Curiosity is one of the significant elements of learning. Learners should be curious about not only exploring something new but also re-exploring something you have known already. In this blog post, I am sharing my experiences of using Google Maps.
Google Maps is one of the Google features that users can search for all locations around the world. Google Maps also support 3D satellite data and street views. Users can freely upload photos, leave comments, and search for point-to-point navigation. After logging in to your Google account, you can create your Map with different location tags. It is useful when you are planning to travel, and you want to mark down all “must-visit places.”
In my Web Tools class, I use Google My Maps to create my graduation travel plan to Japan. I visited Osaka during the past summer. I found it ineffective to write all the places and restaurants I wanted to visit on a piece of paper. It was inconvenient to write all YouTube links and websites on the paper. Therefore, I told myself to look for a useful tool next time planning my trip. Luckily, I got one now!
I only stayed in Osaka for a week last time, which I think is not enough to explore everything there. Therefore, I am planning to go again after graduation. I want to go to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. In my map, I pinned my “must-visit” list, and also included two transportation routes: from Tokyo to Kyoto, and from Kyoto to Osaka. I embedded pictures of some museums to my map and used different colored pins to indicate different locations from different regions. It is also useful to change to pin icons to differentiate eating places from visiting sites.
It is convenient, useful, and user-friendly. I can search for all locations around the world, pin locations, and edit anytime. Different layers allow me to organize my trip by locations, dates, or categories. Choosing to show or to hide different layers, I can easily manage my plan when traveling. It is clear in displaying. I also admire the function of sharing my map with others. People with the link, or being invited, can either view or edit my map. By saving my map in Google Drive, I can access my map with any devices, such as mobile, laptop, or tablet. Can you imagine how beneficial is it to, at the same time, check your plan, search for navigation, and visit websites at your fingertips?
Do you have any experiences using Google My Maps, and would like to share with me?
Finally, thank you for visiting my blog and please do not forget to follow me on Twitter for more related information and discussions. Twitter: @PoYeeWong4
Do you like watching movies? If yes, what is your favorite genre? Do you think you can learn about cultures from movies?
I recently watched a South Korean movie called 200 Pounds Beauty. It is a musical romantic comedy released in 2006. It was touching, funny, and the most important, inspiring.
The main girl in the movie is Hanna Kang. She has a dream of being a famous singer. She is talented with a beautiful voice. However, she is overweight that she is not accepted to be a pop star. Hanna’s talent being discovered by a director called Sang-jun. The entertainment company takes advantage of Hanna’s voice, letting her be a ghost singer for a famous pop singer, Ammy. Being insulted by Ammy and overhearing the conversation between Ammy and Sang-jun. Hanna figures out that the only reason Sang-jun being so nice to her is because of her voice. Hanna is heartbroken that she thinks she will never have a possibility to gain his love. Being disrupted while attempting suicide, Hanna finally goes to the surgeon and requests a whole-body plastic surgery.
One year later, with a lot of effort in recovering, dieting, and exercising, Hanna becomes a “naturally-looking” beautiful girl. She then lives with a new identity — Korean-American from California named Jenny. When going back to the entertainment company for an audition, Jenny receives a chance to be an independent singer and is going to release albums. Ammy fears to be replaced and loses her fame. Therefore, she tries so hard to search for Hanna. While talking to Jenny, Ammy accidentally realizes that Jenny is Hanna. Sang-jun also realizes the truth a day before Jenny’s concert. Jenny is disappointed and heartbroken that she is only a “tool” to Sang-jun helping him to make money. All negativity and pressure break out that Jenny cannot handle it anymore. She reflects and regrets undergoing surgery. To hide her secret perfectly, she loses her best friend, ignores her father with Alzheimer’s, and her true self. She cannot withstand it and tells all the truth in front of her audiences and fans in her concert.
Fortunately, Jenny regains her relationships with her best friend and father. Staff from the entertainment company and all her fans appreciate her courage to admit all her faults and disclose them. She then gives up the name Jenny and develops her new singer to identify with her real name Hanna.
Cultural Aspect Learning
As I was born in Asian culture and now living in Western culture, I would like to compare similarities and differences between the two.
First, in Western cultures, plastic surgery seems to be less common than in Asian cultures. Westerners usually focus on body shape only that dieting and fitness training are always enough to make ideal changes. Therefore, Westerners are less likely to undergo plastic surgery. However, for some Asian people, their facial features are less sharpen than Westerners, which is hard to be corrected with make-up only. Therefore, they are more likely to have surgery to make themselves look prettier. According to the reaction of Sang-jun and audiences towards plastic surgery, they are not accepted at the beginning. However, with a clear explanation and disclosure, they understand and mostly accept it as a good outcome.
From the perspective of ideal body shape, Westerners appreciate healthy body shape with muscles. On the other hand, based on Hanna’s point of view, she prefers only skinny and thin. This difference represents the social norm of people’s definitions of beauty. It is the reason why Hanna chooses to have surgery rather than only physical training. What Hanna does to rebuild her beauty are bone reconstruction and liposuction (a surgical procedure to remove fat from specific body parts). I understand Hanna’s thoughts when comparing the scenes that Hanna and Ammy are wearing the same red dress. She believes that Ammy looks prettier with the same red dress because Ammy is skinnier than she does. Hanna is looking for a body shape like a Barbie doll.
How come an overweight lady not beautiful?
One’s beauty should be determined by internal attributes instead of appearance. A good-looking appearance should only be a bonus, but not the foundation.
At the beginning of the movie, Hanna is asking for a change to her fortune with Sang-jun. She receives an amulet written on a yellow paper with red ink. I think there is a religious difference that Westerners are less likely to ask for something like that, except Buddhist. Instead, I think Westerners prefer Tarot Reading. However, one thing is similar between Westerners and Asian people, like Hanna. People believe in themselves that they trust they can make their dreams come true. Even Hanna is told impossible to be together with Sang-jun, she still tries everything she can think of to gain attention from him. At the end of the movie, Sang-jun starts having a feeling to her. Hanna wants to be a singer, thus, she comes back for auditioning and finally releases albums. Based on my observation of my Americans and Asian friends, they are all hard-working in pursuing their goals. They apply for part-time jobs, look for resources to support their career plans, keep developing both soft and hard skills, etc. Therefore, I believe no matter what cultural background people grow up with, they all hold a strong positive attitude and passion toward their goals.
Finally, I also notice some lifestyle differences in the movie. Hanna and her best friend are eating in a restaurant that has different dishes as restaurants in America. Americans usually have pasta, soup, or salad in the restaurant while Koreans usually have Korean Barbecues or hotpot inside the restaurant. Koreans meals do not have to be set meals. They prefer sharing everything, and no specific order of appetizer comes first with the main course comes after.
From the scene after Hanna finishes her surgery, she goes shopping along a busy street. There are small boutiques like what we have in busy cities. Unlikely to most of the areas in America, there does not have to be a large shopping mall with different brands’ counters inside and a large parking lot outside. Additionally, there are more high-density buildings in Korea. Most of the people live in apartment buildings, and only a small group of rich people live in single houses. Conversely in America, residents are relatively more common in living in single houses or low-density buildings. It is because America, as a larger country, has more spaces for constructions.
Although I mention a lot of comparisons in this blog post, it is not absolutely reflecting the actual culture of America and Korea. I only base on what I see from this movie and what I know about America since I moved here. Also, this movie mainly focuses on the experience of being a pop singer. It is not a typical life of a common young adult. Therefore, the discussion above should be specific to the setting of this movie. There is always room for better, more diverse, and deeper investigation of cultural issues. Therefore, I am always glad and desired to have more comments and suggestions for further conversations. Please feel free to share your recommended movies and your perspectives on cultural differences and similarities between your country and a foreign one.
Thank you, everyone, for visiting my blog and please do not forget to follow me on Twitter for more related information and discussions. Twitter: @PoYeeWong4
Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog, and here is my first post! As a Psychology major, I am always interested in reading research articles related to my field (either clinical or organizational psychology). Also, with good use of Twitter, I can easily find information by search #edtechchat and #psychology. The article below is one that caught my eyes the most recently.
The article “How To Make Learning Stick: Top Tips From Learning Psychology” is written by Steve Penfold and published on the eLearning Industry webpage. Penfold was inspired by Stella Collins, a Learning Psychologist, on how to learn better. Penfold introduced 7 ways to make learning more effective as a long term memory. Below is an outline of the article:
Encourage active engagement – try to be an active learner. Beyond only listening to your educators’ explanations on different topics, learners should actively show their responses. For example, learners can give feedback, join discussions, and participate in related activities.
Use what people already know – make connections with past knowledge. You can imagine it as adding a new thing to an existing network which you are accustomed to. Linking new information to what you have already known and familiar with makes it easier to be part of your long term memory, which is then easier to retrieve.
Make deliberate links – try to make as many connections to the things you know as possible. Similar to the previous point, connections are hints in learning and memorizing. The more hints you have, the easier you can recall when needed.
Tap into emotions – strong feelings help memorize. Both positive and negative emotions help to learn because those feelings also represent your own experiences and reactions to the situations.
Repeat – regular practices keep brain neurons and muscles active. Repeating the same materials help move the information from short term memory to long term memory, as well as, leading to the faster recall.
Keep it fresh – excitement catches attention. Even you are learning the same things, learn from new perspectives and different methods can make you feel more passionate to learn and review.
Use storytelling – remember and share materials like you are telling others an impressive story. When you gather all the details and relevant points of a topic you want to learn, try to make them an easy remembering story. You are learning, recalling, and teaching when you are telling the story to others.
Have you ever tried any of these ways? Are they useful? Or any other learning methods you wan to share with me?
I was firstly attracted by the keywords “Tips” and “Learning Psychology.” I took Psychology of Learning class before, and I understand that everyone can learn as diverse as they want and as efficient as possible. They just need the appropriate strategies!
I agree with the tips shared in this article that I use most of them for my years of school life. Learning and teaching are lifetime activities that people should find ways to keep themselves passionate. Together with other reinforcement strategies, I believe that learners can boost their learning capability in a stress-free environment.
Thanks for reading my first blog and sharing your ideas with me!
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