, ‘No’. I think that this application definitely gets credit for promoting creativity in it’s users, however it does not appear to be very user friendly when attempting to do more complex videos. Therefore educational videos may be quite difficult using this application as an instruction tool. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to learn this app, so I’m sure there is more to it that I may have missed.

In the TikTok video I created, I showed a small portion of my painting in my art class that I recently took. Using the TikTok app would be a great way for students to document small parts of daily learning or growth, and share it among others. There does not appear to be a way to create specific private groups, but that would be a great option to ensure privacy with a student group. Overall I had a lot of fun and watching other user’s videos can be quite addictive!!!