While some kids waste their days away playing Minecraft and finishing off seasons of Parks and Recreation on Netflix, a certain 15 year old put his innovation and creativity to the test to design a Google Play app. At 20 years old, I wouldn’t even know where to begin even if I had a fun and engaging idea for an app. How did he come up with the idea, how did he design and create the game, and how is he turning a profit?
I decided to do a little investigation on Bertha Bertha Gaming, the self-proclaimed gaming start-up. The featured game “Spinny Frog” was released on April 2nd, 2014 and recently updated April 20th, 2014. It has already had close to 50 downloads. The game is really addicting as you try to jump from one spinning lily pad to the next while timing it just right. The game works as a series of never ending gears of different sizes, speeds, and directions to try to trip you up. Be warned, if you wait too long and/or are too timid to jump when the lily pads are aligned then you lose a point. This is great to help players be prepared and decisive when it comes to working on reaction time. My high score is a lowly 14 points; I need some practice.
Unfortunately, this game is not yet on iTunes or for Apple product use. The fee to get the game on iTunes was too steep for a 15 year old unemployed kid. However, Android users with a Google Play account should check out the app. It is described as “Help the frog make it across the lily pads in the fun yet challenging jumper! Tap the screen when the frog spins close to the next lily pad to make it jump! Spinny Frog is a fast-paced addicting game for Android!”
The reviews are almost exclusively positive, such as:
“Great game Great addicting game! Really unique concept that’s a nice refresher from all the Flappy bird remakes.”
“New Flappy Bird Great, addicting game! More fun than Flappy Bird.”
“Best game ever New Flappy Bird”
So here’s my call to action: If you have a passion and idea, take it and run with it. It is your turn to make the new “next big thing.” Start small and grow big.
Check out the game, and don’t forget to give it five stars out of five. It’s my job to support my little brother’s projects, of course! Oh, did I not mention that this up and coming little game maker is my brother?
As the school year comes to an end for many students, it is not uncommon to see dumpsters full of unwanted, but completely functional goods. I remember moving out of the dorms after my freshman year at Marshall University and seeing perfectly good futons, dressers, storage bins, and blankets just thrown into trash piles just for the sake of easing the impending move back home. I mean, PERFECTLY GOOD furniture. I won’t say that I went “dumpster diving”… but I did score a pretty decent IKEA bookcase somehow.
So as I sit here watching The Lorax in celebration of Earth Day, I want to take the time to remind you all of the responsibilities we have to care for our environment. We waste an enormous amount of resources every day (for a frightening look at the carbon footprint you’re leaving behind, visit this site à http://www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/). As you prepare to move back home for the summer, or if you’re getting into spring cleaning phase, consider taking the following actions:
Upcycling, or repurposing items for another use, is much more environmentally friendly than even recycling, which still leaves behind quite the amount of waste. I recently turned some old shirts of my husband’s into dresses for myself, and even turned an old ottoman into a bed for my cat. Pinterest often has wonderful ideas for upcycling even the simplest of household items and pieces of furniture. So if you don’t use something anymore, think of another purpose it may be able to serve before you chuck it out!
You may be tired of looking at that futon of yours, but maybe someone else (with a really cool bike they are getting rid) would like it! Rather than throwing yours away and buying an entirely new item, look for others with items that you may want. Trading used items can seriously impact the environment by slowing production rates and minimizing waste.
You may no longer need these items, but chances are someone else does. Places like Goodwill, Lexington Rescue Mission, and Salvation Army take donations for clothes, furniture… almost anything you are looking to get rid of! Visit donationtown.org to schedule one of these organizations to come to you for a free pick-up (they will even leave you a tax-deductible receipt!).
It’s so easy to think, I’m just one person—how bad can I possibly be impacting the entire Earth. But consider these words from The Lorax the next time you find yourself standing at the trash can or dumpster:
Hey friends! I hope all is well! As the semester comes to its close I am grateful for my undergraduate experience. This blog in particular allows me to focus on what has been accomplished in my life over the past three years, and as I enter into grad school I have been placing a lot of thought into what Qaaim looks like as an educator. I realized that one way I can get an understanding on this is through putting together a teaching philosophy, which is a few things. A teaching philosophy is what one thinks it means to be a good educator. It speaks to the expectations the educator has for themselves, along with the expectations of their students. It is a description of one’s strengths and weaknesses as an educator, along with how to strive toward and seek self-growth. So I thought “why not share your teaching philosophy, Q, The Magnificent?”
I strongly believe that teaching is a career that one is called to do. Success as an educator is heavily reliant on how comfortable one feels within their classroom. However, there must be a distinction between receiving comfort from teaching and actually being a good teacher. There are a few things that must be placed at the forefront of the educator’s mind. Firstly, the goal of each academic year should always be assisting the student as they grow. Students will get older, and it is the teacher’s responsibility to guide them along the path of knowledge and wisdom. It is imperative to understand the huge impact an educator has in each of their student’s lives. That impact can be direct or indirect, intentional or unintentional. Each action a teacher makes is under a lens, and even the smallest decision can derail the student onto a path of trouble and constant failure.
An educator must also have an understanding of where students are coming from, along with where their identity lies. Situational awareness is vital in placing one’s best foot forward. No student is exactly the same, and it is easy for one to overlook what makes each of them different. In understanding where a student is coming from, the teacher can take the appropriate action in connecting with them. In doing so, the teacher can serve as an aid to students, assisting them in making reasonable decisions. It is not the role of the teacher to relate with the student, for such an action can come off as the belittlement of their experiences, discrediting the troubles they may have faced. If one is able to share similar encounters, it is the role of the teacher to consciously consider that a focus should be placed on the student. By intentionally trying to understand why students partake in the activities that they do, the teacher equips themselves with the ability to encourage or discourage certain actions. Methods of teaching should always be complimentary to the audience.
I believe that the biggest struggle I face as an educator, which many may be able to relate to, is the discouragement that may follow in seeing students constantly make the wrong decisions, regardless of my efforts to guide them. There has always been a desire placed on my heart to see progress made in the lives of others. When effort is made to assist the student and they fail to act off of the advice given, it can serve as an opposing force to the intentions that I have in assisting students to reach their personal goals. Nevertheless, it is the teacher’s role to never give up, regardless of the circumstances one may be under.
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about my teaching philosophy! Until next time, continue to be awesome =]
Last month, I discussed my favorite student organization, the Kentucky Education Association. This month, I want to share with you all my favorite KEA event, which is coming up in just a week. It’s called Arts for Smarts.
The premise for Arts is Smarts is simple. We aim to promote the arts as an effective tool that can easily be utilized to educate students in other core content areas. Each year, our chapter goes to a local elementary school on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning and spends the day getting crafty with a group of awesome kids! We always have just as much, if not more, fun than the kids.
Last year, one of my favorite activities of the day involved the students learning about constitutions and what it takes to found a country. The students were encouraged to create their own country with their own set of rules. They drafted their own constitution, and some students even created flags and maps of their country. From Balloon World, where all citizens are required to carry a balloon with them at all times, to Squirrel Land, where all citizens were squirrels and all meals consisted of nuts, the students showcased their creativity while learning about a core social studies concept!
This year, Arts for Smarts will take place at Southern Elementary, which is on Wilson Downing Road. The event is on Saturday, April 26th and will run from around 8:30-3:00. If you’re interested in volunteering, feel free to contact the UK KEA Vice President Rachel Allgeier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,
I hope everyone is having a wonderful semester.
As future educators, we all know we must have clear and open lines of communication with our students’ parents. As technology has progressed, we educators have tried to keep up, especially in teacher parent communication. Now, email is the go-to communication for busy parents and teachers, but this still has its drawbacks. We have moved past the day where parent-teacher conferences are the only chance teachers and parents get to talk about their students.
One new trend in education is creating a class webpage or blog, which may consist of many different elements. These blogs are open to the public and keep students and parents up to date.
On such a website or blog, a class calendar is very useful for those parents who may have to keep their kids on schedule, and even for those kids who are forgetful. Even things like homework assignments, test dates, and school activities can be posted as reminders.
Weekly, or even daily class posts from teachers can keep students up to date using only one post, as opposed to emailing each parent individually. This is more efficient and even lets school administrators know exactly what messages you are sending out to parents and students.
As always, find something you find useful and suits your style. Customize your page to something you will keep up and enjoy using from day to day. A blog or webpage won’t be effective if it isn’t something you keep up or find useful for your class.
Until next time,
We are more than halfway done with semester which is definitely something to be excited about! With about only a month left to go, it is normal to start experiencing stress and/or anxiety so although, you may start to feel overloaded, now is the time to stay focused and finish the race strong! As a senior, I have experienced too many times what the stress of finals can do to you so I would like to share some words of wisdom so that you’re not saying this in the upcoming weeks.
1) Take care of yourself!
It is all too easy to become so consumed in your studies that you forget about taking care of your needs. I’m sure we all know the basics about the importance of eating three meals a day and getting enough sleep each night so I’ll talk about something else that is important which is creating time in your schedule to just relax and do something you enjoy. However you define that is just fine as long as you make sure you take out time each day for you. Take a nap or go watch 30 minutes of TV if that will help you de-stress for just a little bit each day. Our university knows how much stress students are under during finals so they too have created an event to help you relax. During dead week SAB hosts an event similar to Crunch Brunch called Cram Jam! At this event, you can release a little stress by getting a massage-on-the-go, playing games with friends, etc. Best of all, you’ll get a free t-shirt to start your summer with!
2) Avoid procrastinating!
It’s important to start studying for finals as early as possible so you don’t find yourself cramming on the night before your big test. Depending on how many finals you have you more than likely should start reviewing way before dead week arrives. There are numerous resources on campus to help with your studying. For instance, The Study (located on south campus) offers study reviews (also known as Common Hour Exam Preparation) for some of the common introductory level courses like MA109, CHE105, etc., in addition to their regular tutoring services. To see a complete list of courses offered visit their website here. Also, pay attention in your classes to see if your professor is offering a review session which usually details the information you need to know for your exam!
3) Stay focused in your classes!
As I mentioned before, I know that since the end is near it’s easy to want to start slacking off in your classes by opting out of extra credit or skipping a couple of classes, but believe it or not, this could make it harder for you during finals time. You may be missing out on valuable information that could help you on your test or losing a few points that could make all the difference between earning an A or B. So despite how hard it may be at times, count down the days until the beginning of summer and use that as your motivation to get you to the finish line!
Peace and love,
There are only a few weeks left in the semester, so that means that
summer break is right around the corner! If you’re anything like me,
you are ready for a BREAK. But there are some ways to take a break and
make your summer worthwhile and build your resume.
Here are some tips:
1. Internships: Employers don’t necessarily want to know that you
had a 4.0 GPA. They want to know that you have experience. Internships
will increase your chances of getting hired after graduation!
2. Summer Classes: Get ahead on your classes so you can take a
lighter load during the school year. Summer classes are shorter and
allow you to focus on fewer classes at a time. There are many online
courses offered over the summer, too!
3. Volunteer: Employers want to know that you are well rounded so
get out there and help your community! If you’re in education, it
might be a good idea to volunteer at a camp or a day care. Regardless,
find something you enjoy and are good at, and do it!
4. Find your passion: With the extra free time, turn your interest
into a passion! Be creative. Do what you love! Let yourself do things
you wouldn’t normally have the time to do.
No matter how you choose to spend your summer, make sure to make the
most your time off from school! Summers are getting fewer and fewer
for us students and we need to enjoy them!
Until next time,
First, let me start off by saying what an INCREDIBLE display of talent and determination shown by our Cats in this year’s men’s NCAA basketball tournament! It has been a pleasure to watch this young group of players come together to work towards one common goal. I have certainly enjoyed getting in the spirit by dressing up in my game day garb while yelling my favorite Cats chants, and I hope you have too!
But now that March Madness is over, our attention returns to schoolwork. Amongst all the excitement of the basketball season, maybe you neglected to address that you weren’t doing so hot in one of your classes. No worries! The Cats had a rocky start to the season as well, but after making some adjustments to their approach they were able to make it all the way to the championship game. Here are some simple basketball strategies you should include in your game plan to get back on track for the rest of the semester:
- Communication with the coach: Talk with your professor about upcoming assignments you don’t fully understand and ask for tips about what you should be doing to study for the final exam. Your professor is your greatest resource for help with a class (after all, they are the ones teaching it!). Take advantage of office hours, too.
- Teamwork: If you haven’t already, find a few friends in your classes to form a study group to prepare for final projects and tests. A second perspective is always a great way to get some ideas flowing when you’ve become “stuck”. Group studying is especially helpful when someone understands a concept better than you and can help explain it in ways that maybe the professor couldn’t.
- Make your free throws: In basketball, free throws are worth one point a piece, which doesn’t seem like much compared to a 3-point shot. But over time, those one points can add up to a pretty high score. Make sure you continue to turn in those small assignments in between tests. Although they may not be worth as much as exams, they still play a major factor in the calculation of your final grade. Write every assignment down in your planner so you won’t forget!
- Show up to practice: The temperature outside is starting to rise, which means the desire to go to class starts to drop. Keep going to class! I promise there will still be plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine. Attending class is the best way to help you practice the material you will be tested on at the conclusion of the semester. The professor might even include some useful information in lecture that you would miss if you didn’t attend class.
Keep up the good work, and remember that there is still time to come out as a champion at the end of the semester!
Until next time,
Fellow students, I know you understand exactly how I feel when I tell you…
I. Am. Exhausted.
I’m worn out.
We have 5 more weeks in this school year, right? Are you as tired as I am? Well, I have a little bit of inspiration for you and me both. This video will make your day. It will pump you up and remind you why you are working so hard to get through school, only to spend the rest of your working life in school (the irony is just too much). Power through your weariness, friends! We are in the home stretch of this semester!
I love this video not only because it is hilarious, but also because it’s so true. As educators, we make a difference. We have the most important job in the whole world. There is no other career path, no other profession or calling that did not start with some form of teaching. Teachers build the future by investing in the lives of children. That’s a pretty powerful thought.
So, I will keep working on the various practicum observation journals and KTIP lesson plans, because, in the words of Taylor Mali, “I make a DIFFERENCE. How about you?”
Until next time,
So, registering classes for my senior year caused me to reflect on my college experiences. Whether you consider senior year as a time to redeem yourself or a time to wrap up loose ends, it’s only natural to reflect. Though there are probably more, here are five random things I wish I had known as a Freshman:
1) I wish I had known: although professors are intimidating, attending office hours could have helped me out a lot more. I’ve skipped office hours when I was struggling in a class, simply because I didn’t want my professor to think I was behind everyone else in the class. I regretted this come exam time.
2) I wish I had known: how skipping one class can lead to a pattern of skipping more and more classes. I realized this was a waste of tuition money. It’s similar to sleeping on the street when you’ve already paid for a hotel room. I’ve had to improve on this.
3) I wish I had known: how available University Health Services (UHS) really is. I remember lying in my dorm room sophomore year feeling miserable, yet I postponed going to UHS and getting medicine to feel better.
4) I wish I had known: how interesting living on campus would turn out to be. I wanted a random roommate my freshman year for the experience and to force myself out of my comfort zone. I loved living in Holmes Hall for a year and a half! The dining halls were close, I could walk to the library, and I didn’t have to wait on the bus to get to class. I’m glad I took a chance. And ALWAYS take clothes/a robe/ anything more than a towel to the shower rooms; the dreaded fire drill situation does happen to the unfortunate few. Trust me.
5) I wish I had known: extra time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so. I feel like I had no free time freshman (or sophomore or junior) year. If I had planned a little better, I would’ve liked to have joined more clubs or attended more events on campus. Take advantage of as many on campus opportunities as possible!
I’m sure I will tackle a couple of these next year. Many of these things seem to be common sense now, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20.
Best of luck registering for classes!
Brittany N. Flanery