Are Journey Begins…

Okay, so I have been thinking about what my independent study would be for a while (even before class began actually) and I knew I wanted to do something comparing books and their movie counterparts. Some movies that are out there resemble their book counterparts almost religiously and show how technology (albeit a relatively old form) can be used to digitally tell a story. The same goes for movies that are completely different from their book counterpart to the point of being a new story. Technology has given us the chance to be creative in ways that 30 years ago we could barely imagine and that goes for films as well, since computer animation and digital effects are now commonplace.

I want to explore them individually and find out how they differ from each other and why. Was it for artistic license? Did the storyline lose its essence? Were the elements and plotlines too complex to be translated to film? I also want to then examine whether or not this improved upon the story. Does putting it to film make it better? Does it not? Does it really matter? I know it might seem like this topic isn’t educational, but I think that learning about this topic can teach us about storytelling and how we have to adapt it to the art medium we want to use. In books we can easily learn the main character’s thought and emotions through written word and understand their motivations better. On screen, it’s up to the screenwriter to add in those character notes for the actor and actors to portray those thoughts and emotions visually. In a book an author can use words to show and describe characters and places so that we can visualize what they look like in our imaginations. Movies create elaborate sets and costumes, as well as computer-generated landscapes, creatures, stunts, and illusions so as to create these worlds and people that we have envisioned in our minds.

I hope next time to start us of on this journey with my favorite movie. Now I am not going to tell you what this movie is, but I will give you a few hints. It is set in a faraway land, filled with magic. The people who should be considered good are bad, and those who are good have jobs of questionable means. It has something for everyone and can be enjoyed by the whole family! Can you guess which movie and book I am talking about?


Until next time,



Hacking: The art of learning (to be happy)

After watching the TED Talk “Hackschooling makes me happy” and reading “Centering on Essential Lenses: Make/Hack/Play” I realized how much we take the idea of being happy and relate it to achieving career and life goals, such as “I will be happy when such and such a thing happens, or I reach such and such a goal.” In reality, we are seldom happy once we reach these points because we haven’t learned how to be happy. Now Logan LaPlante mentions in his TED Talk TLC’s (therapeutic lifestyle changes) which are the basic things we need to be happy and healthy and how he ‘hacks’ how to achieve those needs both in his life and in his education, which he considers to be one and the same. The way he achieves this is by using what Bud Hunt talks about in his ‘Make/Hack/Play’ blogpost. Using this method to learn how to be happy can also help us learn in school. We have to enjoy what we are learning and be passionate about it, otherwise what is the point of learning it. Thinking back on my grade school days, the assignments I remember enjoying the most were ones that were fun and creative. The ones where we went on a field trip to a pond to learn about life cycles and where I built a volcano (that may or may not have forever stained the ceiling of my fourth-grade classroom a nice shade of tangerine). It made me think of sixth-grade and my English class did oral reports on famous people from the 50’s and 60’s but dressed up and performed them before a camera and audience as if we were animatronic wax figures. They made my learning experience enjoyable and rememberable! Even in college, one of my favorite classes was an English class where the broad topic for the year was food!! It didn’t matter what specifically you wrote about most of the time, as long as it was about food. And who doesn’t love food!!!!

In the end, it felt good to know that there are people out there trying to change the way we view schooling. It also made me feel slightly embarrassed to be schooled by a thirteen-year-old, even though I know from experience that age does not equal wisdom. I really enjoyed learning about this topic and I hope all of you who read this blog gain some insight into your own learning happiness.


Until next time, Goodbye!

Being Digitally Literate

Hello again!

Today’s blog is going to be about digital literacy and its influences on how we learn.

First off, what is digital literacy? According to the American Library Association, “Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.” This means that any sharing platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, blogs, websites, etc. can be used as learning platforms to share our thoughts and ideas on various subjects, specifically those geared towards education.

Being digitally literate requires that you know how to use the technology involved. You must be able to find the information you want, have a basic knowledge of how to check if that information is reliable, and then share that information. For instance, on this blog I would like to share information about books and films, specifically books made into films and the processes they had to go through to make that leap. In order to do that I have to find articles, reviews, and book/movie quotes from reliable websites that have proper citations, time and date of publishing, author, etc. so that I can properly give credit and feel secure in the knowledge I give. Of course, my blog isn’t a perfect example of digital literacy, because most of it will be spent just comparing the book to the movie and vice versa. However, it can help show how this technology can be utilized.

Also, digital literacy isn’t just about knowing how to use technology. As I’ve mentioned above, digital literacy is about using technology for educational purposes. It allows educators to engage more with their students and allows students to easily access information that years ago you would have to look up in a book or periodical. You can read about a subject, find news articles and journals on it, and then write about it in your own words on social media all in the span of an hour!

Becoming a digital learner is essential in this day and age, and I think to be effective digital learners we need to keep ourselves aware of what new technology there is out there. New technology is going to change things in an instant, it’s changing things now! But I also feel that we need to keep the information that is not digital or has not been made for digital use relevant. In being leaders and pioneers into this emerging world of digital literacy, it’s our job to bridge the gap between these two areas by finding ways to create access to these non-digital resources and modes of information in a digital way.

So, let me know what you guys think! What does digital literacy mean to you? What do you find important about its use?  In the meantime, here is another blog and resource website I found that explains more about being literate with digital literacy.

Until next time, Goodbye!

1, 2, 3 … And Action!

Hello Everyone! My name is Dara, and I would like to welcome you to my blog and use this first post to tell you about myself and a bit about my learning history.


I was born in Kansas but have lived most of my life in Nebraska. I Learned to read at a young age from my mother, who used to be a teacher. She gave me a love of reading that I still have to this day. Learning to read at an early age gave me the advantage

8561050243_2e4ab4ee8a_m1of understanding assignments quicker and being able to express myself more concisely. She also shared with me a love of movies, particularly Sherlock Holmes. I saw my first movie in theaters when I was six and always try to see movies in theaters as it is the best way to view them in my opinion.

Throughout elementary and middle school, movies were the only other way, besides typing up papers on the computer, that I had used technology or had more engaging assignments that were fun. In high school that all changed, since some of the wackiest teachers I have ever met in my entire life, I met in high school. The most memorable teacher was my World History teacher in high school named Mr. Sarchet. He made learning fun and engaging by using references and analogies that resonated with us as high schoolers and hormonal teenagers. For instance, when it came to talking about anyone having  sex and/or having a baby, he would clap his hands three times, alternating which hand was on top and then get into a slight crouch and hold out his hands as if he were a quarterback waiting to be hiked the ball and say, “Nine months later Hut-one, Hut-two. A beautiful babé.” And then he would pretend to hold said baby. I would like to say that this was as crazy as he got, but this is a pretty tame example. Safe to say, World History was the BEST!!!


We also had the advantage of personal laptops in my junior year, which didn’t really get to make much of an impact until my senior year. One of my favorite assignments, was an end of year final project my Senior year of high school, where my group had to make a film entirely in French that had to be at least fifteen minutes long. It showed me how technology can be used in class for other than PowerPoints and to type papers. I also made me realize how much I love performing and becoming someone else through acting.





I should also talk about the things that I dislike or find difficult about learning. One of my least favorite assignments is actually not just one particular assignment but a type of assignment. I don’t like assignments where I must get up and speak in front of a class. I have terrible social anxiety and don’t really like being the center of attention. I also find that I have a hard time expressing my thoughts when I have to speak them aloud rather than writing them down. The only time this goes away is when I’m singing or performing in a show or play. Also, even though I consider myself a creative person, the most difficult thing for me as a learner is coming up with inventive ideas. While I understand things quickly and can knock out assignments when given a strict topic, I sometimes find it difficult to come up with my own ideas for assignments without one.

College soon brought the difficulties that it does for all of us leaving home to be on our own for the first time, but it also gave me the chance to choose my own classes like a

3654999615_8167c8c852_z film class I took freshman year, which I loved and introduced me to some new films and had me re-watch some of my favorites. I could also take my time and work at my own pace or take time off for a semester or two and then come back.I am still learning, as we all are, and I hope this blog can teach others as well. I wish everyone reading this blogpost well and hope you enjoy this blog!