I have known I wanted to be a teacher my entire life. I never had a doubt in my mind of what I wanted to be in this world. Even though I was certain of the end goal, I never stopped to wonder what the journey to get to that point would look like. This blog is it. This blog is the messy middle where I transition from student to teacher. Every thought and belief I have and learn throughout my education is posted to this blog in order to document my journey in becoming a teacher. I invite you all to join me as I strive to become more than just a teacher, but also a kind and inclusive citizen.
The word digital citizenship implies more than one person. This means that in order for me to get the most out of this course I would have had to have interactions with others online. I not only comply with these guidelines but embrace them. I loved conversing with people online, creating new friendships, finding out similar interests, or having debates. This all helped to create my PLN – Professional Learning Network.
It was all very new to me, and I tried my best to just throw myself into the deep end and hope that I didn’t sink. Not only did I stay alive on the internet, but I feel that I contributed in a positive way to the learning of others.
Don’t just take my word for it, check out the links below to see the places in which I contributed positively to my digital community.
If you would like to see some examples of the exact ways I contributed to the learning of others check out the short video I made that includes snapshots of my interactions with others online.
This semester has been full of ups and down, but my digital relationships have been there to cheer me up and offer support. I’d like to thank those who contributed to my learning over the course of the semester, especially my EDTC300 classmates.
Here is the day we’ve all been waiting for… the day I stop tweeting constantly about ASL. For my EDTC300 class this semester I was tasked with taking my learning into my own hands and teaching myself something new. I could’ve picked anything really, but I chose to learn American Sign Language.
ASL or American Sign Language is a physical and visual language used by deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing people to communicate. I’ve always had an interest in languages, and when I was presented with this opportunity I knew that I wanted to learn a new one. I ultimately chose ASL.
I’m sure you’re wondering how this whole ‘learning a language in ten weeks’ challenge turned out. I can honestly say that it taught me skills I never even dreamed of. Not only did I learn the basics of a whole new language, but I created a community for myself that helps to widen my perspective on life. My new internet resources and friends allow me to see the world in a different way. My #LearningProject was a nice break from the traditional homework I was used to.
This life-changing experience took me on a roller-coaster of a ride. There were highs and lows and I can’t wait for you to explore each of my posts, but if you want the quick version – check out the recap below!
*But if you want the fun version check out my YouTube Channel where I posted videos each week throughout my #LearningProject
At the beginning of my #LearningProject I challenged myself to post a video every week. I never realized how difficult and testing this goal would be. The process of learning, filming, editing, and uploading is a long and painful process that really tested me this semester. Even though I love the process when in times of stress it really caused me to learn how to prioritize my time in order to successfully meet my goal.
Luckily, I was familiar with YouTube as I’d already created a channel and posted past school assignments online. I had a desire to film and post about my life, and doing it under the pressure of my #LearningProject was just what I needed to become familiar with the process.
Continuing to post about my life via videos and vlogs is something I definitely plan to continue with after this project.
Go check out my YouTube channel Hayley Hodson in order to see my growth not only in ASL but also in my video skills. I can see that I have significantly improved throughout the 10 weeks in the aesthetic and editing skills of my videos as well as in Sign Language.
The Benefits of Learning ASL
I did not pick to learn ASL because it was easy. I didn’t pick it because it is popular. I didn’t pick it because I thought it would give me the best grade. I chose to learn ASL because I truly love languages of any kind. ASL is just a different way of communicating that I hope to continue learning about.
Unlike spoken language, visual languages such as ASL are often the minority. In the past, they have been isolated and oppressed and made to feel unwanted. In order to reverse this – we, the hearing, speaking, population – must reach out in a language that both hearing and hearing impaired can use. Sign Language.
According to the Canadian Association of the Deaf, there are about 357,000 culturally Deaf Canadians and about 3.21 million hard of hearing Canadians. That is a huge population of people that are isolated and unable to communicate effectively with hearing people like me. I plan to learn Sign Language in order to open the lines of communication between the hearing and non-hearing.
This is not the end of my learning journey. Although my #LearningProject ends after ten weeks, I still plan to continue learning ASL. These last ten weeks are just the beginning. I have been able to build a solid foundation of knowledge and resources that enable me to continue my learning journey. Learning American Sign Language will be a lifelong commitment that I plan to see through.
Learning a language is not easy, but when provided with materials, resources, and a PLN anything is possible.
A culture lives through its language, and American Sign Language is no different. The language is more than just a means of communication, it is a way of life. By learning ASL I inadvertently connected to a new culture and see the world through a different lens. Although I do not rely on ASL as a means for communication, and will never truly understand what it means to be deaf or hard of hearing, the language gives me a better understanding of how these people live their lives.
Languages have always intrigued me one way or another. The ability for communication to embody an entire culture draws me in. You cannot have a language without a culture nor a culture without a language, they are such integral parts of each other and come hand in hand to new learners such as myself. Learning Sign Language has introduced me to a culture who’s stories have been shoved aside. I hope to bring recognition to the culture and language of deaf and hard of hearing people as well a learn the language.
I may not be good enough to fully communicate with another signer, but I plan to work on my skills. I recognize this as a lifelong journey in learning a second language, and I hope I can spend the rest of my life improving my signing. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn with motivation from my classmates.
My #LearningProject has come to a close, but I am not.
Week 10 has come upon me and I find myself wanting to do something different. Something close to my heart. Something that will really show what I’ve learned. What better way to do that than through music. Music has been a big part of my life and meshing my love for music and sign language together seemed like a perfect match.
I started by picking a song. I wanted something that everyone would know. A classic, but not too old. A song that I wouldn’t get sick of after hearing it for hours. I decided on Viva La Vida by Coldplay. The song was catchy, I knew the lyrics, and it provided a plethora of new vocab. It was perfect.
Next, I needed to figure out how to sign the song. I searched for an ASL cover on YouTube and it turns out that a lot of people have covered that song. My favorite video and the one I ended up learning from was by SignSong called Sign Language Project: Viva la Vida – Coldplay. The video was clear and well put together. The girls were enthusiastic signers and it was great learning from them.
And so, a week later and I’d not only learned the song but also filmed, edited, and posted the video. Take a look below at the video and see for yourself how much I’ve grown as a signer.
Signing has not been easy, but knowing that I am capable of making such cool covers is amazing. I will continue to make covers in the future and will maybe even have to create a new channel to showcase my talent!
For my ninth week learning ASL I decided to do two videos. I wanted to utilize Screencastify as well as filming regularly as I had been doing for the first half of this project. I love the process of filming and editing and decided to really immerse myself in the process.
The first video is the Screencastify video where I did a website tour of a really great app I had been using called SignSchool. I had mainly been using the app for dictionary purposes and the sign of the day in order to learn unconventional vocabulary. What I learned while doing this video was that the website version is a whole other story. The website houses lessons in vocab, grammar, and activities. It also keeps score for you and tracks your speed, retention, and streaks. I wish I would have found out about this great resource sooner, it would have been a good guide throughout this whole process.
For my second video, I knew I wanted to learn something fun and relatable as I neared the end. I settled on slang. I realized that my regular sign language resources didn’t have anything about Sign Slang. I turned to my trusted friend YouTube and searched for anything about slang. This is when I came across Nyle Dimarco. He is a deaf activist as well as a model and actor, who has won Amerca’s Next Top Model and Dancing With the Stars. He makes entertaining YouTube videos about being deaf that helped me this week. I watched this video and was able to learn some internet terms that I will definitely be remembering.
I just partook in an activity called the Hour of Code. This website provides students and teachers with the resources necessary to learn how to code at any grade level. I was challenged to participate in an hour of coding activities and film it on screencastify. This week I did just that.
I have never coded before and never had an interest in learning how. I learned so much from just an hour of coding that I don’t even know where to begin. There were videos at the beginning and the middle that taught me about coding and how it relates to the real world, that I found super helpful. Although I was playing a game made for second graders, the learning curve was steep and I wish I had more help throughout the game.
All and all, the challenge was very fun. Coding is super important for people of all ages, but I believe that if coding were to become a regular part of the classroom it would benefit students in the long run whether it be for future employers or just allowing their brain to think in clever ways.
I will definitely, one hundred percent be using this website in my future classroom. Although I have difficulties and a strong aversion to learning it myself, I hope to open new doors for my students. Hopefully, I will be inspired to partake in more coding with them as I see many benefits to learning to code.
Watch my video below about my experience with #HourofCode!
This week I changed up the game. I actually left my little bubble of learning ASL by myself and found another classmate who was also learning ASL. After I built up the nerve to ask, Regan Luypaert came on board and helped me create a conversation in ASL.
This was a huge step for me because I had yet to communicate with someone who was on a similar learning experience as me. We created a script and practiced all week. Eventually, the video was made.
I used a plethora of websites in order to learn the script including:
I am finding that creating sentences is easier as my vocabulary continues to grow. Special thanks to Regan for doing this video with me. I couldn’t have connected with someone learning sign language if it wasn’t for her.