For my final project in ECMP 355 I chose to take part in a learning project. I have always loved watching cake decorating shows on TLC and thought I would enjoy learning how to decorate cakes myself. Lets just say after taking part in this I am much more appreciative of cake decorator’s work on those shows. It isn’t as easy as they make it look!
When it comes to baking I am no rookie. I have always been known for my chocolate chip cookies, cheese cakes, and trifles. I never did ice cakes or decorate them much though, instead I would make death by chocolate or a trifle in bowls and this required no decorating.
I began my learning project with the intent to learn more about decorating cakes with fondant icing. I was given a recipe to make fondant from scratch but thought for my first cake that it might be best if I bought some from Bulk Barn. I began watching videos on how to apply fondant to cakes. I discovered I needed to first ice my cake with butter cream icing and then apply the fondant. My first cake turned out better than my second. For my second cake I wanted to make a square base and stack a round cake on top. I never got this far because after I butter creamed the cakes and applied the fondant they looked awful! They were really lumpy. After turning to online sources I discovered that a crumb layer of butter cream was applied first, cooled and then a second smoothing layer was applied. Also I watched various videos on how to create cakes that were stacked. I had no idea how much more work this was. Every cake layer needed to be stabilized with wooden poles and they also needed something underneath them. I was far from being ready for this stage.
A few more cakes didn’t turn out as I wanted so I began to get frustrated. My Aunt gave me some icing decorating tips to use and several pans when she heard I was learning how to decorate cakes. I began learning about using different decorating tips and took decorating my cakes down a different pathway. I really enjoyed using decorating tips over fondant icing, I found my cakes looked better and tasted better too! If I hadn’t of tried using decorating tips I probably would have ended my cake decorating career but now I actually want to continue learning and decorating cakes this way. Check out my progress throughout semester and the various online sources that helped through my learning project.
One of the required assignments in ECMP 355 was for us to produce using any tool (narration, slide deck, audio, video, concept map…) a summary of what we learned throughout the semester. We were encouraged to reference particular course experiences from readings, presentations, networking, and experimenting.
I used Screencast-O-Matic as my tool for presenting my summary of learning. I really liked this tool and found the free version very basic. I had never done anything like this before and I appreciated this tool for it’s user friendliness. If I was to use this tool again I would pay the $12.00 to upgrade to pro because many more editing options become available this way.
Here is my summary and yet again this assignment is another thing I can add to the long list of things I learned in this class. Enjoy!
This is mine and Sarah’s final production for our Learning Project. I enjoyed learning about decorating cakes and I am already continuing to learn more. I am even teaching my roommate my tips because she wants to decorate a cake with her niece. I want to learn more about decorating cakes as I feel I still have a long way to go. At least I now know how to make the right icing and use the right tools. I’m pretty sure I will be making cakes for everyone’s birthdays now instead of buying DQ ones because of my learning in this class. Plus I eventually have to get better! Although this is my final post on my learning project I am far from finished learning about decorating cakes. I also now know I can learn many things I always wanted to in this exact same way. Experiencing learning from online sources has opened so many doors for myself.
Playing with stop motion videos and using them to present some of my cakes has also allowed me to learn how awesome my iPad really is. I can see myself making many more stop motion videos especially horse related ones. The Pixstop app makes this so easy!
I have had many challenges in my learning project especially when trying to get cakes successfully out of their pans. I began using just Pam and then switched to placing wax paper in my cake pans. Pam did not work and often my cakes would require me using a flipper to assist getting the cake out of the pan. Wax paper worked well for getting the cake out easily but it would cause my cakes to have funny corners. You also had to be very careful when putting the batter into the pan because the wax paper could crumple leaving unwanted marks in your cake as it baked.
While shopping for supplies I had noticed in the cake section of Bulk Barn that they had a product labeled Cake Release. I always just walked by it and wondered if it really worked. So while getting supplies for my final cake I decided that I would buy a bottle and try it. All I have to say is I should have bought it sooner! I made a video to show everyone how awesome this product worked for me.
The taste and results I was getting with making my cakes with fondant icing was not impressing me. My aunt heard I was learning how to decorate cakes for one of my school projects and quickly brought me all her decorating tools and cake pans she owned. I guess she had at one time taken a cake decorating class so had the tips and pans from that class. So I decided since I had these tools to use that I would learn how to decorate a cake with butter cream icing and no fondant. Much to my surprise this process was way more fun! That fondant stuff was stressing me out and I was eager to have this project done. Now however with the success of making an Easter Bunny cake I find myself excited to do more cakes and can see myself continuing to make cakes after this project is complete. I would like to even find a cake decorating class and sign up as long as it didn’t have anything to do with fondant. I have already started to purchase several different icing tips and tools for decorating cakes this way as I feel I will actually use them. Check out this video of Sarah and I creating our Easter Bunny Cake.
This Ted Conversation really interested me because as I come to the end of the semester and my ECMP 355 class I have discovered how valuable technology can be in classrooms. I used Facebook as a social networking tool for staying in touch with high school friends or family, I never realized that it could be used for so much more. As far as I knew Facebook was a banned tool from education settings. I have discovered however, that this tool could assist me in engaging my students in the future. We need to teach students how to responsibly use technology and that it is a great way to learn through.
One concern like many others is if all my students will have access to technology (laptops, iPads, cellphones). I’m not sure where my teaching career will begin and many students may not own these gadgets. Maybe I’ll teach where quality internet doesn’t exist making using technology challenging. Another concern is whether parents will support incorporating tools such as Facebook and Twitter into their child’s learning environment. Many parents need to become educated because some fixate on the “bad” that happens online without gaining awareness of the good. Will I have these parents in my classroom?
Do you have any concerns?
Learning Management System Evaluation
For this tech task we put ourselves into groups of 4 people. Sarah, Kelsey, Melissa, and myself joined together to complete this task. Sarah and I toured the Schoology site and Melissa and Kelsey toured the Edmodo site. We took on all three roles teacher, parent, student to see how each site functioned. Here is some notes on our findings. Overall we all agreed that the Schoology site was the most user-friendly and could see ourselves using it in the future.
This semester I was required to take ESCI 302. When registering I was trying to make a connection of why we needed this class in obtaining our education degree. It is quite clear now and the awareness it has given me about our environment is huge. If society continues to live this way there will be no safe place for our children to live. An assignment that was given in my class was to investigate an environmental issue of choice. Every classmate chose an issue and designed a poster presentation to present to the class. This assignment enabled me to learn and discover issues within our environment I was unaware of and/or point out to me how serious this issue really was here on earth. Some issues that I was unaware of was the reality of the two garbage patches in the ocean, the amount of habitat that is being destroyed that is essential to life on earth, and that bio fuel really isn’t a great alternative to fuel. When browsing through TED I watched this video. ESCI has made me a concerned citizen about our environment and has pushed me to do my part in helping the environment. James Hansen stresses the harm the environment is in and his desire to bring awareness to this topic. I also want to bring awareness to this topic and hope by posting this on my blog people will watch this video.
Environmental Science Education is included in school curriculum now but was not when I went to school. Do you feel Environmental Science was an important subject to implement into the curriculum?
For my KHS 232 dance presentation my group decided to use the tool Prezi to present to the class. I was excited because I had never used Prezi before and I wanted to try something different than using just the plain old PowerPoint. I was really confused at first but once a group member pointed out some key things it helped me to see how it worked. I really liked that each group member could add their info to the Prezi from home and that it was instantly available for the group members to see. There was no emailing PowerPoint slides back and forth compiling information from group members. Another feature I liked was how Prezi could insert YouTube videos without the hassle of linking. I’ve seen so many Powerpoint presentations that the links didn’t work! Instead Prezi inserts the actual video and all you have to do is click play. I also found Prezi added to the presentations organization. By creating paths it allows presenters visual organization while discussing their part. Zooming in on certain parts of the presentation help to catch the audience’s attention. The only downfall I have experienced from Prezi is that sometimes the zooming in and out is too much and can make the presentation very hard to focus on. Click here to view my Prezi from KHS.
In response to the video called “RIP!: A Remix Manifesto,” I chose to answer the following question:
When you write an essay or paper you may quote other authors and cite
those references. Do you believe we should be allowed to do the same with music
Why not?…when you think about all the papers you write throughout your schooling on other people’s ideas and findings and that you can do this as long as you cite and reference the original work your paper is seen as successful. Not one of my papers have been an original thought; when I start my paper I research my topic and see what information I can find then choose where I’m going to take my paper. Papers that are written and not backed up with reliable sources are not seen as well written work. Citations prove ideas to be true and help persuade readers which benefit written papers because there is valid proof that it isn’t just made up.
So when creating a music mash-up why couldn’t the creator list all the songs he/she used to create it? When listening to Girl Talk’s work I could recognize almost every song he used and I knew what artist sang the song. To me most people know the songs that are used in music mash-ups and we know that the creator is not trying to say that they created the whole thing themselves. If there was reference to the songs they used it would also maybe encourage others to go check out the original songs that were used in the creation giving both artists credit.
When I created my first stop motion video using my pixstop app it asked if I wanted to add music to my film. I figured sure that would be nice. When I picked a song from my iTunes library it warned me that 99% of music was copyright and to be careful. I ended up not adding music because I didn’t want to do anything wrong but it would have been nice to able to add a song and then make a note at the end of my video what song was playing.