Remote Learning Reflection

I’d say I’ve had an overall positive experience with remote learning. I’ve learned a lot more about technology, that’s for sure. I like the organization that comes with having each assignment being online and in an assignment tab, I like being able to go back and re-watch my classes to take notes, I like being able to ask questions by simply typing into the Posts page. At the same time, many of the things I absolutely loved at first became… not so positive. At the beginning, I loved not having such a strict schedule to follow. I was sort of left to my own devices, I was in charge my own schedule: when to eat, when to work, etc. Eventually though, this messed me up. I wasn’t eating enough, I wasn’t sleeping enough, I wasn’t getting the work done. Having to physically go to school regulated so many of my habits. It took a while, but I eventually got myself back on track and while it’s not perfect by any means, I now have a schedule. Another thing that I loved, being the extroverted introvert that I am, was not having to go to school and see people every day. I wouldn’t call myself either an introvert or an extrovert, it’s all very situational and depends on many factors, but the idea is, I was happy not to have to interact with people who weren’t family or friends (who I could communicate with through Facetime or texting or video calls). But like I said, I really began to miss talking to other people. I missed talking to teachers and other students and just being around people, which is not something I’ve ever felt before. Another thing I missed was the classroom environment, which, again, was weird because that’s not something I’ve ever missed before. But I missed sitting in a desk and listening to a teacher giving a lesson. There is a certain feeling of productivity and a focus put on productivity in that kind of environment that you just don’t get at home.

Technology has been so incredibly beneficial through the whole remote learning experience. Assignments, lessons, tests, contact with teachers and other students, meetings, textbooks, online information, the Google, all of it has been super helpful. School wouldn’t have been possible these last couple moths without it. I’ve gotten so much better with technology since this all started. I’ve found more resources and how to use programs like Teams and OneNote to a fuller extent. I’ve also used social media to stay connected with people I didn’t used to talk to outside of school but would talk to in class, and I’ve been keeping in close contact with other friends and family.

There have been a few different ways technology has impeded me have been internet connect and distractions. For a few weeks, my internet connection was awful. It would cut out at random times, sometimes not coming back on for more than 12 hours. It was very frustrating for my family, as my mom was using the internet to work from home and, my brother and I needed it for our classes. By communicating with teachers, we did manage to work around it for the most part, it was definitely a huge inconvenience. I’d say the main way the technology we’ve been using has been a negative is my ability to get easily distracted and procrastinate. Being on my laptop all day, it can be so easy to get off topic. I could open Netflix with a click of a button or end up down some YouTube rabbit hole that started with watching a science clip on mitosis for class and ended a few hours later with a man saving a deer from a frozen lake. Cute, but not on topic. While this wasn’t not a problem during regular school, but I think the issue intensified with so much of school being online and with only myself to keep me focused. This became less of a problem the longer we did remote learning, probably just because it got old after a while.

One core competency I was already proficient with that helped me transition into online learning was social awareness and responsibility. With everything happening with COVID-19, and all the precautions, being aware of how I affect others and my environment was important. Understanding and appreciating my connections with others, especially other students was very important as well. Some evidence I have that relates to this core competencies was a project that I’m working on with a small group of students in my leadership class. It is an “article” we created that will be posted to the school’s Instagram to provide other students with correct information about the virus and what they can do to stay safe. We know that there is lots of fake info circulating right now, and we want to be a reliable source of info to help keep others safe. Attached below is a link to take you to the “article”.

COVID-19 Info Article

One core competency I have improved with is Personal Awareness and Responsibility. Like I said earlier, getting into a schedule where I was getting all my work done and taking care of myself took some time. I’ve become aware of my own habits and behaviors and went out of my way to correct them. For me, my ecology final project for my science class was representation of that. I got it in on time, I didn’t put it off and do it all in one night, I think I did it to the best of my abilities. I was really happy with my mark, too. I managed to get it done while keeping up those good habits. As evidence, I have attached the project below, and there is a screenshot of the project page in Teams (click on it to view properly).

Ecology Final Assignment (Western Skink)



English Animal Farm: Does Power Corrupt?

After reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the class was given the assignment to analyze and write about an aspect of Animal Farm. I chose to focus on the main antagonist, Napoleon, and a conversation we had in class about corruption and power. In my paragraph, I question if Napoleon’s corruption was caused by the power he gained or if he had been corrupt back when the farm was ruled by humans.

Earlier in the semester, we had done some work on synthesizing and analyzing, so I had the techniques and format from that to follow. In years before, I had been taught the importance of paragraph formatting, using an introduction and conclusion and evidence to support my information. Both of these skills played a large roll in the writing of this paragraph. During a novel study, I had been asked to look at human nature, and part of that was looking at corruption, so when I got to writing the paragraph I already had an idea of where I wanted it to go and what to focus on.

The real challenge with this assignment was deciding what to write about and what the main idea should be. I considered focusing on the cycle of dictators and other topics for hours. I asked my English teacher for help and some of my peers before settling on corruption. I’d say I restarted the paragraph three times before I got into the flow of it, but once I did, the paragraph itself only took 10 minutes or so to write.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Does Power Corrupt? By Nicole Barry 

Despite how prominent the topics of corruption, power, and manipulation are in Animal Farm, the question of whether power corrupted Napoleon is still a mystery. Animal Farm, a novel by George Orwell, is about farm animals who rebel against their cruel human master, hoping to achieve freedom and happiness. From the time Jones was expelled from the farm to the end of the novel, the leadership and conditions on the farm seem to have come full circle. By the last page, Napoleon the pig had the animals working harder with less food than any other farm in England and had broken all 7 of the original commandments. In fact, Napoleon had become so much like the humans the animals once rebelled against, that the narrator says, “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which.” (Orwell, 1945, Pg. 93) Napoleon had become completely corrupt, abandoning the animal’s values and abusing his power. A question I did not feel was answered in Animal Farm was whether Napoleon had been corrupted after he reached a position of power or if he was like that before the rebellion had even begun. “Napoleon was a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker but with a reputation for getting how own way.” (Orwell, 1945, Pg. 9) If Napoleon had a reputation for getting his own way before the rebellion, perhaps his greed, selfishness, and ambition always lay under the surface, and were simply inflated when he saw the chance to seize control. Or maybe Napoleon had just been clever and once he got a taste of power, he changed and was eventually completely corrupt. “And finally, there was a tremendous baying of dogs and a shrill crowing from the black cockerel, and out came Napoleon himself, majestically upright, casting haughty glances from side to side, and with his dogs gamboling around him. He carried a whip in his trotter.” (Pg. 87) Whether Napoleon’s greed for power started before or after he made himself a figure of authority, Napoleon became a dictator using manipulation and fear. He abandoned the commandments, practically becoming human. The time of Jones was something Napoleon used to keep the animal in line, but by the end, Jones’s era may have in fact been the same, if not better. It may even be that Napoleon’s reign is worse because his betrayal of animal kind.  

Digital Footprint Assignment

1.  My digital footprint could affect my future either positively or negatively. One example is if a company you want to work for, volunteer for, or intern for looks you up online. In this situation, what they see could very well impact your entire future. If they find that you have been irresponsible or rude, they may choose not to hire you. If they find that you have been polite and mature, they may be more inclined to hire you. Another example is when applying to any post-secondary institution. This is along the same lines as if an employer were to look you up. Really, anyone that you come into contact with could look you up, and depending on what they see, all future interactions with that person could be affected.

2. Three ways I can keep my digital footprint appropriate and safe are asking myself is it is something I would be okay with my grandmother seeing or hearing, getting someone else to check what I’m about to say or post, and checking if it gives away anything specific about me, people around me, or my location. This way, all pictures, comments, etc. are appropriate, safe, and not something I will regret in the future. An overall strategy I use is thinking about what I’m doing from the point of view of another person and what they would think. Ex. if someone else were to post it, what would my first response or thought be? If it is negative, then it’s probably not a good idea.

3. There is nothing I would go back and change. I have no social media and have always been careful with my online communication. If I could give advice to other students, it would be to remember that some people are not above online bullying or taking a snap shot of something you send them. You have to remember that there are people out there who will use any personal information you give out online and use it against you. It’s so important to be aware of everything you do online and/or digitally. You have to protect yourself from stuff like that before it can happen. Some other advice is to remember that behind almost every account is a real person. You have to respect people online just like you have to respect them in person. Just because you don’t see the face behind the account doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Training Post

You are now going to create your very first post. In a separate tab or browser window, go to your Dashboard on the left and go to  Posts -> Add New.

1) Title – Create a title for your blog post. Your title will be: Digital Footprint Assignment

2) Body – This is where you place your content of the post – text, videos, pictures, etc. Follow the instructions on the Digital Footprint Assignment page to see what questions you need to answer here.

3) Tool Bar – In your toolbar you can “Add Media” and “Add Documents” into your posts, this is the best way to create visual representations. You can also change fonts, hyperlink, etc.

4) Publish – Here is where you control what items are public and private. You can also control when they are published to your website.

5) Categories – Here is where you choose where you want your post to go. This is your digital binder with all of your subjects. Make sure to categorize each post with the relevant subject. E.g. Categories -> English

6) Tags –  Here is where you tag posts with one or two of the most readily applicable Core Competencies. These tags can help you find things quicker on your blog and help you stay organised. E.g. Tag -> creativethinking

7) Publish – When you are done, simply “Publish” it. If it has been edited, press “Republish” to update with the latest version of the content.