Individual Post #1

How can teachers effectively build relationships by encouraging safe communication and interactions in K-12 online & open learning spaces? What did you already know, what do you know now based on the course readings and activities, what do you hope to learn?

It is crucial for teachers to build relationships with their students to create mutual respect, more engagement, and a deeper knowledge of how to adjust learning for their needs. This is important in all teaching situations, especially online. In an online and open learning space the screen can take away the personal connection that face-to-face contact offers. For this reason, it is even more imperative that teachers online create a personal feeling to the material so students can empathize and feel safe and supported in their learning. From personal experience, I know that when I feel that deeper connection with a teacher I am more comfortable approaching them. With this in mind, Garrett Dikkers, Whiteside, & Lewis brought up aspects of social online learning that parallels with these ideas of how to create a safe space and build relationships. Affective association speaks to the importance that both the students and teacher show emotion online. This is what creates the empathy and deeper connection. Community cohesion address the idea that the classroom should be seen as a community. This view helps create a safer environment for learners to engage in (Garrett Dikkers, Whiteside, & Lewis, 2017, p. 160).

I know that teachers should model what they wish to see in their classroom, online or physically. Therefore, the teacher should be demonstrating safe communication and modeling so students see how they should be interacting in an open learning space. Another thing I have taken from my previous course, EDCI 337, is story telling helps to engage learners and build personal connections. Students feel a deeper connection to the material and the story teller by being able to connect. With this knowledge I plan to use story telling as a way to personally connect with students and build relationships in an online setting.

From the reading ‘Ethical challenges of edtech, big data and personalized learning: twenty-first-century student sorting and tracking’, I learned the six main privacy concerns: “information privacy; anonymity; surveillance; autonomy; non-discrimination; and ownership of information” (Regan & Jesse, p. 170). With this information I can better equip my students with the knowledge they need to know about online privacy and their rights. This knowledge will help students to be able to communicate in a safe manner and foster the ability to build stronger relationships through online respect. As the teacher it is my duty to be informed on privacy concerns and educate learners so they can prosper in an online and open learning space.


Garrett Dickers, A. (2017) Social Interaction in K-12 Online Learning. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 509-522 ). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Regan, P., & Jesse, J. (2019). Ethical challenges of edtech, big data and personalized learning: Twenty-first-century student sorting and tracking. Ethics and Information Technology, 21(3), 167-179. DOI: 10.1007/s10676-018-9492-2

Final App Evaluation


For our final app review we have evaluated the app “Maker’s Empire”. This is a 3D design app that is designed to be very accessible for students of any age. Maker’s Empire allows students to create 3D designs with simple tools while giving students advanced abilities to manipulate and combine their shapes. 


Maker’s Empire includes several of the Multimedia Learning (MML) principles. The most prominent principle is the interactivity effect, which allows students to work at their own pace. When a student leaves a project it automatically saves where they are, and they can come back at any time to continue their work. This also shows how the app uses the segmenting principle, where the app has been designed in levels. This breaks up the learning into manageable chunks that are easier for the student to engage with. When a student first enters the world they are in tutorial mode. The app utilizes the spatial contiguity principle during this tutorial by having pop up text boxes pointing to what it is referring to. This guides the learner through how to initially use the app. A con about this app would be how it manages the coherence principle. It does not exclude extraneous material, and this distracts from the overall learning goal of developing design thinking. When material is taken off of the project, the material explodes every time it is deleted. Although this may engage learners more, we found it to be an unnecessary feature based solely on the entertainment factor. 

Benefits for the classroom

Maker’s Empire offers an accessible format that can be used by learners of all ages. It promotes design thinking and problem solving, and when used in conjunction with a 3D printer, it gives students the opportunity to bridge the gap between abstract ideas and concrete objects. Maker’s Empire is available on all platforms (IOS, Android, ChromeOS, Windows, MacOS).

“Among major affordances of using 3D printing technology in science education is its ability to provide students with an opportunity to explore the relationships among engineering, technology, and applications of science concepts” (Novak, 2018, p. 435).

Design thinking in education has many benefits within the 21st century classroom. Technology continues to enact constant change within our world, and education must also shift to ensure that we are providing students with the necessary skills to be successful in the classroom and as future citizens of the world. As noted by Noel, “[i]t is the appropriate time to bring design methods and pedagogies into mainstream education to help lay a sound base for the development of innovative, problem solvers who will have the needed skills for the 21st century and beyond”(2017, p. 2). According to Levine (2012), the greatest possibilities for learning occur when students have the opportunity to explore, ask questions, and advance their critical thinking and creative abilities (as cited by Noel, 2017, p. 3). The open-ended format of Maker’s Empire gives learners a multitude of exploration possibilities, leading to autonomy in their learning. Buehler (2015) notes that “[l]earning about modeling and printing was a confidence booster and a necessity in the future of education” (p. 283). Design thinking also aligns with the growth mindset theory of student motivation that has been developed by Carol Dweck, where students focus on welcoming the challenges and failures that are involved in the learning process (Noel, 2017, p. 4). 

An example of design thinking and innovative problem solving in the classroom can be seen in this YouTube video where students problem solve to differentiate their bags to stop mixing them up. 

makers empire

Image Credits 

Privacy/Limitations/ Considerations

The cost of having multiple printers may be a major limitation. Schools typically would not have more then one or two printers and this can lead to longer wait times for printing, especially since “[o]bjects can take minutes to hours or even a full day to print depending on their size and complexity” (Buehler, 2015, p. 283). Another consideration with this app was whether or not it can get district approval to be used on school devices. As Maker’s Empire has a range of privacy settings that can be controlled by the teacher to expand or limit the design community from worldwide, all schools, your school, or your class (Maker’s Empire, n.d.). The app does not store individual student data, such as names, birth dates, or addresses. Usernames can be created so that the teacher and students can identify individual students without giving away personal information (Maker’s Empire, n.d.). Teachers can choose to enable or disable the commenting feature on designs, and sensitive designs (eg. rifles), are disabled by default. With this privacy customization included we believe that it is likely to be approved by the majority of districts.

The App From Student Perspective 

Using this app from the students perspective can be both a fun and frustrating experience. Learning to understand the user interface is intuitive for someone who has used similar online programs, but if students are unfamiliar with programs the learning curve could be limiting. Once you have completed the tutorial it can also be unclear how to look up help in where to find tools. However, the app has advanced tools that if practised and used, students can have complete freedom in what they would like to make. “In the first mission that I completed, I was tasked with creating a rocketship. After completing the tutorial, I found this task to be quite accomplishable. I was successfully able to piece together a rocketship. I believe that students of almost any age could learn how to use this app quite easily. The only factor that would affect their abilities would be their own interest in the app and their prior tech competencies.” – Oliver Conn


On their website, Maker’s Empire has an extensive comment section from teachers globally. They have also linked tweets to their page. In this case study outlined on their website, a teacher explains her experience with Maker’s Empire in her classroom, noting that technology is a great equaliser for kids and can help all children be successful at innovation. The level of engagement is significantly higher in students when doing a project with this app. This can be seen when she notes that her students groan when they are asked to rewrite a story but when told they will be refining their 3D projects they show excitement and persistence. 


makers emp

Photo Credits

Overall, we found Maker’s Empire to be a great app to use with students of any age. We believe that Maker’s Empire aligned with many of the Multimedia Principles of Learning. The benefits of design thinking and 3D printing are essential in the 21st century classroom and in creating innovative, creative problem solvers for generations to come. 

“The future generation of scientists will be ready to meet the challenges of society if they have been provided the opportunity [to] participate in a variety of STEM activities early in their education from teachers who model a positive attitude toward STEM” (Novak, 2018, p. 425).


Buehler, E., Easley, W., Mcdonald, S., Comrie, N., & Hurst, A. (2015). Inclusion and Education: 3D Printing for Integrated Classrooms. ACM Digital Library, 281-290. doi:10.1145/2700648

Maker’s Empire. (n.d.) Student Privacy and Sensitive Content . 

Maker’s Empire. (n.d.)

Noel, L. A., & Liub, T. L. (2017). Using Design Thinking to Create a New Education Paradigm for Elementary Level Children for Higher Student Engagement and Success. Design and Technology Education, 22(1), n1.

Novak, E., & Wisdom, S. (2018). Effects of 3D printing project-based learning on preservice elementary teachers’ science attitudes, science content knowledge, and anxiety about teaching science. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 27(5), 412-432. doi:10.1007/s10956-018-9733-5


MML: Self-Explanation Principle

For this assignment our group has created a summary and remix of Chapter 17 of “The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning” (Mayer, 2014). The focus of this chapter is the self-explanation principle and the best ways to use it in various contexts and in conjunction with different multimedia formats. When used in a classroom, it can be prompted, or taught to be used unprompted. In both contexts, students explain new ideas or concepts in their own words so they are more easily mapped onto existing mental models. Wylie and Chi (n.d.) state that self-explanation can lead students to repair existing mental models, identify previous misconceptions, and make inferences between learning materials. 


Word Cloud made from Chapter 17

The primary rationale behind having students use the self-explanation principle is that students will integrate new information more effectively with existing mental models. It is noted by Berthold, Eysink, and Renkl that learning with multiple representations, as seen in multimedia learning, is often employed in classrooms in order to foster a deeper understanding; however, it can also impose higher demands on the learners, and it can be difficult for students that have difficulties naturally integrating the information (2009, p. 345). Chi, Rittle-Johnson, and Sigler & Chen (2000; 2006; 2008) suggest that self-explanation best supports the cognitive processes of knowledge integration and knowledge generalization (as cited by Rittle-Johnson & Loehr, 2017). 

When students become competent with using self-explanation they are reflecting to organize information, which in turn allows them to integrate across multiple knowledge sources. This lets them absorb information from more varied mediums. Without these skills the information they would learn would be only surface level. Even without an expert present for a given subject area, students will still work through how the new information relates to what they already know, what misconceptions still exist for them, and eventually adding this new information to their existing mental models. If this principle is not used students will not learn to interact on a deeper level with new information. Their learnings and understandings are more likely to only scratch the surface of the full potential of the content, and may not be transferred to their existing models. 

Self-explanation has multiple forms that fall onto a continuum. At one end of the continuum is open-ended self explanation, where the student is prompted with open-ended questions and their answer has no expectations. Menu based self-explanation is on the other end of the continuum, where there is a menu of answers and a student must choose only from the options provided. As one moves from open-ended to menu based on the continuum, the forms become increasingly directed. Every form has the same underlying goal, in that they prompt the student to self-explain and encourage them to think deeper and cognitively engage with the learning material by making connections and refining their mental models. However, moving down the continuum from focused, to scaffold, to resource-based self-explanation creates more narrowed down prompts and focused attention for the learner. Due to the multiple sources of information involved in multimedia learning, a more focused form of self-explanation is generally prefered. In the chapter it states that if a student has to create their own explanation from scratch it can disrupt the flow of the learning. Moreover, in online platforms it has been suggested that more directed and menu based self-explanations are likely to be more effective because it reduces the amount of incorrect answers.



It is important to recognize that there are limitations to this principle. If the information given sufficiently covers or implicitly encourages self-explanation than the explicit prompt would have no additional benefits to the learner. Another limitation is if the learning includes categories with exceptions. Self-explanation creates overgeneralizations that can be difficult to change, so using this principle would take more time. Rittle-Johnson and Loehr note that “self-explanation appears to be most effective at promoting comprehension and transfer in domains guided by unifying principles and heuristics”, which give the indication that self-explanation will be the most consistently beneficial in subjects like math and science (2017). 

The self-explanation principle relates directly to the Core Competencies of Critical and Creative Thinking in BC’s New Curriculum, where there is a focus on analysis, critique, reflection, and assessment on student learning (BC Ministry of Education, n.d.). There is also a large focus on connecting new information to past knowledge and experience across various components of the curriculum from K-12. 

The self-explanation principle promotes deep learning that has meaningful connections to the authentic and complex natures and learning environments of each individual student. Although this principle has its limitations and may not be the paramount choice for every learning situation, it plays an important role in the creation and implementation of multimedia learning in the classroom. 

For our own curiosity we have made a Forum to see if there is a difference in final scores. The quiz separates people by birthdays. One group watches a video and then answers the quiz without using self-explanation. The second group will watch the same video and complete the same quiz, but before completing the quiz will be asked to explain in their own words what happens in the story. The quiz will show us the scores and we will be able to see the difference in achievement between the two groups. If you would like to try this quiz and give us some data, try the quiz here.


Berthold, K., Tessa H. S. Eysink, & Renkl, A. (2009). Assisting self-explanation prompts are more effective than open prompts when learning with multiple representations. Instructional Science, 37(4), 345-363. doi:10.1007/s11251-008-9051-z

British Columbia Ministry of Education. (n.d.) “BC’s New Curriculum.” Critical & Reflective Thinking | Building Student Success – BC’s New Curriculum,

Rittle-Johnson, B., & Loehr, A. M. (2017). Eliciting explanations: Constraints on when self-explanation aids learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 24(5), 1501-1510. doi:10.3758/s13423-016-1079-5

Wylie, R, & Chi, M. “The Self-Explanation Principle in Multimedia Learning.” The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning, pp. 413–432., doi:10.1017/cbo9781139547369.021.


Group Evaluation

In our group, we looked at the apps “ChatterPix Kids”, “Google Translate” and “Maker’s Empire”. After discussing our apps, we chose to zero in on “Maker’s Empire”, as it had the most variation in classroom use for both creation and consumption. 


Compared to ChatterPix, Maker’s Empire allows for unlimited potential when creating. In ChatterPix students can make a picture talk, but that is where the possibilities end. Maker’s Empire lets the user create anything they imagine and gives them the ability to 3D print it into a tangible object. Examples range anywhere from creating mazes to replicating historical buildings. When compared to Google translate, Makers Empire Can be used as a more standalone activity. Where Google Translate can be used to assist and augment other activities, Makers empire could be an activity used by itself to teach 3D modelling and printing.


This app touches on several MultiMedia Learning (MML) principles. These include Interactivity, spatial, coherence, and self-explanation, which will be explored further in our in-depth review next week. Our main concern would be if the school does not have enough funding to afford the 3D printer. However, the printer is not necessary for developing students’ design thinking skills and lessons can still be used with just the app. The 3D printer extends the learning further and makes the designs tangible, but it is not required.

Maker’s Empire is applicable for all ages. On the website they have lesson plans from Kindergarten up to Grade 12. This app would be beneficial in the classroom because it gives students the possibilities to make any 3D object that they can think of. Students are opened up to the abstract world of designing using the software. It also gives students the autonomy over their own learning in what they would like to learn to create. 


Evaluation on Maker’s Empire App

I chose to evaluate Makers Empire. This program is an interactive system that allows students to develop design thinking skills that can be 3D printed. The Makers Empire company will come into the classroom and help teachers integrate it into their lessons. Additionally, on the website they include a plethora of different lesson plans that can be used with this multimedia object. Examples of lessons include designing race cars, creating characters from books they have read, and replicating historical buildings (Empire, 2017).

This multimedia object touches on a few learning principles. The biggest being the interactivity effect, because students are working at their own pace using this app to create. They can sign in and out at any time and their work will be saved onto the account. When starting the app, your avatar is dropped into a small city and there are text boxes to help guide the learner around. This is an example of the spatial principle because there are side text boxes closely placed and pointing to what it is referring too. Another principle I noticed was coherence, when deleting an object from the app there is an explosion to demolish it. This added effect does not align with the learning goals of design thinking skills and distracts from the overall project. The main creation screen is also full of color and lots of buttons. Although with practice I become accustomed to these buttons, at first it was a lot of stimulus. As an instructor, I would have appreciated the one-on-one help from the company so it did not take me as long to figure out all the confusing options. Lastly, this multimedia app includes the self-explanation principle. This app allows students to explore and create something individually, where they can explain what they are doing and why.

In accordance with the SAMR model rubric, Makers Empire falls into redefinition. Designing and printing 3D objects is not possible without the accessibility to the app. (Schoology, 2017). This new technology allows for students to create novel things that are not possible in a traditional setting. It also allows for problem solving when they are presented with a question and must design a solution. For example, a class designed clasps for the teacher’s daughter to help keep her leg straps on (Empire, 2017). Although costly, Makers Empire is a hands-on unique tech experience that allows students to be innovators, creators, and problem solvers (Empire, 2017). Something this multimedia app does well is make abstract ideas concrete for learners (Empire, 2017). The extra cost is worth the experience for students to be autonomous in their learning and develop a growth mindset (Rogowski, 2020).


Free Posters, Worksheets & Printables: Makers Empire: Design Thinking: 3D Design: 3D Printing. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Rogowski, M. (2020). Common Sense Education. Makers Empire Review for Teachers. Retrieved from

Empire, Makers. (2017). Makers Empire | Design Thinking for Schools | 3D Printing | Education | Classroom [Video]. Retrieved from

Schoology. (2017). SAMR Model: A Practical Guide for EdTech Integration. Retrieved from

Blog 2


Sketchnotes for Comprehension

I was surprised to find I was resistant at first to taking my notes with drawings. I feared I would miss information and by not having it written down I would forget. This was evident when I opted to write my notes for this week’s topic first, then re-watch it a second time and do sketchnotes. I realized how reliant on written notes I had become and how uncomfortable I felt that I would be missing information. However, this gave me some insight into my learning in the past. I consistently write everything down and never seem to remember. If recall is possible the comprehension remains with what is written down. That’s why this exercise was interesting. When I looked back at my sketch notes of the audio it reminded me equally of the information that my written notes provided. However, my written notes are dense. I would have to reread them to extract the key points and understand the information. When I look at my sketch notes the pictures provide a recall to the key points. I can see how sketching notes benefits the connections made and aids in more recall then the traditionally typed or written notes.

Effective multimedia learning

Dr. Ray Pastore’s video here provides a very good overview of what multimedia learning is and what is entailed in each principle. A new insight I got from this video was that our working memory can only hold 5 to 7 concepts until it reaches cognitive load. In terms of teaching, I know that after introducing a few concepts I must reinforce them so students can continue to keep processing more information. In Dr. Ray Pastore’s video I noticed there was a lot of extraneous processing. I found not just the colorful back-round distracting, but him in the corner talking pulled my attention away from the presented material. Often I would find my eyes looking at his moving hands at the bottom of the screen.

Multimedia Objects in the Classroom: H5P

Using the Multimedia learning (MML) principles, I think a helpful multimedia object I could use in the classroom would be an interactive video. Using H5P to interact with a YouTube video, one could demonstrate the signaling principle, spatial principle, feedback principle, and interactivity principle. In Rich McCue’s video here he demonstrates how to use H5P. The ability to add text features and move it around on the screen helps highlight key information and places the information in a relevant spot. The questions help to add a feedback component and the ability to pause, go back, and answer questions creates a good way for students to interact at their own pace. I think this could be used with any age group that can sufficient read. It can be used to enhance the learning of a video by reinforcing information and highlighting key features.


McCue, Rich. (2020). EDCI 337 – H5P & WordPress Tutorial [Video]. Retrieved from

Pastore, Ray. (2018). What is Multimedia Learning? What is Multimedia? [Video]. Retrieved from

All photographs in this post are licensed by Creative Commons


Feedback on Post 1


I really liked how you summarized multimedia learning with digital technology. I found it to be a very precise and easy to follow description and liked how you included Mccue’s video for a reference and more detail if needed. I agreed with your idea that games can convey accurate information in an engaging way for learners. I think it is crucial to be using more engaging tactics to immerse students in the classroom. Games can provide a reliable source that allows students to work at their own pace and learn without feeling overwhelmed by information.   While reading about your real-life application through games, your post reminded me of the concept of flow. In the past, I have experienced playing games similar to the one Mccue’s son has played and found that time becomes irrelevant and seems to fly by. Not only is the game engaging enough to make time feel faster, but I noticed I was connecting more to the material and learning more effectively. Playing games such as these as a multimedia form of learning can enter students into a state of flow and create a more positive learning environment. Overall, your post was meticulously laid out, conveyed information in an easy to read and thorough manner, and you developed many great points to connect to.


I liked how you added your personal experience playing the multimedia interactive game, pandemic. It was interesting to know how the game worked and see how applicable it is to our world right now. I think you brought up a good point that educators now could be using this. It is an engaging way to teach students what makes viruses spread and how governments react the way they do and implement certain things. It can become an interactive way to learn about covid-19, which is more engaging then a lecture style class about the pandemic.

When you mentioned “The Hidden Importance of Teaching with Stories” I liked that you made a connection to the emotions behind the story telling. Prior to reading your blog, I never made the link that by the listeners connecting to the story teller they were feeling the emotions behind it as well. This makes sense for why the connection is felt deeper and the information is made more personal for students.

I agree with your idea of adding mindcraft lessons into the curriculum. The video you attached gives some great ideas for what is possible using this platform for learning. It reminds me of EDCI 336, during our own mindcraft class, when we learned we could create treasure hunts using X, Y, and Z axis’s and teach graphing through it as well.


McCue, Rich. (2020). EDCI 337 Topic 1 – Introduction to Interactive & Multimedia Learning [Video]. Retrieved from

Juliani, A. J. (2016, March 21). The Hidden Importance of Teaching With Stories. Retrieved from

A Minecraft Education | James York | TEDxTokyoTeachers. (2015, April 14). Retrieved from



Blog 1

From this class I hope to gain the skills to navigate new online platforms and be proficient in digital multimedia. I hope to incorporate digital technology into the classroom and want to feel confident in my own abilities, so I can effectively teach my students. Something I am unsure about is how I will learn the online skills through an online class. In the past, I found even in a traditional classroom it is difficult to grasp ideas and learn how to do digital tasks. I have found that I learn the dense information best with face-to-face communication and visual cues.

Rich’s son playing a web-based game is a good example interactive and multimedia learning. The game provides an informational visual for players to interact with. This self-paced interaction allows for students to learn at their own pace, gaining new information as they progress further in the game. The information is also accurate and the narrative provides a fun way to learn. This example of a web-based game is engaging and informational for Rich’s son. When there is a narrative, students are engaged in learning and their understanding of the material becomes much deeper. This is also evident in the online reading “The Hidden Importance of Teaching with Stories” when the author explains how his students connected more to learning when it was through personal stories. Whether his or student’s stories, the understanding became deeper when there was a sense of connection (Juliani, n.d.). In this reading, I realized how powerful narratives are. The author describes how his daughter still vividly remembers bedtime stories and this made me ponder my own experiences. It has been over 15 years and I can still recall stories I was told before bed as a child. Narratives provide a way to connect to information for a rich learning experience. I think it is crucial to involve teaching through stories and create ways to use interactive and multimedia learning that includes narrative in the classroom to engage students.

A non-digital interactive learning experience I have was playing “Robot Turtles.” This board game creates an easy immersion into how to code online without touching a computer. It incorporates terms and basic principles of coding. For me, I found learning complex concepts of coding through an accessible board game was a good introduction. I am fond of board games and was engaged with the easy to follow and hands on material. This experience reminded me of a key concept brought up in the video, which said we should design high tech multimedia that is in sync with how people learn (Mccue, 2020, 3:45). No matter how advanced the multimedia becomes, if students cannot grasp the ideas then it renders it useless. I think this learner centered approach is critical for teaching in a classroom. In regards to my experience, learning how to code was designed in a way that appealed to my style of learning. As a result, I was able to understand the concepts on a deeper level.


Juliani, A. J. (n.d.). The Hidden Importance of Teaching with Stories. Retrieved from

Mccue, R. (2020). EDCI 337 Topic 1 – Introduction to Interactive & Multimedia Learning [Video file] Retrieved from


306B Blog 4: The Final product

It’s true what they say, practice does make perfect. The more I played the song the more comfortable I become with the new plucking pattern and the easier the F and G transition became. After I learned the new plucking for the song, I started working on harmonizing my singing. This is still a struggle for me that I am continuing to work on. With this song in particular, my struggle is matching the tune of the ukulele. I used to sing this song while my mother played along with the piano to the chords. Singing this song to the tune of the ukulele is difficult for me because I am so used to singing it in a certain way. This is still something I am working on. However, each time I practice the song I try to sing the last hallelujah different ways to find one that sounds right.

Overall, this experience has been one I will take with me forever. By learning 2 more songs, I became more fluent with how to read sheet music on, so in the future more songs will be more easily available for me to learn. I also found helpful resources like Youtube channels. Particularly Bernadette Teaches Music and The Ukulele Teacher. The experience of learning songs with more than 3 chords and that have varying sequences of chords helped me to more forward with my playing. My fingers now switch faster between chords and I can begin to play more complex songs. This has made me more confident in my playing abilities.

The skill of learning the ukulele means I can be involved in campfire sing alongs and play for others. For example, I played all the songs I knew for my parents the other night while I was practicing hallelujah. They just sat there and listened, telling me it was like listening to the radio. I played Can’t Help Falling In Love, Hallelujah, and even refreshed my memory on Riptide and played that as well. I was amazed at how quickly Riptide came back once I could look at the sheet music and remember the order of the chords. All the songs I have learned will forever be in my mind to always be able to play, with every new song I learn my ukulele fluency will keep growing.

The password for Hallelujah is: Education

Here is my video of Hallelujah 

306B Blog 3: Plucking Hallelujah

One of the challenges I found was with how quickly my ukulele becomes out of tune. I have noticed because I am constantly going between the C and D scale my strings very quickly change and the tune is off as I start to play. My singing for the song becomes harder to harmonize when this happens. I have tried taping the pegs down but to no avail, it becomes untuned.

In terms of learning the song “Hallelujah”, the chords were easier to remember then “Can’t Help Falling In Love” but plucking a pattern has proven more difficult than strumming. It helped that I could remember the chords and did not have to focus on that as well when trying to pluck. Over time, I became more comfortable with the plucking pattern and eventually was able to play the song as fluently as if I were strumming. However, recently I looked up another video on Youtube and realized my plucking pattern was wrong. When using the previous strumming pattern of G, A, E, C the melody sounded slightly off and when singing I found it hard to harmonize. With the new strumming pattern of G, C, E, A, E, C I have been able to harmonize better. I am new to learning ukulele and this change in strumming has been a difficult adjustment for me. My fingers were getting used to the old pattern and this change will take a while to feel more natural. This version of the song also includes a quick transition from F chord to G chord in one strumming pattern which I am finding difficult as well. In the next few weeks I will focus on mastering the new strumming pattern and smoothing up my transitions.

I also kept working at “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and am now able to play the whole song through until the end. For my mid- semester PLP I was only able to play the first few verses. The password is: “Education”

Here is the link to the video