Birthdays and Projects

Yesterday I celebrated my 26th birthday, which was a lot of fun. I was happy so many of my friends were able to make it out to celebrate with me. We went to Tasty Burger in Harvard Square. It was great to be able to relax and catch up with my classmates, some of which I haven’t been able to see as much do to our crazy schedules.

I’m also so happy about the nicer weather. It’s starting to finally feel like spring. The sun is out, the grass is turning green, and flowers are starting to bloom. I had never experienced a “true” winter like I had this year, and I definitely noticed a shift in my feelings once spring came around. I just feel so much happier. I notice it in other people as well when I’m walking outside – everyone is smiling and looks so happy.

There are only 2 weeks left of classes, which I find incredibly crazy. Time has passed incredibly quickly.

I’m really excited about the projects I’m working on. In my Advanced Design Studio course, I’ve been learning Bootstrap and responsive web design. I know so much more HTML and CSS now, and have even learned a bit of JavaScript. For my group project in that class, we are building a website that aims to connect educators and developers in order to promote the creation of quality educational technology products. It’s really awesome to see how much our design has changed over the course of the semester, and how great it is to see our initial sketches finally coming together.

In my Universal Design for Learning class, my group has been working on making a working prototype of UpTell, a project I worked on at the HGSE Hackathon last semester. I’m the media person, so I’ve learned a lot about putting together creative briefs to guide marketing and promotion efforts. I’ve also had a blast learning new video editing programs like Premiere Pro and After Effects. I’m creating a video that showcases our site’s features, as well as other mini videos aimed at creating awareness about our site.

In my Entrepreneurship in the Education Marketplace class, I’ve been learning how to take an idea and create a business plan for it. My partner and I came up with an idea for a math technology product that uses student interests to generate individualized math content. So, basically if a child was really interested in sports, he or she would receive¬†practice problems and simulations about sports. In a couple of weeks we’ll be pitching our product idea to our class at the Harvard iLab!

Finally, in my Transforming Education through Emerging Technologies class, I have been working with my friend Nick to create an augmented reality game for EcoMOBILE. We were able to field test our initial game a few weeks ago, and now we are in the process of revising it to create a finalized version.

Needless to say, this semester has been incredibly busy with projects in addition to searching and applying for jobs – which is why I have been so bad about updating this blog regularly.

I’m feeling so many emotions lately – excitement, nervousness, happiness, sadness – I’ve had such an incredible time here, have met so many amazing people, and now this experience is approaching its end. It’s so surreal!

I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here. It’s been such an awesome year, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.


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