Snow Days and Spring Courses

I’m experiencing my very first snow day and blizzard! Coming from California, this seems like a whole different world. It was incredibly shocking to look outside my window and see everything covered in snow.

Spring semester started yesterday. I was going to start my second class today, but classes were cancelled due to the weather.

This semester I’m taking:

I am also probably going to add T581: Advanced Design Studio. 

So far, I’ve only been to T561, which I am absolutely excited about! I love that we can choose which assignments we do, and that we can propose our own. I am hoping to work on one of the research teams and get some hands-on experience with augmented reality. I’m also looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of emerging technologies, and how they can be implemented to create better learning experiences.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I would like to do after I graduate HGSE. I would love to pursue a career in instructional design or educational media. Regardless of what I end up pursuing, I think the skills and experience I’m gaining in my courses will benefit me tremendously.

In T560, I will be gaining a better understanding of the UDL framework and how to design learning experiences that are accessible to all types of learners. In T565, I will be learning how to create a business plan and do market research. This is a perfect follow up to the T522 course I took last semester, which was all about coming up with ideas for educational technology. In T565, I’ll be learning how to take those ideas and actually make them something real. I will gain a better understanding of the business side of ed tech, which is something I am not too familiar with.

T581 should be a great followup to T522 as well. It focuses on project development, analysis, design, and implementation. I also like that there’s a workshop/lab component where I would be able to further my design skills and learn HTML, CSS, and jQuery more in depth. These would be really useful skills to have, especially since I’m interested in digital media.

I’m hoping this snow storm doesn’t cancel any more classes, as I’m really excited to dive in. I can’t believe it’s the spring semester already! I don’t know if I will have time to pursue an internship this semester, as on top of taking more project-based courses, I will also be looking for a job. But, I suppose I’ll figure it out as I get a feel for how the work load will be.

In the mean time, here are some pictures of my snowy adventures.


I crocheted myself a fox hat! =)


The tennis courts are completely covered in snow!


Our doggies love the snow

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New England Adventures

I wanted to share some of my recent adventures.

One of my close friends from California came to visit last week, and we were able to explore a few different parts of New England.

One of our first stops was Maine. We had some of the best clam chowder and lobster.

We also saw a life-sized moose made out of chocolate at Len Libby’s.

We were also able to explore so much of Boston.

  • We walked the entire Freedom Trail
  • We ate Italian food and cannolis from Mike’s Pastry in the North End.
  • We went to the Museum of Science
  • We took pictures on Acorn Street
  • We found the Good Will Hunting bench and walked around the Boston Common and Public Garden while feeding some squirrels
  • We went to the Cheers bar
  • We went on a tour of Fenway Park

The only thing we weren’t able to do was go on a duck tour on account of the river being pretty much frozen.

Overall, I have to say it was a well-deserved break and now I’m feeling well-rested and ready for this semester.

HT-123: Informal Learning for Children

I apologize for taking forever to update this blog.

I’ve definitely kept busy these past few weeks. I took Joe Blatt’s Informal Learning for Children course during the winter session.

It was an incredibly fun and intense two weeks. We were all put into 4 or 5 person teams and over the course of the class, each team worked on creating an informal learning venture product or program related to children’s health/fitness, civic engagement, literacy, or consumerism. Each team would research their topic and come up with a project proposal. At the end of the two weeks, you pitch in front of a panel of industry experts who give you feedback on your idea.

Overall, the class was an amazing experience. I learned practical skills – like how to write a proposal – but also gained a better understanding on the children’s media industry. It was so incredible to hear from guest speakers who had first-hand experience working at places like Sesame Street and WGBH.

The topic my group was given was children’s health and fitness. We decided to focus on childhood obesity by increasing nutritional awareness for preschoolers in low-SES communities. Our project was Nutrition on the Move: Nurturing Knowledge for Healthy Habits. We came up with the Nom-Nom Box, an immersive play experience utilizing tablet apps and smart objects to teach nutritional concepts. Each box would come with a tablet and plastic fruits/vegetables (aka Nomables) encoded with an NFC (near field communication) tag. Then a child could take these Nomables and interact with the various apps on the tablet. For example, in one app you could feed Nom-Nom and he would undergo a series of transformations while dancing and singing about the various benefits of the particular fruit or vegetable he was fed.

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It was really fun taking our prototype and testing it with actual preschoolers. We learned so much about our project just by observing how children interacted with it.

This course has made me consider pursuing a career in children’s media, particularly digital or web-based projects. I’m going to have to do some research on it!

Winter Break Recap

I had originally come up with an entire list of things I should do during winter break, none of which I can remember now. I ended up catching up on sleep, which I think is a good thing. My body certainly needed it.

Among sleep, however, I also did the following:

  • went to my first Hanukkah party
  • pet sitted some rats

  • crocheted a lot
  • learned how to cook (!!!) an omelette, bulgogi beef, and spaghetti
  • walked around Lake Quannapowitt

  • and today I went to the Minute Man National Historic Park and all the old history lessons came to life

I’m incredibly excited to start my winter session course on Monday! I will be taking Joe Blatt’s Informal Learning for Children. It’s going to be an intense two weeks but I’m looking forward to it.