Learning Journey #2 – “Scaling” It Up a Notch

Last week was the first step on my journey to get back into the guitar. For it, I had learned how to play Hot Cross Buns using a tutorial from Andy Guitar. I used that as my opportunity to get familiar with the feel of playing again and used it as a gauge for where I was at skill-wise with guitar.

My feelings that week were that what I was doing was a little too easy for my ability, as I was only using one string and three different notes in total. I don’t regret not going any further with what I did, as again, I didn’t know where I was at in my ability to play. However, after that week I knew that I would need to challenge myself a little more going forward, and that is exactly what I did this week.

Now, this is not something I want to do every week, as I want to find and utilize a variety of resources, but this time I decided to use another tutorial from Andy Guitar. The reason for this was because of all the sources I looked at, the new video I found from him was the perfect progression to what I was doing in the previous week. I found that it was challenging enough that I had to spend a good amount of time working on it, but it also wasn’t so hard that it was making me frustrated and wanting to quit.

The video I used was from a different series on learning Fingerpicking for Beginners, and the main focus was on teaching how to play the G Scale, then, later on, adding elements of base to it. I have Andy’s tutorial below along with the time scale so you can follow along, as well as I also have my video below of how I did. I must say it was fairly difficult for me, especially when the notes G Major Scale notes and the Base notes became alternating, but I gave it my best effort and I think it turned out alright.

If you have any resources you would like me to check out for the future, let me know int the comments below and I would be glad to check them out. With that being said, I hope you enjoy and I will see you next week!

Time Stamps:

Introduction: 0:00 – 1:20

G Major Scale (Ascending and Descending): 1:21 – 11:21

Adding a Base Note: 11:22 – 16:08

Alternating G Scale and Base Notes: 16:09 –  20:07

Final Tips & Closure: 20:08 – 21:50

Navigating the Digital Wave

Technology shapes the world we live in more and more each day, and just as Marshall McLuhan says “We shape our tools and, thereafter, our tools shape us”. It is fascinating and scary to think about just how fast digital technology has taken over our lives, and it has created its own new culture that allows people to participate and connect to each other in a whole new way, but at the same time can be dangerous if not used properly.

In Katia’s presentation, she mentioned how almost every person on earth has a digital footprint, some even before they are born. With this being the case, it is now becoming so much more important to think about how this new culture will affect us as educators, and how this wave of technology will be present in our classrooms. It is becoming more and more clear that there is no way to avoid it, but instead, it is now about how we are to handle it.

I think the biggest thing that we need to focus on, is helping our students navigate this digital world. We live in a world where information is flying at us at a rapid pace and it can become overwhelming and confusing for anyone. And just like it was mentioned in the presentation, our lives have become almost entirely digital, and almost everyone has a device that connects them, so it is impossible to avoid it. That is why I believe our education system needs to focus on teaching online safety as well as re-finding that balance between our online and offline life.

Photo Credit: Semtrio Flickr via Compfight cc

Now I do see the benefits of having a connected and digital society, but I have always been somebody who has been skeptical of the role it should play in our lives. In Micheal Wesch’s video An anthropological introduction to YouTube, he talks about our cultural inversion, and how what is expressed in our society, is completely opposite to what we value. He uses the examples of how more and more we live in a world of individualism, independence and commercialism, while we long for and value community, relationships, and authenticity. That is why I believe it is so important to help our students realize that technology does have many benefits, but it’s important to understand that there is a life outside of it.

Learning Journey #1 – Back to the Basics

Thank you for joining me in my first week of learning fingerstyle guitar! Like I mentioned in my introductory post, I felt like it was important to start from the basics so that I build a solid foundation to work off of. To do this, I went to YouTube and discovered an amazing channel called Andy Guitar, who has an amazing twelve-part series on fingerstyle guitar for beginners.

The first four videos are posted on his YouTube channel, while the rest of the series can be found for free on the Andy Guitar App, which is available for both IOS and Android.

While I will be using various different sources for my learning journey, this series is something that I will be really focusing on as it provides a step by step progression which I find is very easy to follow. If you would like to check out another channel, I recommend going to Guitar Lessons channel who also has a great video on how to play fingerstyle guitar

With that being said, I began by starting with the first video which focuses on many different topics (which I have described in detail below), but by the end of the lesson,  will teach you how to play a classic beginner song: Hot Cross Buns

Time Stamps:

Hot Cross Buns: Bars 1 & 2 (1:26 – 3:27)

Rhythm and Beats (3:28 – 4:57)

Hot Cross Buns: Bar 3 and 4 (4:58 – 5:41)

Hand/ Finger Positioning (5:42 – 7:52)

Refresher/ Final Tips (7:53 – 10:34)

Below is my video of me playing Hot Cross Buns. I hope that by the end you are enlightened and have found a new and greater meaning for life. I appreciate you tuning in and I hope to have you back here next week! Enjoy!

Feed-ing My Hunger For Knowledge

This week, we were given a few different RSS readers, which allow you to create your own personalized news feeds. We were tasked with finding and following several blogs and education-related sources that will help us in our professional development. I am here to share a few of the sources I found and explain my searching process, which I hope will help you as well.

For this assignment, I used Feedly as my RSS reader, as it is easy to use, and you can use keywords to find articles for pretty much anything you are looking for.

My process for choosing sources was based on three main sets of criteria which are as follows:

  1. It must be related to education
  2. It must still be active
  3. Posts should be consistent

Along with this, I wanted to search for articles that related to me and my educational needs. Because of this, I wanted to find sources that were specific to my major and minor fields which are math and phys ed, but I also wanted to have some general education-related sources as well. Below is an image if what my page typically looks like:

As you can see some sources post articles such as Education Week post several times a day, which can become overwhelming, but it does provide you with a lot of articles to look at. PE Update.com is one that I really want to focus on because I believe it is a really great source to follow for Phys Ed teachers. They provide you with guided lesson plans, instructional videos for various skills and sports, provide tips on how to become a better physical educator, and so much more. Along with this, they post articles about once a week, which gives you a lot of great resources without becoming overwhelming.

I would recommend trying out an RSS reader for yourself, and if you find any great sources, feel free to let me know about them in the comments. Happy searching!

Check out some of my other sources below:

My Feeds

The Start of Something New!

Hello Everyone!

My name is Caleb James Lueck, and welcome to my blogging journey! To begin, I think it is necessary that I let you know a bit about my current self, as well as my experience with blogging and educational technology.

I am currently enrolled at the University of Regina, planning to receive my Secondary Education Degree. My major and minor field of choice is Mathematics and Physical Education, respectively. My reason for choosing those areas was that they were the two things I not just excelled in during High school, but also really enjoyed, which I believe is important when choosing a career.

As you can see from the picture, there are a few main things that I wrote down, that I believe give a good, brief summary of who I am. As mentioned before, math is an area of interest for me and even when I was unsure of what I wanted to pursue in post-secondary, I knew it would be math-related. I am also the youngest of three kids, with an older brother and sister, who have been incredible role models for me. Soccer is something I am not currently involved in anymore, but for over 10 years of my life, it became a huge part of my identity. Next on the list is Harvest City, which was the school I attended from Pre-K through till graduation, and while there may be downsides to that, I created a lot of life-long relationships. Finally, I am very much a dog person, but all animals are pretty great.

When looking at technology, it is something that I have very little experience with and that becomes is even less when talking about educational technology. I have used resources such as YouTube to help me when I’ve struggled to learn a concept in math, but anything having to do with building a community or creating an online presence, I have little-to-no experience with. With that being said, I see the importance of doing those things, especially as our world becomes more technology-focused.

If you yourself would like to help me on my journey, you can follow me on my Twitter (@CalebLueck), and I would be excited to connect with you!

Kicking Off My Learning Journey: Thanks For ‘Tuning’ In!

Welcome to my learning journey! I’m excited to track my own growth throughout this process, and I also hope you are able to take something out of it yourself (even if that is just enjoyment from seeing me struggle). Over the next few weeks, I will be using various sources (mainly online) in order to hopefully learn the acoustic guitar!

Guitar 1

Photo Credit: ruifo Flickr via Compfight cc

It is no surprise that music has become such a big interest for me as I come from a very musically inclined family. My father leads worship at our church, my mother plays guitar, my brother plays the piano, and my sister sings and is currently taking piano lessons. Because of this, I have grown up surrounded by music, and the guitar was always something that interested me the most. With that being said, I was never really able to pursue it as I was heavily involved in soccer for most of my life.

I do have some experience with guitar, as I took lessons during my first part of grade 12. When finals came around though, I decided to take a break, but since then, I never really returned. I still have some knowledge of the basic chords, but other than that, most of what I have learned has been lost on me. For that reason, I think it is best that I start back at the bottom. Through this, I hope to strengthen what I already know, and then start to build off of it into the more advanced areas.

Because I have a shorter amount of time for this class, I want to narrow down my focus. For this, I am choosing the play style that most interests me, and that is fingerstyle. It is a more difficult skill to learn than just strumming, but once you start getting the hang of it, there is a lot of really cool things you can do with it and I love the sounds you can create.

It has been hard finding the motivation to pick up the guitar again, but there is no better time to start than now, and no greater opportunity than this one. I am excited to share this journey with you and I am hopeful that this will only be the start of a lifetime of learning!