That’s a wrap!

Well, the time has come to wrap up my ASL learning project for EDTC 300, I am sad having to write this post, but I know my learning will continue after the class. From the beginning when I signed up for EDTC 300, I knew that I wanted to pick ASL for my learning project. I had many reasons I chose American Sign Language (ASL), (Taken June 24th, 2018 but may be changed due to Wikipedia) the first being I fell in love with the show Switched At Birth, (Taken June 24th, 2018 but may be changed due to Wikipedia) I thought the language was beautiful, and since I am going in to become an educator I thought it would be beneficial. I realized just how important and beneficial learning ASL would be, after an encounter at a school one day when I was subbing as an EA, and the teacher asked me if I knew any sign and I had to say no, so with confusion they swapped everyone schedule so one of the EAs that did know sign could work with the student. From that moment I knew when EDTC 300 comes around and I have to pick my learning project it is going to be ASL for sure. If I have a student that needs ASL or I encounter someone who uses ASL, I will be able to communicate with more people. I love expanding my knowledge and learning a new language which helps me communicate with more people.

What my Goal was 

When I started my ASL learning project, I set a goal of learning the basics (ABC’s & numbers), commonly used words, and not so common words that could come up in conversation. I was able to stick with this goal, I first learned the numbers 1-50, then went onto the ABC’s, and after I learned common words that can be used in conversation. However, I was not able to achieve my goal, of learning not so common words that could come up in a conversation, I never realized how hard learning ASL would be and just how fast six weeks would go with learning. It is a good thing that I am going to continue my learning after class so I can learn not so common words that would come up in communication. At the end of the semester, I gave myself the goal of wanting to sign a song or create a brief conversation that I could sign. I am proud to say I was able to achieve this goal! I was able to learn O Canada in ASL and even went the extra mile to have a conversation in ASL with another one of my classmates who was also learning ASL for her learning project.

The Technology I used

I used many different apps and websites throughout my learning project, the one app I relied heavily on was the ASL App. I really enjoyed the ASL App and found it easy to follow along with while learning. I do suggest, to anyone that is wanting to learn ASL to download this app. It is nice that you can slow down the video to help get the hang of the finger/hand movement to be able to sign the word. I did get through all of the sections on the ASL App without purchasing, the ASL App Pack. Once I am done with EDTC 300, I want to continue my learning, so I plan on purchasing the pack.

I relied on iMovie to help create my videos of my learning. I would record myself on photobooth and move the recording over to iMovie, where I edited the video and created one long video of my learning.

For many of my weekly learnings, I used the ASL App, but I also downloaded two other apps onto my phone: SignSchool and ASL Kids. I found SignSchool really easy to navigate throughout. I enjoyed how the app gave you a sign of the day and three different tools that you could pick from such as the dictionary, letters and numbers, and topics. For each of the tools, there is a bunch of options to pick from which I found to be really helpful for people who are wanting to learn. I enjoyed this app because once I was done learning the signs there is a review option I can choose and it showed me a sign and gave me options to pick as to what sign it was. This also helps out with not only knowing how to sign but also to recognize others signing.

I did play around with the ASL Kids app to see if I could learn from it. However, I did not take anything from it. I did see potential with this app for my future classroom since it was easy to navigate and it allows children to learn signs. There is a section that is called play, which is where the students can watch a child sign, and afterwards, have to decide what that sign was. This is great for memory since it helps the user be able to know what others are signing to them, not just being able to sign themselves. There is a downfall to this app which was it only gave the user so many words to learn in ASL and once they are done learning the signs they must pay $2.79 to add 87 more words. There are some people that would not want to pay for more signs which may turn them away from using this app, however, if in a classroom a student needed ASL this app would be beneficial for them and would make logical sense to purchase more of the signs.

I looked at different YouTube videos to learn from. I learned some basics from 25 Basic ASL Signs For Beginners | Learn ASL American Sign Language. As well, I learned O Canada over a YouTube video. I found YouTube to be a great resource, to learn anything you type in what you are wanting and I guarantee there is a video to help you learn. If someone does not have access to a cellphone to download apps, I suggest looking at YouTube videos to help you learn ASL.

Finally, I also looked at a few different websites to help learn some of the words I was wanting throughout my learning project. I used the website Handspeak, ASL teacher resources, and lifeprint throughout my Canada learning experience to learn the sign for some of the words  I was wanting. All these websites were helpful for learning the words I wanted, I did not play around with them in depth to see how they were for learning ASL, but from the little bit, I was on them they were helpful and suggest looking into these websites if wanting to learn ASL.

I never realized, how much I could learn just from technology, there are so many websites, apps, and different resources out there to learn anything. I do still think it is beneficial to learn from reading a book but with technology becoming so integrated into our society it only makes sense to learn from technology compared to looking through a book. I really enjoyed being able to pick and choose what I wanted to learn and at what pace I wanted to learn it. It was scary at first videotaping myself for others to watch, but eventually, I thought it was so interesting how with just a camera and YouTube  I could share what I have learned with others.

The Progress I made

Week 1: Choosing my learning project – ASL

  • Deciding to learn ASL.
  • Explaining where I was at with my learning – which was I knew no ASL.
  • Setting a goal for myself throughout my learning project.
  • The resources that I will use and how I will show my progress in learning ASL.

Week 2:  Numbers

  • Numbers 1 – 50

Week 3: The Alphabet

  • The alphabet with shoulder

Week 4: Universal Gestures and Greetings

  • Universal Gestures: Time, Call, Drink, Eat, Type, Text, Write, Picture, Walk, Run
  • Greetings: Hello, What’s Up?, Alright, Bad, Fine, Good, Goodbye, Yes, No

Week 5: The Basics

  • Five W’s- What, Why, Where, Who, and When?, How, Deaf, Hearing, Me, You, Them, They, My, Your, Friends, Want, Like, Thank You, You will learn signs, My name is… Danielle, What is your name?, Paper and Pen please, Paper and Pen please? You sign fast!!, Say again?, What’d you say?, I know only a few signs, I know a little fingerspelling, I want to learn more signs, Why are you learning ASL?, Are you Deaf?, I am hearing, How are you, Where are you from?, I am from… Regina, That’s my friend, Is that your friend? Where do you work?, He/She said…, Will I see you again?, I will see you again, Nice meeting you, See you later, Understand, I don’t understand, How do you sign?, What is the sign for…?, Don’t, Want/ Don’t want, Have, Do you want to meet up?, Asking me, Asking others, Others asking others, Meet, Will we meet up?, Hard-of-hearing, Again, Are you deaf?, Please sign slowly, Sorry, How do you sign ___ point at it___?, How do you sign ____ fingerspelling?

Week 6: O Canada and Stereotypical Canadian things

  • O Canada Anthem
  • Double double, Hockey, Moose, Beaver, Sorry, Toonie, Loonie, Hat/Toque, Bunny Hug, Maple Syrup, Pop.

Extra Learning: Conversation with Ashley Osachoff

  • Hello, what is your name?
  • My name is Danielle.
  • I am hearing too. I know only a few signs.
  • I am good, how about you?
  • Where are you from?
  • I am from Regina.
  • Nice meeting you. See you later.

All together

So look back on all I have learned in the past six weeks is amazing, I am really proud of myself for all I have learned. To start the learning project I knew zero ASL so I was going into this clueless, so from learning all I have I would say I did pretty well. In six weeks I was able to learn:

I really enjoyed being able to learn such a beautiful language and learn at my own pace. I will continue to learn throughout the years, I know I will never be fluent as there are so many words to know. But if I can have a conversation with an ASL user, I am happy. Also to know that if I sub as an EA again, I can confidently say I do know some sign or when I have a classroom of my own and have a student that uses ASL I have a baseline for it and can communicate and work with them. Best of all, if I have a student that uses ASL, I can continue to use technology to help me learn, but I can also use my student to help teach me more! I cannot say it enough, I have loved learning ASL and will never stop with my learning.

My Five Takeaways

  1. Learning online was a great experience. I knew I could learn online, but I never realized how much resources there are online that I can learn from. I did not realize I would be able to learn so much ASL as I did just from the few apps, YouTube videos, and websites I looked through. Putting into google – I want to learn ASL, so much will pop up that you will be able to communicate in ASL in no time. As well, even though I never communicated with people in person, I was able to communicate with many people over the internet through learning ASL and the rest of my learning in EDTC 300.
  2. YouTube is a great resource to incorporate into the classroom. Before this learning project I never really went to YouTube to learn new things, but YouTube became a lifesaver. I realized the great potential that YouTube can have in a classroom and that even though the internet can be scary sometimes, it can also do wonders in the classroom for assistance. YouTube is a great resource when wanting to learn online which is why I think it is a great resource to bring into the classroom and allow students to access.
  3. The ASL App became my best friend. If it were not for this app on my phone, I do not know where I would be at the end of my learning. I was able to learn so much and will continue to learn from this app. I even connected with the co-founder of the app over Twitter to check out the learning that I have done in ASL.                                                                       
  4.  ASL is not an easy language to learn. Whoever said learning another language was easy, was terribly wrong. But it is even harder to learn a language where there is no verbal communication involved. I had to work constantly at moving my fingers and getting from what is in my brain to get my fingers and hand to do that. It was stressful at some points during this learning project, but I pushed through and was able to learn so much. I am so happy to have learned some ASL that I could communicate with someone who is a user of ASL.
  5. Do not be afraid of the idea of deciding your own learning project. For myself, I knew exactly what I wanted to learn, but for many people I talked with, they were scared to pick because we never get the opportunity to pick what we learn throughout our university classes. But DO NOT be scared, pick something that you want to learn and that you will have fun doing. That is the best suggestion I am able to give someone that is thinking about taking EDTC 300.

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