Learning is the Key to Success

Wow, what a crazy Independent Learning Project this has been!  It has taken me so far and allowed me to see and understand so much more than I could have ever hoped for!  I was able to create and present a sermon to my congregation and bring so many people towards God!  I am truly blessed to have been able to have this experience (:

At first I thought this would be an easy project.  Not tough, just doing what I usually do anyways, read through the Bible with my dad and get closer to Jesus.  Well let me say that God put a lot on me throughout the course of this project, and has made me step up a lot! I truly believe that He knew I was strengthening the relationship, and therefore able to handle and take on more.  It says in the good Book that He will never give us more than we can handle.  I do believe this, but I also believe that it is tested quite a bit, to make sure that we stay strong in our faith.  There were times when it was hard to stay motivated and on-top of this whole thing!  I took 6 classes this semester, one being an art class where I have made over 30 works of art; one being O & P where I have to get 100+ hours in a classroom on top of writing papers and forums!  Nothing has come easy this semester and I have truly contemplated a lot throughout it all.  I love that I did complete this independent learning project because it brought me closer to God, and closer to my father.

I have been asked quite often since my sermon if I have thought about doing more and/or possible thinking about seminary school or something along that line.  At first I thought “No Way!  I’ve put so much time and effort into where I am now that I could never redirect!”  But to be honest, now I think about it a lot.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the idea and still have the passion to become a teacher, but I also feel a strong pull to become more than a teacher.  I think I told you all that I went on a mission trip to Romania while still in high school, and have wanted to go again ever since!  It is something I will be thinking a lot about here in the very near future!

I’m not sure what God has in store for me just yet, but I know it is something wonderful and big!  I can honestly say that this independent learning project has been a huge part of my life and made a bigger impact than I thought it could!

Digital Activism!

http://globalwire.files.wordpress.comhttp://www.meta-activism.org/2012/02/digital-activism-101-the-5-activist-functions-of-technology/

Digital activism is a simple, yet complex thing.  It is simple in the fact that it is activism just like anything else (protests and such), but it is complex in the fact that it is done over/through the internet!  This means that it can be done in many ways, shapes and forms; through many different people; and at many different times and online places!

It is exceptionally difficult to keep up with, unless you are into that sort of thing and just keep up with it all the time.  Personally, I don’t really take part in activist type interactions whether it be online or in person.  I do stand up for what I believe in and what I know is right, but I do not enjoy getting in front of a lot of people and ‘showboating’ myself.  I am not saying this in any disrespectful or degrading way, because I know that digital activism has benefited many people, past and present!  All I am saying is that for me, personally, I would feel as if I was ranting and raving about things that didn’t need to be said.  I’m the type of person that will throw in my two cents specifically, and then be done.  I don’t like to make a huge fuss in front of a lot of people, especially online because it never goes away, and because there are too many people who do not behave ethically online, and it is a loosing battle to argue with a screen  😉

We see digital activism all the time, whether we notice it or not!  Anyone that is protesting or challenging an online idea to the public, is basically performing an activist duty.  I do believe that the internet and digital world has made protesting and activism much more simple, and therefore much more prevailing.  Just like with digital citizenship, activism can become very personal and intense, and it is much easier to say and do whatever one pleases when they are online and hiding behind a screen.  It is a different world with digital activism in it, some good and some bad; with hopefully more good than bad! (:

Being a Digital Citizen

http://www.teachthought.com/technology/the-definition-of-digital-citzenship/

CC By - electricpixel.ca        Is being a digital citizen any different from being an everyday ‘in-person’ citizen?  Well of course it has it’s differences, but what many people do not realize is that they are so very similar!   To be what most would consider a worthy and deserving citizen, one must hold certain qualities (at least within the public): moral, kind, respectful, mindful, honest and censored.  Obviously not all citizens, digital or in-person, fulfills the previously listed qualities, but I believe that to be a worthy and deserving citizen, they are extremely necessary!

People always say to put your best foot forward and make a good impression in public, so why should that be any different in the digital world?  Well it shouldn’t be any different, and I find it more than just sad and appalling that there are so many people think that it is appropriate and/or ‘okay’ to behave negatively and rudely in the digital world, just because it’s different than being face-to-face.  Let’s not lie, of course it is much easier and safer to be rude and disrespectful online rather than in public, because you hide behind a screen!  No matter what the situation: good, bad or indifferent, it is simpler done online because we do not meet and/or deal with one another directly.  We all know it is true.  There are so many people who  pretend to be someone or something that they are not, because online they can be whoever and whatever they want.

I believe that the digital world is both a help and a hindrance.  It allows people to connect and share in ways that are not possible in the physical world!  We can keep in better touch with loved ones and stay up-to-date with all the latest life and education that we can find!  People can now accomplish so much more because of the digital world, we are becoming much more innovative and technological because of it.  But I do believe that this digital world has come with quite a cost.  While many people have taken it for a life and/or education hack, there are others who have taken it as an opportunity to hurt and humiliate people.  This is a very sad, yet true fact.

Being a digital citizen should be held to the same standards as being a physical citizen!  We should all be required to act with respect, morals and heart!  Whether we are facing one another personally, or through a screen, there is someone on the other side.  Someone with feelings, emotions and rights!  Digital citizenship is no different than public citizenship, and the sooner that everyone catches onto that fact, they better off we will all become!!

Let’s Do A Little Cultivating. . .

CC By A2RU        What the heck is cultivating?!  Well lucky enough for me, I have worked as a farm girl, so I know what cultivating a field is: to prepare and work on the soil for optimum plant growth; so I figured that it meat about the same in terms for my personal learning network.  Turns out that I was right!

At first, I wondered how and why I would need to ‘cultivate’ my personal learning network in the first place.  Well, although this is a network suited specifically for me and by me, it could always use some tweaking and improvements!  For example, just because I looked over and decided to follow someone two weeks ago, doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to be following and connecting with them now.  They may not be sharing as much as before.  They may not be sharing the types of things that they used to, and I don’t approve of or want to connect with what they are now sharing.  They may just simply not be what I had first expected or thought to be.  It is no big deal if anything like this happens.  If we can connect and share, we can also choose not to do so.

Just like when it comes to farming and cultivating fields: you want to ‘weed out the unnecessary and unwanted’ in order to make room for the new, improved and wanted material.  It is just as simple to click ‘un-follow’ as it was to originally click on follow.  It does no harm to either party, and only means that you are trying to stay up-to-date and connected with your network!  It is important to keep your personal learning network focused and centered on the things you intended it for, because if you stray from that, it can lead to wasted time and space in your network, that could have otherwise been taken up by something/one important to your network!

I also learned that just as you need to discard the unnecessary in your network, you also need to be continually adding onto your network!  How can you expect to be up-to-date and in full connection when your personal learning network is not?  Well it would be tough and inadvisable.  There are constantly new and exciting things to be connecting and sharing today, and keeping to date with your personal learning network will make sure that you are learning about all the new and exciting things out there!

A Learning Network All About Me!!

CC By cbucky        I truly enjoy and have come to love my personal learning network.  It isn’t something that really takes much effort, simply because it is all about what YOU personally want and prefer to have, view and share.  Isn’t that wonderful?!  It is a network of followers and the people I follow.  It’s truly that simple.  I just choose the people or organizations that I enjoy and believe in to stay in touch with for anything from advice to inspiration!  I can have multiple personal learning networks for multiple reasons and/or topics, or I can have one extra large personal learning network that contains all that I connect with!  Personally, when it comes to things like this, I have ‘O.C.D’ tendencies and like to be more than organized; therefore I have my personal learning network worked into three different categories.  I have an educational network because I am working towards becoming a teacher!  It is amazingly helpful and inspiring to learn from and connect with so many different people and organizations that are all about furthering education and learning hacks!  I also have a network ‘for my soul’.  This network is filled with inspirational people and groups that I feel bring me closer to Jesus in sharing and connecting in His name!  My third network is all for fun!  We all need a good giggle moment, or a moment that speaks to our relaxed and easy side!  This network, I have filled with so many different people and groups that post fun and silly things that help to brighten up my day!  It is refreshing to log in and see a silly picture or watch a funny video (:

The best part of my PLN is that it is all my own!  I can make it anything that I want.  I can fill it with anything that pleases me.  I can have as little or as much withing my network as I wish!  It caters exactly to who I am as a professional and as an everyday person(:   Personal learning networks are meant to be helpful, insightful, and of course personal.  They are designed to fit our own needs and desires because they are created on our own, and that is what makes them so wonderful!

Canva Creation!

So this week was the create a graphic or visual to represent my independent learning project.  I didn’t really know where to start or what to do, but after reading through some things and looking into a couple of the different web design tools, I decided that Canva was going to be the simplest and best pick for me and my particular skill set, or lack there of!

Well I cannot lie, I’m not the greatest when it comes to stuff like this!  I’ve just never had the knack for it.  While all my girlfriends in high school were editing photos and what not, I just got confused and said to heck with it!  I guess for not doing much of this stuff I didn’t do too horrible, but I did learn quite a bit in the process(:

I did learn that the getting it done part isn’t too difficult, and can be interesting if you have the drive to do it.  I realized that it’s the design aspect of it all.  You have to have a vision and a plan when it comes to creating stuff like this.  I guess it’s just like anything else: fail to plan and you’re planning to fail.  Once I began, I got stopped up quite a bit in not knowing what I should do next, how long I should make it, or what do do with it.  I decided on three ‘slides’.  They are quite simplistic, but I guess that suits me because I am a simple girl that doesn’t enjoy the whole ‘showboat’ contest that a lot of people seem to be in.  My decision came down to this:  It talks about Jesus and my love for him; it is simple and not too crazy to look at; and it hits the main highlights of his love for us!

It may not be super fancy and ‘wowza’, ha-ha but it’s what I came up with and I hope that you like it! (:

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My Savior is Risen!

CC By: joecruzmn.wordpress.com
CC By: joecruzmn.wordpress.com

Well, today is Easter, so I have been inspired to write a post for my ILP about how my wonderful Savior who died and gave his life for me, for all of us!  Have you heard the story?  Do you know what He did for you?  Did you know that he carried the entire weight of sins of the world on His shoulders (past, present, and future) on his own just to pay the price for us to live and have eternal life in Heaven?  Well let me share it with you!

It all starts on Good Friday, the day I crucified my Lord.  Why did I say “I crucified”?  That’s because even though I was obviously not physically there when they killed Jesus upon the cross, each and every time I sin, I crucify him all over again, and I become the reason he was on the cross.  No matter how strong a believer you or I am, whether way back then we would have been in the crowd yelling “Crucify!”, or weeping at his feet; our sins put him on that cross, and he shed his blood to pay the debt that we owed.  Wow, I don’t deserve that kind of love and commitment.  I do not deserve to have innocent and pure blood spilled on my behalf, but that doesn’t matter.  He loves me now, He loved me then, and He will love me forever.  Isn’t that wonderful!

Well, I’m sure you have all heard and know that after 3 days, he arose!  This is the most beautiful and meaningful thing in my life. This was the day that Jesus Christ fulfilled his promise to us all, and came back from the dead, to show us that he would ascend into Heaven with His Father, to one day come back for His beloved children.  Even after all we have put Him through, He promises to come back and take us Home.  This was the day that He made so many believers, and reassured His place with God, and His promise to us.  I’m more blessed than I could ever ask for, and I don’t deserve it one bit.  He truly is our Father in Heaven, because He shows us that unconditional and unprompted love!

I cannot wait to meet my Savior in Heaven, to ask Him all my questions and hear all of His stories.  He is the reason I have life.  He is the reason I have purpose.  He is the reason I have forgiveness.  He is the reason I have hope.  He is the reason I have anything.  He sacrificed His body for us all.  Allowed it to be broken and beaten.  He promised us eternal life, and all we have to do is follow, love, and praise His wonderful name!  Hallelujah Christ Arose!

I hope you find inspiration, hope, and feel Jesus’ love in these music selections about the Easter season, and what it means to have Jesus in your life!  (Caution: these videos may cause you to cry uncontrollably).  I know there are several videos, but I just feel them all speak with such light!  I could go on and on with songs, but these are the ones that I absolutely had to share!!

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